Partnering in Education and Aid for Kenya (PEAK)

Kenya 2017

Our 2017 team to Samburu and Meru, Kenya has just returned from another successful trip. Debbie Welden recently sent these pictures and reported that we now are providing clean water to thousands of students and teachers in more than 70 schools in the region.

 

Kenya Projects Update – Summer 2016

The ACC’s ongoing Kenya projects continue this summer, and our Kenyan partner Isaac Soita of Running Water International is hard at work on Phase 3 of our projects through the three-year partnership with Rotary, installing more than 70 clean water systems at schools in Meru and Samburu, Kenya.

Construction continues on Thuura High School's new administration building,
including a new computer lab

Another major goal this year is to assist Thuura High School in Meru complete their new school administration building, including a new computer lab. In 2012 we successfully partnered with this school to build a school library, and the new computer lab will provided much-needed resources to help the students in their academic pursuits. Our partners at Thuura, including Lawrence Mathiu and principal Ken Gitonga, are planning a major fundraiser in Meru this coming fall. Donations to the ACC Kenya fund this summer will help with the computer lab component of the building.

The Aspen Community Church’s outreach and work in Kenya is now in its eighth year – an amazing effort in partnership with other churches and Rotary International – currently providing clean water to thousands of students and teachers at more than 40 schools. In addition, we’ve helped build three school libraries, provided books and school supplies, food assistance, a computer lab, a school latrine, and more – all accomplished in collaboration with our inspiring Kenya partners.

Clean water has also led to improved education, as evidenced by a new survey system begun in 2015. The surveys have shown that student attendance has greatly improved, and the standardized test scores of every class have improved for the 35 schools surveyed so far. There have been virtually no new reports of illness due to impure water and waterborne disease, and all of the teachers report that these improved results are directly related to the clean water systems installed.

Our Kenya Fund at the ACC is supported by individual donations from ACC members, community members, and other fundraising efforts. We welcome your support for our church’s work across the world, which is making such a life-changing difference for so many! You can find more information and make a donation on the church’s website by clicking here. Or contact Debbie Welden, at deborah.welden@gmail.com. We will greatly appreciate your support!

Ongoing Kenya Projects

The Aspen Community Church’s projects in Meru and Samburu, Kenya are continuing to do well in 2016, with great news to share about clean water projects in both regions. Phase 2 of our three-year partnership with Rotary is now complete, with 29 schools receiving clean water systems in the past year, and Phase 3 will begin in mid-summer. In addition, during our January 2016 team trip, two schools in Meru and two in Samburu were identified as needing additional assistance, which has also been completed in the past month.

Progress also continues on the new School Administration Block building, including a computer lab, at Thuura High School, where we helped build a new library in 2012. Funds raised have also helped provide assistance to Bishop Catherine's street children program in Meru, as well as high school scholarship funds.

Plans are already in the works for another team trip in January 2017. Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to contact Debbie Welden for more information.

 


HISTORY

Since 2008, the Aspen Community Church (ACC) has had an ongoing commitment to a collaborative partnership focused on impacting and improving the lives of the people of Kenya. To help accomplish our many goals with these efforts, PEAK was co-founded in 2009 by Debbie Welden of the ACC and Rich Fisher from First United Methodist Church of Fort Collins. 

Six team trips to Kenya have accomplished a number of projects in and near Meru and in the Samburu region, and valuable friendships and relationships have been forged with our Kenyan partners. We work closely with the Kaaga Synod of the Methodist Church of Kenya, as well as individuals, schools, communities, and villages to provide clean water systems, school libraries, school and health supplies, assistance to HIV/AIDS support groups, and more.

An additional partnership with Rotary has helped to expand our clean water work, assisted by donations from a number of churches and Rotary clubs as well as matching funds from Rotary International, with the goal of providing clean water systems at more than 68 schools over a three–year period.

 

Debbie Welden with the Women of Unity Village in Samburu

Children at Kuuru Primary School who benefit from the clean water program

The library built at Thuura Secondary School 2012

Thuura Secondary School students helping build the library in 2012

Refurbished pre-school and mural at Kithoca Primary School in 2012

Debbie and Bo Welden with women of Unity Village in 2014

Bo Welden greeting students at Gachua Primary School in 2014

Pastor Mike and Bishop William

Liz Means and Gary Kreutzer with HIV/AIDS support group in 2012

 

 

Donate to PEAK

 

As our partnership with the people of Kenya continues to grow, so has the impact on their lives and ours. Relationships created through joint efforts on our many projects have become deeper, more meaningful, and more precious.
Future projects continue to be planned, both in the Meru area and in the women’s villages of Umoja and Unity in Samburu. Please consider a donation to our fund to ensure our important work in Kenya – and thank you.

 

Latest News

Our most recent team trip in January 2016 was a rich and rewarding time for our eight member team. Beginning with a week in Samburu, we had the privilege of participating in another successful high school graduation ceremony and celebration, and enjoyed spending time in the villages of Umoja and Unity. We also assessed two Samburu primary schools for clean water systems, which have now been installed. It was especially rewarding to see how well the women's villages are doing with their clean water systems, and they are also sharing their clean water with some of their nearby neighbors. Our time in Meru was a whirlwind, visiting many schools, sharing time with our Meru friends and partners, and conducting another training seminar for the Community Health Workers. Clean water projects are continuing in 2016 and 2017, and we're also fundraising for a school administration building at Thuura High School, where we built a library in 2012. The computer lab in the new building will help ensure improved educational opportunities for the students and greater chances for attending college, leading to a brighter future.

How it all Began -
Previous Trips and Projects:

2008

The initial 2008 team trip, in which two ACC members participated – Charlie Horn and Debbie Welden – focused on converting a classroom into a library at Kithoca Primary School. We also repaired the school compound fence, built a new cooking stove, contributed clothing, and provided school and medical supplies. And new friendships and relationships were begun that have led to our continued efforts and partnerships in Kenya.

 

2010

A November 2010 team trip to Meru included five representatives from Aspen Community Church.  Fundraising efforts enabled us to complete a number of projects, including a clean water system with storage tank and bio-sand water filters at Rwanyange Primary School, a new 8-stall latrine at Kithoca Primary School, and a secure and newly furnished computer room at Kithoca.  Equally important, our relationships with our Kenya partners continued to grow, allowing us to begin planning for future projects and team trips.

 

2011

In September 2011, Debbie Welden and Rich Fisher, co-leaders of PEAK, returned to Kenya to conduct follow-up on projects begun in 2010, and plan for future efforts with our Kenyan partners.  Dedication ceremonies at Rwanyange and Kithoca Primary Schools were highlights of the trip, and comparative qualitative tests on the filtered and unfiltered water at both schools found no pathogens in the filtered water – which has resulted in fewer water-born illnesses and thus greater student attendance and improved test sores on national exams.

 

2012

Our Kenya projects continued in 2012, with a very successful 12-member team trip to both Meru and to a new area of focus – two women’s villages in the Samburu region of Kenya.  Clean water systems were begun in two more schools, as well as a new school library at Thuura Secondary School, and an extensive renovation of the pre-school at Kithoca Primary School. We also provided books and school supplies, and support for HIV/AIDS groups – always a meaningful part of our visits to Kenya.  In Samburu, we refurbished and painted school classrooms, and provided materials for a shade structure at the school.  Collaborations with our Kenyan partners also laid plans for future clean water systems at a number of schools.

 

2013-2014

In December 2013, Debbie Welden and her son Bo Welden returned to Kenya to follow up on ongoing clean water projects, now being expanded and accelerated through a partnership with Rotary, whereby clean water systems are being installed at 68 schools in the Meru region over a three-year period.  The trip included dedication ceremonies of completed projects, as well as visits to schools where work is in progress.  During a visit to Umoja and Unity villages in Samburu, plans were also begun for providing clean water systems at both villages and nearby Lorubae Primary School, and growing relationships in that area have proven to be rewarding and promising.

 

2015

In January 2015, a seven-member team returned to Kenya, including Debbie Welden and Pastor Mike Nickerson. Our projects included the conversion of an unfinished classroom to a school library at Rwanyange Primary School, and we visited twenty schools and two villages and gathered information that will be helpful with sustainability components of the ongoing clean water projects. Along with our Kenya partners, we trained volunteer workers who will help with surveying the schools on a regular basis to ensure proper use of the systems.  And, as always, relationships were begun, renewed and strengthened with partners and friends. A major highlight in Samburu was the privilege of participating in the high school graduation ceremony and celebration for recent scholarship recipient graduates.