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Opening of Oasis Kindergarten
Finally the long awaited opening of Oasis Kindergarten. On 5th of May 2015, Oasis Kindergarten opened its doors to the first lot of kids in Kibera Slums. Thank you to everyone who has helped put smiles on these kids. May God richly reward you
Main Building
 
Multipurpose Hall
 
Kitchen
 
Kitchen
 
Toilet Block
 
Inside Toilets
 
Guard's House

UK Grammar School Pupils Swim for Oasis Kindergarten
A group of 18 pupils at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey took part in the Dorking Rotary Club Swimarathon to raise funds for Oasis Kindergarten. Claire Cline, Mary Cruickshank and their friends raised £465. THANK YOU GRAMMAR SCHOOL SWIMMERS!

SUSANNAH'S RHINE TRIP
Susannah_Rhine_CycleThis summer Susannah did two fund raising events to raise money for our new school building. She organised a concert with her harp ensemble of nine harps, playing to a full church, and then two days later she embarked on a sponsored cycle ride down the River Rhine. She cycled 1120 miles, with one girl friend, from the source of the Rhine at Lake Toma in Andermatt, Switzerland to where it meets the sea in Holland, passing through Germany, Austria, Lechtenstein and France on the way. They completed it in 23 cycling days, carrying all their possessions with them and sleeping in a different place every night. It was an exhausting but rewarding experience and between the two events they raised over £7000.00.
A huge thank you to all who supported these two events.

HADHI CRAFTS
The site in Lindi, Kibera slum had long been empty, devoid of activity. Perhaps to compensate, a plethora of vegetation had emerged, with sprawling pumpkin, kale and tomato plants, and a huge, yet unidentified, tree. Fruitfulness was in the air, or more accurately, on the ground, preparing for the commencement of Maisha Trust’s activities.

The morning of 31st October brought a change to this scene, as women from the surrounding community emerged from their mud and iron-sheet houses and entered the site, anticipating a new beginning for their lives. They were greeted by a team of trainers from Maisha Trust, who proceeded to enlighten them about the business initiative;

‘Hadhi Crafts’ is a uniquely crafted project; it is not a ‘charity’ programme in the sense of giving welfare handouts, nor is it a standard business enterprise. It seeks to empower poor and oppressed women in spirit, soul and body, by means of a three-stranded approach:
1. To disciple women to know and walk with Jesus through daily sessions of bible teaching and prayer ministry
2. To train and counsel women to be strong pillars in society through regular life-skills workshops, covering topics like financial management, family planning and critical thinking
3. To empower women financially to be able to support their families through employment in craft-making business enterprises
The overall vision inspiring this strategy is to restore women’s dignity, which is the meaning of ‘hadhi’ in Kiswahili.

For six days, over the course of two weeks, the women arrived at the Maisha Trust site for a comprehensive training programme. They were willing to learn and enthusiastic to work, demonstrating the value they placed on having an opportunity to be developed – something that is all too easily taken for granted by the well-to-do. In fact, there was no need to advertise the project. Every day the number of women multiplied, from 6 to 14 in the first week and up to 21 by the end of the second week. The darkness produced by the spirit of poverty over Kibera envelopes much of the slum, trapping people in a life of destitution and despair, but when a ray of light shines, they readily run to that light, desperate for someone to show them a way out.

Correspondingly, there were no drop-outs during the training. All 21 successfully completed the stipulated 6 days and eagerly signed an employment agreement. They have now adopted a rhythm of worship and work. The day begins with a time of sharing spiritual truths and principles for life from the Word of God, after which the women lay their small children on a large rolled-out mat to sleep while they get to work. Recycled paper, cardboard, plastic bags, plastic bottles/containers etc. are put out on the tables, and with the aid of scissors, glue, paints and nail varnish, the workers skilfully roll beads, shape plastic, cut wire and crochet bags to craft exquisite pieces of jewellery and other accessories.

The dedication of the workers has surprised the trainers, as the women have consistently turned up to the project. They work diligently, are hungry to learn more about the Kingdom of God and gratefully embrace the life-skills topics taught. The challenge is now for Maisha Trust to sell the products, so we can keep paying the workers for their labour. Nevertheless, it will be exciting to see how the lives of each individual are transformed as the project grows over the coming year.

Oliver and Miles Fisher
Two courageous boys, Oliver and Miles Fisher from St. Marks church recently had a sponsored cycle ride for Oasis Kindergarten on 7th May. Together they managed to raise £564. We are sincerely thankful for this amazing work. Bravo guys! may God bless you abundantly.
A new image and a new name
‘Sarah Junior School’ UK charity has been re-branded as ‘Maisha Trust’ to match the Kenyan part of our charity, which is called Maisha Trust. Maisha means ‘life’ in Swahili and that is our vision; bringing life in every sense of the word to those who are disadvantaged and marginalised. We believe that the poor deserve to be well-fed and healthy, highly educated and skilled, prosperous and successful, and above all, to possess true spiritual peace and joy.

The plans are complete
After a rather disappointing scenario last year where the Kenyan architect we were working with disappeared on us, a young architect from Surrey, Jamie Campbell offered to do the drawings for the new school - called Oasis Kindergarten - for free. He has combined his architectural skills, creative imagination and special passion for designing school buildings to produce wonderful plans for us. The finalised ground plans, elevations and 3D images can be viewed on the links below.

1. Ground & First Floor Plans 2. Proposed Elavations
Battling against government bureaucracy
Although we have bought a plot of land in Lindi, an area of Kibera slum, we are only recognised as the rightful owners by the area Chief and District Officer. We even have a document signed by them authorising us to build a school and community empowerment centre on that site, but unfortunately that is not enough. All land in Kibera belongs to the central government, so they have the right to do whatever they want there, regardless of who ‘owns’ the buildings. In order to guarantee that our school will not be knocked down, we need a lease or a title deed from the government. This is proving to be quite a process, hence the delay in opening the new school. However, we are working with some helpful contacts to put in our application to the Ministry of Lands & Housing and believe that we will get the necessary documentation.
Getting to know our neighbours
Sarah, Victor and another friend have been visiting the families living around the (empty) project site in Lindi to share the love of God with them. Every week they see people giving their lives to Christ, being healed of various sicknesses and receiving the Holy Spirit’s comfort and strength. The team from Maisha Trust are very encouraged that the locals are receiving them and the gospel so readily. It is paving the way for the community’s acceptance of the charity and all the projects that we hope to implement in that area. Please see our website to view these projects that we hope will empower people to live more fulfilled lives.
Partners
Holmesdale School still maintain an active interest in supporting us and we are grateful for their patience as we battle against government bureaucracy to build the kindergarten school. We are delighted to announce that Micklefield School will be supporting us from September.
We are looking for corporate sponsorship for our building project, so please contact us if you know of a company that might be interested in supporting us.
 
           
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