Alderwood Community Church & World Concern…A partnership in transformational development in Lolkuniani
A celebration took place on the banks of a riverbed in the barren region of Samburu, Kenya, a few weeks ago. Just beyond the blessing ceremony was a rare and precious sight—something previously very difficult to find in this part of the world: water. Lots of water.
The pounding seasonal rains that normally create rivers of muddy water and flood the hardened soil gushed over a newly constructed sand dam and filled a huge reservoir that now holds enough water to provide a reliable, year-round supply of clean water for nearby villages.
This is indeed something to celebrate in Samburu, and here’s why…
The plight of women in this drought-prone part of the world, who walk for miles every day to collect water for their families, is evident in the life of a mom named Lolmodooni. Last year, before we brought water to this region together, you may remember that we joined Lolmodooni on her journey through prickly brush where cheetahs hunt their prey in the blazing desert heat. (video link: https://youtu.be/SAamk42l2mY). When Lolmodooni reached the dry riverbed, she began to dig into the sand, smelling the wet soil for animal and human feces. Once she hit water, about two feet down, she began to scoop the grey, milky water into her 20-liter water jug. This water is not safe to drink, and likely made her children sick, but she had no choice, until now…
With the support of World Concern and Alderwood Community Church, the new sand dam was constructed with local community members doing much of the work. It not only provides natural filtration of the water through the sand, and a hand pump for easy access, it dramatically reduces the distance women walk for water.
Clean water also means better health. A water source near home means safety for moms and their kids, more time in their day to do the things that matter, like work and go to school. And abundant water also means more food, a healthier diet, and income.
Sand dams raise the water table, so they are an effective way to regenerate soil, enabling vegetation to grow. With this, the communities can be trained to grow vegetables which will improve nutrition and lower food costs. Vegetables can also be sold at the local market, generating income for families in the village.
“We thank God for this sand dam because before we used to walk tens of kilometers in search of water and then walk back home,” said Narikuni, a 30-year-old mother of four. “it is tedious and time consuming [collecting water]. Our children were forced to stay at home and miss school because of water shortage, but now that the sand dam is less than a kilometer from our home, we will be able to get enough water and have time for other errands.”
For the people of Lolkuniani, not only do they have water that no longer makes them sick: it is clean and tastes sweet. Nalotu, a young mother, cannot hide her joy about this! Hers is among hundreds of households that you have helped. Nalotu used to spend three days a week looking for water and she was lucky when she could manage to fill two 5-gallon Jerrycans for her family. Usually, she could only fill one Jerrycan because of drought. “Most of our village children would miss school so that they could help their parents get water, but nowadays our children are going to school because we have water in our village,” Nalotu said. “Families used to migrate, looking for water during drought seasons, but now we are receiving visitors in our village because we have water.” Nalotu’s husband agrees that the sand dam has changed their lives. He said, “Before the sand dam was constructed, we used to get salty water, but the sand dam water is fresh.”
THANK YOU ALDERWOOD!
Celebrating Water in a Dry, Thirsty Land
Because of you, Nalotu has clean, disease-free water from a source near her home.
A Community Health Outreach.
A mother & child at a health outreach.
Nutrition & Economic Outlook Improved!
Lead mothers training on nutrition food demonstration.
The Church is Growing! Signs of Spiritual Transformation:
- 20 men and 10 women recently graduated with their theology and Bible degrees.
- 2 church leaders have been promoted to full-time pastors.
- 1 new church has been planted.
- 1 church leader has been promoted to full-time church evangelist.
- 32 new believers gave their lives to Christ for the first time at the turn of the year alone.
- 5 local evangelists were trained conducting pastoral programs and Bible study in schools. More trained evangelists will be facilitating school evangelism sessions and Bible studies going forward.
Just this last quarter…
- 4 local evangelists and 4 local pastors led evangelism sessions in the villages where 110 people were reached and 21 people gave their lives to God.
- 4 more door-to-door evangelism sessions were conducted later, reaching 200 people. 50 gave their lives to God.
- Local pastors and evangelists also reached out to Lolkuniani primary school pupils through multiple 40-min pastoral-program-instruction sessions. 120 school children were reached for God.
- 9 pastors again volunteered for 2 days of door-to-door evangelism in Lolkuniani. 12 people gave their lives to God.
- For years, families in Lolkuniani have suffered from stomach pain and dehydration because of parasites and unclean water. But thanks to you, relief has finally come. During a recent outreach, children and adults were screened for malnutrition and you provided hundreds of deworming pills and nutrition packets for families through the local clinic!
- Furthermore, 10 integrated health outreach sessions were conducted in Nkaroniand Lolkuniani villages,reaching out to 1,692 peoples.
- During the quarter, 388 children were screened, 221 children received vitamin A and were dewormed, 154 children were immunized, 29 children had moderate acute malnutrition ANC services, and 706 people received health education, hygiene, and sanitation awareness—as well as information on COVID-19 prevention and treatment.
- 27 ‘Lead Mothers’ were also trained on hygiene and sanitation, dietary diversity, and complementary feeding for 6-59 months.
- Trained lead mothers will train neighboring mothers on the same practices. 31 women have been enrolled in the program so far.
Nutrition & Economic Outlook Improved!
- In Lolkuniani and surrounding villages, 80 additional mothers were also trained in Health and Nutrition. They were then able to reach more than 800 additional mothers with messages of health and nutrition Education.
- The ‘Lead Mothers’ told of how the care groups have gradually changed their ways of living, from developing how they can improve their livelihoods to uniting them to advocate for positive change.
- Beyond health, the mothers also began a merry-go-round where each member contributes money weekly. This money is then used to help group members struggling to put meals on the table. This group collects 10-15 eggs a day which is equally shared among members of the groups. They can also sell the eggs to boost the group savings.
- During the quarter, 6 SALT groups also met for saving and loaning sessions in the two OVT villages, with 95 members attending saving sessions.
- In addition, 25 SALT group members were trained on beadwork as an income generating activity. This work will help in increasing members earnings once bead-products are sold in the local market, which will translate to increased members savings. Trained members will then be training other savings group members, continuing the replication!