We have had a very busy year at Friends Vision with myself spending 10 months in Kenya to help lay the ground work for new projects and network within the local community (amongst many other things!). This year we employed two new staff members, saw volunteers, friends and family join us in Kenya to see our projects and welcomed some new children into our sponsorship program. We overcame many challenges that Kenya seems to throw at us at any given time and have slowly made progress on our existing projects getting us another step closer to building our first children's home. Have a read below of the year that was. I hope you enjoy and all have a great Christmas ahead!
Friends Vision Christmas Appeal
Our Annual Christmas Appeal is here again!! Every year Friends Vision holds Christmas parties for children living in rescue centers around Kenya. The days are filled with fun and games, yummy food, presents, lots of laughter and even a visit from Father Christmas himself. You can be a part of this special day by giving to our appeal. Every single donation made to our Christmas Appeal goes a long way in Kenya and allows us to share the joy of Christmas for children who have no family to call their own. To make a donation please visit our website by clicking here.
People & Planet 2014 Dairies and Calenders
As you might have seen on our Facebook page, we are now selling the beautiful 2014 Dairies and Calenders from People & Planet. Friends Vision partners with this organisation each year to raise funds for our projects in Kenya with over 60% of every sale going directly into our projects. This year we are hoping to raise over $4000 to go towards our new self-sustainable projects to ensure our success in the future. The stunning 2014 Dairies and Calenders make the perfect Christmas present or a guilt free gift to yourself as they are the present that gives twice! Orders can be made through email at email@example.com. We will delivery anywhere around Australia. Dairies are $23 and Calenders $25.
We are slowly getting closer to being able to start building our first children's home in Kenya. We purchased 3 acres of land in 2010 and have only just been able to make it through the final building and permit approvals of our blue prints with the local council. I wont begin to tell you how difficult even the smallest tasks in Kenya can be to complete with so many challenges and disruptions that seem to constantly occur at any time. So we are very happy to finally be at this stage and have began getting quotes to build the home from local contractors though these have nearly doubled since we began Friends Vision as inflation and corruption in Kenya seems to grow everyday. We are now looking at around USD$35,000 for each home to be built (each home will house 10 children) so are again beginning to fundraise to make a start on this as soon as we can. Much of the funds previously raised were used for council fees, land rates, Government charges and architect fees so we are now looking into new ways to generate funds to finally begin building our home for the children. Donations for this project can be made through our website by clicking here.
Child Sponsorship Program
Our new child sponsorship program has been running well this year with lots of new sponsors signing up for our new price of just $25 per month. This has allowed us to send 38 children to 5 different schools across Kenya. The children had a great year even though it was disrupted by the Presidential elections in March and a number of teachers strikes, they still powered through their terms. All the children are now on school break for the Christmas holidays and will begin back at school again in January 2014. We had 3 students sit for their Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) last week which involves a week long of exams and the results of this will determine which High Schools they can eligible to join next year so we are wishing them all the best for this (though all 3 feel they did pretty well). Some of our children were lucky enough to have school field trips to the Tanzanian border, visit national parks and we had a big guardian visiting day mid year which we took the kids to a local resort for a fun filled day of swimming, jumping castles, great food, lollies, balloons and some gifts and letters from their international sponsors. We are always searching for new sponsors in our program to help us provide the best education and care we can for our children so take a look at our sponsorship section on our website by clicking here if you would like to join us and create a bright tomorrow for our kids.
We had lots of friends, family and sponsors visit us and our children this year. Our volunteer program is beginning to grow and is open to anyone above 18 years who is looking for a new experience in their lives. We have a range of programs from volunteering in children's homes, medical clinics, construction, IT and farming. For a sneak peak you can have volunteering with us in Kenya click here or visit our website for more information.
2014 will see Friends Vision have a main focus on building on sustainability so we can sucure our success for the years to come. The start of this is our farming project on our land where we will be growing fruit trees, vegetable crops and keep animals to sell and make produce. You can help us develop this project by purchasing any of the products above via our website and help us create a sustainable future. Click here to view our webpage and see how you can help out.
This year saw us employe two new staff members to grow and develop Friends Vision into a functioning community organisation. Long term Friends Vision volunteer Bosco Yanta joined our team officially in January this year as our new Sponsorship Coordinator and more recently Pauline Njoroge began her position as Project Manager with our team in Kenya. Both joined with our brilliant long term Operations Manager Peris Mwangi to generate a great local team to oversee all our projects on the ground in Kenya. We are very excited by these new developments as they are big steps forward for Friends Vision and our future.
In August this year we received our Non-Government Organisation status in Kenya which is another great step forward of us as an organisation. While we received word we were accepted for this status we are still working through the final paper work (yet another very long process in Kenya!) to gain our certificate then we can start applying for funding grants within Kenya and aboard to help us build our home.
We also developed a new Australian based volunteer group this year who assist with our Australian registeration through promotion, marketing and fundraising for Friends Vision in Australia. This team is in the process of applying for tax deductability status for our donors though process has changed since the last election in Australia so we have to begin again with this. I would like to say a big welcome to the Australian Friends Vision team Sue Currie, Sarah Kent, Lachlan Kent, Bonnie Rodgers, Cait Morris, David Fleming, Daniel Pirret and Jarod Knowles. We are always looking for volunteers to join our Australian team so if you are interested in becoming a Friends Vision volunteer send me an email and let me know.
Well that's about all I have for you all. Thank you all for your support over the years, we are always so grateful for this! If you haven't already, 'like' our Facebook page by clicking here to receive more regular updates on our work
|December 2018 Update|
|We have had another big year here at Friends Vision and although we’ve had some setbacks, we’ve also had many reasons to celebrate. In particular, we are always inspired by the many achievements of the children and young people we support. With increasing costs and floods wiping out most of our crops, we also need to continue to fundraise so read on to see what we have planned.|
|March 2018 Update|
|It continues to be an interesting, challenging, rewarding and evolving journey for us as we move into our eighth year. While it’s been around two years since my last update (so sorry), the wheels have still been turning over as we venture into new territory this year. Our focus on sustainability is in full force with some exciting new partnerships; we have gained tax deductibility status in Australia; welcomed new staff members and new children and had the first of our young adults finishing High School and beginning our transition program.|
|2015 News Update|
|All in all it has been a busy, exciting and challenging year for us at Friends Vision as we slowly move through some changes that have taken place within our organisation. Throughout the year we have welcomed new staff, gained our Kenyan NGO status, began our farming project and started to move towards a more sustainable future.|
|Our Directors Interview|
|Read Director Jannah Curries interview with magazine Essential Child to find out more on the journey of Friends Vision.|