Newsletter: Summer 2008

New for this year’s Kisumu Show

George and Samuel are busy preparing the stand for this year’s Kisumu Show in August, which has become a useful platform in recent years to communicate REAP ideas to Africa’s rural community.
This year REAP is to introduce a demonstration of many reused waste products, such as plastic water bottles and supermarket bags. Most items that would otherwise be a nuisance can be simply converted into beneficial products.
Plastic bottles are able to be simply converted into fly traps or used to regulate the use of water for washing. Plastic bags can be woven into water resistant mattresses that enable easy cleaning for incontinent AIDs patients.
An extension of the use of natural medicines to provide cures for animals, such as goats, is also to be promoted this year.

Use of REAP ideas spreads

Roger and his team have been greatly encouraged by the discovery of how well used many REAP ideas have become throughout the areas that they have been introduced to.
One area that suffered extensively from soil erosion had little else but rocks to grow crops on. REAP introduced vertiver grass two years ago to prevent soil from being washed further down the slopes. So much soil has been caught by its roots that now the area is full of fertile fields!
Of particular encouragement is that the effectiveness of vertiver grass has been witnessed by others and introduced into neighbouring communities without being prompted by REAP.
One man has been so trilled by his discovery of vertiver and artimesia that he has painted the REAP logo onto his gatepost!

Tree symbols take message forward

REAP is promoting the planting of trees as a symbol of peace and reconciliation, linking their uses with Biblical images from the Tree of Life in Genesis through to Revelation, with the Cross in between.
Trees are a way of linking the spiritual and natural in order to live positive productive lives; they not only have to be planted, but continually tended and cared for, and become a highly valuable resource for the community.
Traditionally Africans have associated trees with sacred groves and pagan beliefs so seeing the Christian link is a new approach. Once accepted churches place a higher value on trees and are keen to have them around their church buildings.
One result of this is that tree planting as a symbol of new life at Easter has been keenly taken forward in spite of Easter being a bit early for planting this year.

PRAYER POINTS

  • REAP needs more experienced personnel able to share the good news of its concepts – please pray that churches in the UK would see REAP an appropriate worthy cause to donate to at their Harvest Services in order to make this possible
  • Praise that the Kisumu Show is able to proceed without difficulty this year; other show grounds in Kenya have been used to relocate internally displaced people
  • The continued safety of REAP personnel as they respond to the many requests from African churches to hear more of their techniques in order to benefit the lives of the rural poor
Roger’s GardenPreparing for the Kisumu Show
Vetiver grass
Controlling erosion with vetiver grass
Planting trees
Planting trees