REAP was actively involved in the planning of the Lausanne East and Central Africa Creation Care conference held in May 2016. Both Roger and Rosalia contributed to several sessions during the conference.
REAP has employed a new enthusiastic caretaker. As February was very dry, he was able to make good use of the water abundantly available to irrigate different sections of the garden, while Vetiver grass kept the soil covered with mulch. The many trees planted are now developing and self-seeded leguminous trees add fertility as well as a pleasant environment for visitors. They are experimenting with a new species of Artemisia for hotter areas, also trying some other interesting crops.
Building of the conference centre on the farm is progressing well. Six youths were trained in making the interlocking compressed blocks for the walls. This is a project with the Ministry of Housing, who trained the youth and each received a certificate.
February ECHO Symposium Roger attended the Arusha ECHO Symposium and presented a plenary session on ‘A Biblical Basis to Motivate Rural Change’. The presentation showed how the Biblical references are very much used in the REAP program. Many participants expressed appreciation and good contacts were made. Roger sees a challenge of transferring interest into actual relationships and follow-up. March Natural Medicine Seminar Participants came from many countries to a week’s ANAMED Training Seminar on Natural Medicine. Practical participation was excellent and well taken. Closing session comments reinforced the importance that REAP puts on a Biblical background for its teaching. All went home with books, planting materials, seeds and samples from the practical. May Creation Care Conference Preparations for the Creation Care Conference in May have been encouraging. CCC is experienced in running these seminars and will cover the administrative side. It has been very good developing strong links with other Christian organizations with a similar philosophy. Beyond the conference they are looking to set up Creation Care or Christian Environment networks in various neighbouring regions, as well as taking the environmental message to city churches.
Roger expects to return to UK mid- August, to strengthen REAP support and help Becca settle into Uni. Jos continues her support for the new school in Mundri, and Tich and Jenny with their twins Robert and Jessica are happy in Reading. PRAYER POINTS
- Pray for the success of the Creation Care Conference and follow up
- Thanks for the involvement of Jenny and Tich who volunteered to assist REAP
- Prayer for Roger and Jos’ promotional activities during their visit to the UK this summer
- Praise for the positive responses from recent seminars and the steady spread of REAP teaching
- Thank the Lord for His faithful provision over many years but funding is urgently needed to enable the work of REAP to continue
- Thanks that there are many exciting opportunities opening up in South Sudan – please pray that REAP’s teaching will be effectively taken into areas that can hugely benefit from it. There has been considerable interest in REAP literature that is specifically relevant to South Sudan.
- Prayer for funding for a building on the Kujulu site to facilitate a demonstration, training and resource centre
- Praise that Roger’s work permit has been approved for another two years and that rains have begun in western Kenya, so it is now all systems go!
South Sudan opportunities
Jos has recently returned from spending time in Mundri, where she is planning to found a Christian nursery school. There have been some problems with obtaining the land promised but hopefully this will now be dealt with by the local authorities.
At the same time Roger was able to make a consultancy visit to Pochalle on the Ethiopian (eastern) border of South Sudan.
Roger’s study for the Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency confirmed that REAP’s ‘potential’ based, rather than ‘needs’ based, approach is highly relevant for South Sudan.
In 2002 Roger met this same blacksmith on a visit for World Relief and recommended that rather than bringing tools in from Kenya, that are not designed for South Sudan, they should import metal sheets. World Relief did this, and he showed Roger the latest products!
REAP’s Plot in Kajulu
REAP’s garden in Kajulu, near Kisumu, continues to mature. The Vetiver Grass hedges have become very effective barriers and soil continues to build up behind them, giving a striking image.
In the lower garden, where the water table is high, Artemisia (which cures malaria) is harvested often and its sale covers most of the ongoing expenses of the site.
A nursery area is being developed, where useful plants and trees brought in from other areas are being nurtured, developed, tried and seeds produced.
The fish pond is designed to work with the existing environment (using the principles of permaculture). Leucaena trees will be planted around the pond, so their leaves can be harvested to feed the algae that feed the fish.
This is a photo of Sam working in the tree nursery that he has recently established on the REAP plot in Kajulu.
He has planted small amounts of seeds from trees and is also propagating herbs from cuttings. A combination of black plastic bags and milk containers are being used. The sugar cane in the background is from a neighbour’s farm, but in front of it, the darker green is Artemisia.
Stoves and Kitchens
Domitilla continues to expand the number of groups she is working with.
Ruth Osano, a contact of hers in the remote area of Nyakach, has recently become very active in moulding and installing the jikos.
Domitilla’s husband is very enthusiastic about the use of vetiver grass. This has resulted in vetiver nurseries being established in the places where women have been moulding liners.
- Thanks for the encouraging start to South Sudan as a new nation and that Roger and Jos have been able to contribute to many of the organizations working there
- Prayer for peace along the northern frontier and that REAP may be able to be able to become more proactive it its own right within South Sudan
- Praise for God’s continued blessing on REAP’s work, particularly in the growing demand for REAP’s teaching and enthusiasm to implement it
In August REAP retained Kisumu Show trophies for the Best Small Stand and Best Non-governmental Organization. This year we also won the Best Jua Kali Stand award for the windmill power generator, displayed in conjunction with ‘Access Wind’.
REAP also had a display of natural medicines at the Maseno Agricultural Training School Open Day which offered further contact with farmers.
Natural Medicine teaching continues to draw the greatest interest, with many people contacting the Nairobi office via our web site or Anamed links.
In spite of the unusually dry weather Artemisia plants have been multiplied successfully on the REAP plot. There is now a considerable plantation at the bottom of the land where the water table is high.
Many contacts were able to be re-established with the Mundri people.
Roger was encouraged by what has already been achieved in the run up to Independence and challenged to know how best to be involved in the longer term.
He continues to be on the Across board and to have significant input on various committees, including The World Gospel Mission and SIM, offering different types of advice.
REAP has a growing demand for teaching but is unable to meet it due to a lack of resources to take more people on board.
The unpredictability of the weather has continued to stimulate thought about climate change issues.
The successful use of mulch on the REAP plot has dramatically demonstrated its value. Vetiver hedging, which continues to provide a valuable means to conserve soil and water in its own right, can also be used to supply dried grass for mulching.
Combining such links as these, to demonstrate the holistic nature of farming on small plots and make the best use of resources, continues to stimulate REAP’s teaching.
The ongoing problem of how pass on this teaching, with limited resources, to those who can most benefit, remains a constant challenge to REAP.