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March 2, 2011                                                            Issue No. 13
In this issue
JohJan LifeNets Academy in Migori, Kenya
Two Stories from Wordsworth Rashid in Malawi
Natasha's Journey to India
Greetings!  Hit Counter
 
As I finished putting this eNews together, two other great stories came in.  The first was about a particularly significant scholarship grant outcome and the other was the first annual report about our expanded Heifer Project that has celebrated its first year in Kenya. I was particularly happy to hear about first three newborn calves!  We're on the way to succeeding in Kenya as we have done for a decade in Zambia. We'll cover those stories in the next eNews which will not be far off. We will feature them on our Website www.lifenets.org, as well.
  
Stories this issue are about the wonderful progress on our most ambitious project to date in Kenya, the JohJan LifeNets Academy in Migori. We have really appreciated the stewardship of John and Janet Otieno on this to be 12 grade school. We also have a report from Wordsworth Rashid on two Malawi Projects.  Finally, my niece Natasha writes about her eye-opening mission to India.  LifeNets has been partial sponsor of seveal missions that young people have taken to better understand poverty in the world and what can be done to help. 
 
Keep visiting our Website and if you haven't done so, become a LifeNets fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lifenets. We have more than 1770 fans who let others know about our collective work to help the disadvantaged and vulnerable.

 

Thanks for your interest and support of LifeNets!                                 
                         
 
                                                                     VK signature
 
                                                                       Victor Kubik
                                                                                         President, LifeNets
JohJan LifeNets Academy in Migori, Kenya
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Over the years LifeNets has taken on various worthwhile projects overseas. One of our vitally important criteria is that there be responsible management of the projects on site as well as management of fundraising and transport of funds from this end. We believe that we have a made a good fit with this project.  

One of five classroom buildings

One of the completed classrooms

 

John and Janet Otieno in Kenya are the founders and directors of this school. 
 

Recent progress has been the purchase of adjacent extra land for the children's playground, the construction of an administration building and certification by government of Kenya.  Work is proceeding with completion of classrooms.  Once finished there will be more than 400 students in 12 grades. 

 

We are very happy about the progress of this project,  We thank our major contributors who have given us the confidence to see the end of the project as well as a fundraiser from the Seattle Skyline Rotary Club that raised more than $11,200 for this school.

 

 

 
Classroom with desks

New Classroom 

Otieno's and Elliott's

Left: Directors John and Janet Otieno; Right: US Coordinators John and Merrie Elliott

 

 

For more details about this project we are posting continuous updates at http://lifenets.org/johjan as we receive them from Kenya.  Thank you for your interest and support. 

Two Stories from Wordsworth Rashid in Malawi
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53 year old Man Finally Got a Tricycle.   It's An Entirely New Life! 

 

Mr. Divaison Banda comes from Kuchitala Village T.A Kalumbu in Lilongwe district. He has

Mr. Divaison Banda With His New Tricycle

Mr. Divaison Banda With His New Tricycle

been crawling since a young age. This was as a result of polio. He is 53 now. Upon identifying him, he has been assisted with a tricycle on February 23, 2011, which will make him able to move around easily. He will be using both hands to cycle it. This tricycle has been donated by the LifeNets International. Wholeheartedly, Mr. Banda thanked LifeNets for assisting him with mobility and orientation. He has a garden of maize and he said; "Look! The grace is here, I will be cycling around my environment and to my maize field using this wonderful gift."  He extended his thanks to LifeNets through Wordsworth Rashid for the donation of the wheelchair.

Livelihood Development Grant for Welder


 
Alfred Mitomoni lives in Kawale, Lilongwe. He owns a welding shop. He has been given  new welding equipment. He thanks God for the tremendous support from LifeNets. He i
s skilled at making bed frames, metal animal sculptures, trellises and more. He really does nice work 

Albert Mitimani With His Creations

Alfred Mitimani With His Creations

Natasha's Journey to India 

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An interesting report from Natasha Kubik about her mission to India in January.

 

January 29, 2011

Dear Uncle Victor, Aunt Bev and the members of LifeNets,

Thank you so much for the generous donation that you made for my trip to India. Recently, I arrived home from Kolkata, India where my team, Colin Larnerd, Jorden Eck, Mar Peter-Raoul and I had the privilege to spend time with 43 children and families that live half in the Shree Durga Dump and half in a small village outside of the city. The families rotate every 6 months.

Natasha in India 2The trip was truly an eye-opening experience and certainly life-changing. India is very overpopulated, very dirty, and pretty much completely insane. Walking out on the streets everyday was very mentally draining. There were hundreds and hundreds of people begging for money and sleeping on the streets at night. There were a lot of homeless dogs just roaming the streets, scrounging around for food. Their diet consisted of rats, crows and garbage. It was very sad.

Our plane was delayed by the snow in the U.S. so we almost missed our chance to speak at the International Philosophers for Peace Conference. Luckily, we were able to make it for the last day and they were able to squeeze us in. We felt very rushed and a little on edge, but we able to present and it was a very good opportunity.

On January 1 we were able to meet and spend time with the families at the dump. When we arrived, they had cleaned out a huge area for us and they had a small bicycle-wagon for us to sit on. They loved getting their pictures taken with our cameras. We were greeted as old friends with open arms.

Natasha in India at the dump

At the Dump

One day we took them to the Maiden, which is the biggest park in Kolkata. We ate a wonderful lunch with them and got a chance to really get to know them. Our Bengali was limited, but we tried to speak as much Bengali as we could  
  

My favorite day was the day we were privileged to visit the peoples' village. It was so unreal. I felt like I was in a book. We took an hour and a half train ride, standing room only, because it was so crowded. Although it was miserable being way too close to way too many sweaty people, I really enjoyed looking at the landscape of India out the window. When we finally arrived at our stop, we took a bicycle-wagon ride to the village. A poor teenage boy had to pull us with his bicycle on the wagon with 5 big bags! When we got to the village, the children put on a traditional welcome ceremony for us. We drew pictures, taught them how to braid necklaces and passed out a LOT of school supplies, toys, candy, etc. It was so great spending time with these precious little children. Our lunch at the village was my favorite thing we got to eat the whole trip. We had boiled water, carrots, apples, oranges, beets, and potatoes all grown in their gardens (so delicious!!) For dessert we had Indian coffee and butter cookies. After lunch, we had a big dance party! All the children were great little dancers and loved to show off their moves. Then they took us on a tour of their little village. They lived in mud huts with thatched roofs and baby chicks running all around. There was a small pond with a man making clay bricks. I sat and listened to the girls sing while Colin and Jorden ran around with the kids. Even though life must be very difficult, it was so nice and relaxing to get away from the busyness of the city's daily life. It was so wonderful to spend the day with such special little children.

Natasha in India 1

Me, Colin and Jorden at the Maiden with the kids and their families. Christopher is the one in blue.

Our last day with the people, we brought them to the Kolkata Zoo. It was so exciting for them because they had never been allowed in before. It was dumb, because they were allowed in this time, because they were with us-"wealthy white Americans." At the Zoo, we taught them the animals in English and they taught us the animals in Bengali. My favorite was the baloo (bear.) After the zoo, we went to the maiden and taught them more English words. They picked it up really quickly and by the end, they knew more English words then I knew Bengali words and I had been studying Bengali for a month before the trip.

It was amazing to spend time with such beautiful people. The energy and pure joy they have even though they have nothing was truly something I will never forget. They taught me way more then I could have ever dreamed to teach them.

 

We had some good experiences and some not so good experiences, but I knew that it-was all part of the whole life experience. So I just went with it. It was awesome to be able to be apart of something bigger' then myself. I could not have made it out alive if on my own. God truly strengthened me through it all and to Him I give all the glory.

 

I hope you'll be pleased to hear that your donation went to a few small experiences, but most went towards the children's education. Forty-six Rupees in India is equal to one dollar in the U.S., so you truly made a difference.

 

I just got you a little something to say thanks and to let you know that I was thinking' of ya!!

I hope that all is well with you and yours.

 

Peace, Love, and God Bless,

 

Natasha Kubik

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