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December 2018 Update
We have had another big year here at Friends Vision and although weve had some setbacks, weve 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.

Christmas Appeal

Each year we have a Christmas Appeal where money raised goes toward a Christmas celebration for the children at the different Children’s Rescue Centers we work with. Although we will still be aiming to do this, our main focus for this Christmas is to promote our sponsorship program and to gain more support to keep this program going. This Christmas why not give a gift that actually counts – an Education!

We are all set up for people to donate or sponsor a child on behalf of someone else (or just for yourself) with gift certificates you can provide as a Christmas present. We have also set a challenge to get 10 new sponsors before the end of December so with your help we can get there!

Our fundraising link is up and running on our website which you can reach by clicking here. If you were interested in sponsoring a child on behalf of someone for Christmas select the ‘make a regular donation’ box and I will be in contact with you for further details.

You can also help by spreading the word and sharing this email and our Facebook posts. While you are there check out our Facebook Page to see how our challenge to get 10 new sponsors is going! We need to pay first term fees before the end of December, so every little bit counts!

Sponsorship Program

Our third and final term for the year has recently finished and all the children are on break until the first week of January. This year we had three more young people finish high school and one who will be moving into high school in 2019. We are eagerly awaiting the exam results to see what the next step will be for our three who finished high school. Two are hoping to score high enough to make it into university while the other may begin a business mentorship with our Soap project you can read about below.

It’s exciting to be venturing into new territory with our transition program supporting our young people after the end of high school. This phase of their life is important as the young people also need to leave the rescue centers which have been their home for most of their lives. We are committed to supporting them to develop life skills such as learning how to cook, budgeting, finding and maintaining a tenancy, gaining employment and pursuing further study opportunities through vocational training, college or university options. We also believe that linking into community supports and building a support network around them is extremely important to create a sustainable and purposeful future for them.

Like our sponsorship program, as more young people leave school, we have additional costs to cover with the transition program. Our main source of funding is through the sponsorship program so we are launching a sponsorship drive to meet these costs. We need to make up around $15,000 this year which equates to around 25 new sponsors at $50 per month. We currently have a sponsorship drive at get at least 10 new sponsors before the end of the year and will continue throughout the year to get to our target.

We would really appreciate your help to spread the word to find new sponsors to join the Friends Vision team! Believe me I dream of the day I can stop asking for more funding but until then I do really need to rely on the support of others.

Projects

We are very excited about our Soap making project which we partner with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP). For those who don’t know, this project has been built in collaboration with WUSP over the last year and is aimed to provide opportunities for disadvantaged youth to gain employment and business skills while at the same time promoting health and sanitation to communities with affordable soap products. In November we converted an old chicken shed at our volunteer home/office to be our workshop for this project and the soap machine was delivered during the month. We recently received the raw materials to start producing and trialing products. Our staff and some young people who recently finished high school will be undertaking training in using the machine and marketing the products. Our next steps are to confirm our brand name and packaging with the hope to be off the ground early in the new year. It will be a few months yet until this project is in full swing but fingers crossed that all our hard work over the last year pays off and we see the outcomes that both Friends Vision and WUSP have planned for.

You may have seen our latest agriculture project which we begun in April this year. Unfortunately, it was not a success due to flooding and a lone porcupine damaging our crops. This meant we not only lost money implementing the project but we also don’t have the money we planned for through the selling of the crops. It was a huge disappointment to all who worked hard to get the project off the ground. Despite this setback, we will continue to search for more opportunities in Kenya to find sustainable business ideas that will benefit the young people in our programs and to support our administrative costs. This continues to be a huge focus for us to ensure sustainability for the future.

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