A Notebook for Nekesa resulted from home-schooled high school twins Sarah and Hannah Emigh-Doyle’s wish to raise money for the Kakamega AIDS Orphans Care Centre, which they learned about at Acadia Friends (Quaker) Meeting, which they attend with their parents. They put together a poster for a Friends’ fundraising dinner and then decided to expand it to a children’s book through which they might share information about the important work of the Care Centre and raise money for it. Never having been to the Care Centre or Kenya, they researched the content and illustrations, with help from their Kenyan friend Bonface Omudi, whom they met at that fundraising dinner. With their homeschooling literature and writing teacher, Judith Bradshaw Brown, they studied children’s books, visited children’s book authors/artists, and wrote the text. Once the text met Omudi’s approval, the twins chose watercolor for their illustration media and worked with art teacher Michael Duffy to learn technique and paint the illustrations.
Nekesa’s quest ends at the Kakamega AIDS Orphans Care Centre, an actual place, where she would not only be given notebooks and pencils but could also find support for all that she might need, such as tuition and a uniform as well as food and other supplies. If she didn’t have a shosha or other relative to care for her, she could live at the Care Centre. The USFW Orphan Project of Kakamega, Kenya, is a grassroots effort to help children whose parents have died primarily of AIDS. It is an orphanage and feeding program, and it provides educational sponsorships so that the children can go to school. It is run by Kenyan Quaker women of the United Society of Friends Women, Kakamega. Since 2001, they have devoted their lives to helping orphans in serious need. Mama Dorothy in the story is Dorothy Selebwa, a founder whose loving support for the project continues. Since January 2005, the Care Center has been home to 40 orphan children aged 7-16. In addition, another 60 orphans who live nearby come each day for a large nutritious meal, and another 60 children who live in outlying villages receive support. Since 2002, Friends of Kakamega, a Maine-based Quaker non-profit organization has partnered with the USFW to finance the Care Center dining hall and dormitories and to sponsor over 150 children’s education. Each summer, Friends of Kakamega organizes a service project trip to the orphanage to work with the children and to introduce participants to life in Kenya. Sarah and her teacher Judith went on the service trip in 2011. Contributions are needed to run the Care Center and Feeding Program. Please consider contributing to help support children like Nekesa and make their dreams come true. Checks should be made out to Friends of Kakamega and sent to:
Friends of Kakamega
Friends of Kakamega is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. All gifts are tax-deductible. If you wish to sponsor an elementary ($250) or high school ($500) student, please indicate that. Note: 100% of donations go directly to the care and education of the children. There are very few administrative costs connected to the project; all time and most resources are donated. You can indicate if you wish your money to go toward running the Care Center/Feeding Program, the Education Sponsorship Fund, or the organic farm. For more information, visit: www.friendsofkakamega.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakamega_Orphan_Project