- In April we delivered 200 pounds of gently used books to Kitale, in western
Kenya, to boost a small Sunday Library program serving the children from a
local shantytown. The head librarian said in an email, “I was delighted to
have exactly 100 kids come to the library on Sunday! There were 98 the 2
- The final report from the 2012 Anti-Female Genital Mutilation program
arrived from western Tanzania, telling us that our grant provided food for 350
girls in the 6 week in-residence program, as well as personal hygiene products
and transportation. Of the 350 girls who attended the program, which is held
during the “cutting time” from mid-November to early January, only one was
forced to undergo cutting after returning from the program.
- During the April visit to Kenya, we came across two severely malnourished
boys, twins age seven. Their mother had died of HIV years earlier and it
seems that their father and stepmother thought (incorrectly) that they’d be
wasting the food on boys likely to be HIV positive. This situation was a
learning experience for all involved. In the end, the best we could achieve is
food supplementation with Plumpy’nut and occasional social work oversight. It
is very difficult to accept such limited action for such significant child
- We took twelve children from Kisumu (Kenya) Mama Ngina Children’s Home to
the shoe store for their first pairs of school shoes. Students are not allowed
to go to school without black oxford shoes and a school uniform. These twelve
were very happy both for the shoes and the trip to the shoe store in tuk-tuks
also known as auto rickshaws.
- One of our longtime student friends from Mama Ngina Children’s Home reached
an age where he was no longer eligible for care at the orphanage. Sadly, that
is age 16 and finished with 8th grade. He was kindly taken in by another of
our friends and is now attending high school. We provided a scholarship to
cover tuition and fees, as well as some school supplies. We are happy to see
Kenyans reaching out to help other Kenyans. And the good news: He ranked #2 of
121 students in his freshman class! Congratulations!!!
- We funded the living expenses of a Micronesian girl during her and her
family’s stay in the US for her colon surgery. Update: She’s doing well back
- We funded boarding school expenses at St. Oda School for the blind for three
brothers who have no family other than an aging grandmother.
- We sponsored an alternative to Female Genital Mutilation at a Tanzanian
village where the tradition has been cutting girls for generations. They now
will have the option of attending a month-long culturally sensitive course as
an initiation to womanhood. No more cutting!
- We provided funds for an emergency medical of patients, particularly
children, in west Nairobi. These patients drop by a social work center, asking
for help. The center has always been strapped for cash to help, but now has a
- We funded high school for a few students in Kisumu, Kenya.
- We found volunteers to hand-craft four anatomically correct dolls to be used
at Child Link, a social work center that helps child victims of abuse. We also
provided them a cash donation to support their operation.
- We began a roofing project that might turn out to be a technology
demonstration of cold formed, light gauge steel frame roofing as an alternative
to the typical wooden timber roof frames that don’t measure up to international
- We funded a staff visit to Pakistan to meet with the families of victims of
US drone attacks. By reaching out in peace, we were able to establish bridges
from person to person–to remind Pakistanis that many US citizens do not support
the US drone attacks within the sovereign Pakistani homeland.
- December 2012 Riva’s friends from Maryland, Virginia and Texas made 4
anatomically correct dolls for ChildLink, a Kisumu NGO that networks among
abused children, police, children’s services, hospitals, social workers, etc.
Children use the dolls to help them show what has happened to them as they try
to explain events to police, social workers, and hospital staff.
We made dozens of clothes pin dolls for the children who visit ChildLink so
that each child has a little take-away gift after visiting ChildLink.
- Lastly, we donated $1000 for operational expenses at ChildLink. The staff at
ChildLink has been remarkable helpful to Riva Refuge in keeping tabs on some of
our young friends who are “at risk” teens. ChildLink staff visits them at the
childrens’ home and at foster home, as well as escorts Riva staff to schools
where teens now attend classes.
- Purchased bunk beds for St. Gerald Children Centre near Nyeri, Kenya;
provided bedding for 115 beds
- Funded a laptop, Brailler, and school supplies for a recently blinded woman
- Purchased archery equipment for Girl Scouts in Renton, WA
- Purchased sports equipment for a high school in Hawaii whose program was
sadly underfunded and at risk
-Visited Kenya and Zambia, providing school supplies and clothing to children’s
homes; delivered over 2000 donated pens and pencils from the US; delivered 100
shirts from a T-shirt printing company.
- Purchased science text books for 7th grade at a Zambian school
- Established a microloan program with Kotetni Young Women’s Self Help Group,
- Sponsored a start-up small business in children’s clothing sales
- Visited Mama Ngina Childdren’s Home, Kisumu, Kenya. Delivered clothing and
school supplies. Purchased school uniforms.