Category Archives: Newsletter

13Jun/08

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
19Mar/08

Newsletter: Spring 2008

Rift Valley Travel LimitationsThe disruption in January has made REAP concentrate on in-depth discussion with many who have been keen to seek out Roger’s advice and discuss ideas.This has been particularly the case with those who work in Sudan or who are looking to expand into the use of natural medicines.Restrictions on travel have also allowed the team more time to put new ideas down on paper and produce the much needed literature to convey them to a wider audience.In mid- March Roger was once more able to visit the work in Kisumu.

Kisumu
Rosalia is based in Kisumu town where the minority of Kikuyus was targeted. Reap staff have risen to the challenge of being involved in reconciliation and the use of tree planting as a symbol of peace.

Much has now returned to normal in the Kisumu area and the people are positive about the future:

  • The March workshop met with an extremely positive response.
  • REAP’s purchase of land in Kisumu has been delayed but is proceeding.
  • Plans to exhibit at the Kisumu Show in August are back on track.

Looking Ahead

The REAP team has been wondering how to use their emphasis on stewardship and Kingdom teaching to enable the work to impact more positively on, and progress within, the current situation.

REAP continues to extend it’s teaching to explain simple methods of sustainable improvement in the use of agriculture, cooking methods, nutrition and natural medicines, largely through African Christian churches. Many churches are entering into a time of reflection and prayer, facing the difficulty that they have become tribal institutions.

REAP’s focus on Kingdom values is ideally positioned to give a renewed vision which extends beyond the message of salvation to a balanced holistic emphasis.

PRAYER POINTS

  • Continued safety for the REAP team as they travel, particularly for Rosalia, Domitilla, George and Samuel, who live up country.
  • Rosalia and George have forthcoming training sessions booked in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley.
  • For honest, humble and repentant prayer among the Kenyan churches, that is insightful and rejects tribalism.
  • That REAP will be able to assist churches in addressing issues of identity through its emphasis on Kingdom living.
Roger’s Garden
The herb garden at the back of the REAP office in Nairobi.
Rosalia
This is Rosalia at the Nairobi office when she managed to fly down for her monthly report in February.
Anne
This is a picture of Anne, who works in REAP’s Nairobi office.
01Oct/07

Newsletter: Autumn 2007

Good News for the Poor

REAP continues to extend it’s teaching and write more leaflets explaining simple methods of sustainable improvement in the use of agriculture, cooking methods nutrition and natural medicines, largely through African Christian churches.

Success at Kisumu

Roger SharlandIn August Reap won first places as Best Small Trade Stand and Best NGO Stand, and second place as Best Environmental Management at Kenya’s Kisumu Show. The medical garden once more caused great interest in displaying how Africa’s poorest people can effectively grow plants which can be of enormous benefit to them.

An Opportunity to meet Dr. Roger Sharland

Discover more about the vision of REAP.

In November Roger will be at two open Supporter’s Days, in Exeter and Reading.

  • Saturday 3rd November at St. Leonards, Topsham Road, EX2 4NG, there will be two differing sessions; 10.30 – 12.30 and 2.00 – 4.00. Come to either or both. Bring own lunch or buy locally in town.
  • Saturday 10th November at Greyfriars, Friar Street, RG1 1EH, there will be a single session; 10.30 – 12.30.

Prayer Points

  • Prayer for a good attendance at the supporter’s days at Exeter and Reading in November; that these may enable more people to realise exactly what Reap does.
  • Thanks that the hard work that Reap staff have put in to exhibit at the Kisumu Show has once more been recognized and that this has proven a successful means to promote new and improved methods which can benefit the lives of Africa’s rural population.
  • Safety in travel for Reap personnel as they constantly visit many dangerous locations.
Medicinal CharcoalShowing how medicinal charcoal is made
Kenya’s PresidentKenya’s President meets Pamela, Reap’s goat, who won first prize at this year’s Kisumu Show, when he was awarding the cups that Reap won again this year.
Medicinal GardenA medicinal garden plot
Natural MedicinesRosalia teaching about the use of natural medicines at the Ukweli Pastoral Centre
02Jul/07

Newsletter: Summer 2007

Read the complete Summer 07 Newsletter 

PRAYER POINTS

  • Roger will be chairing the facilitating committee for the Cush Consultation again, in Yei, Sudan, this September. Please pray that this organization, which networks all the Christian organizations in Sudan, will effectively combine its resources.
  • For the smooth purchase of a plot of land that REAP has found near Kisumu, with money from Greyfriars’ building fund, to enable much needed further development of plants.
  • Prayer for Roger as he is working on a Human Resources Manual to enable the church to move forward in this direction.

Hedges Demonstrate Improved Crop

Rain has continued throughout Kenya’s dry season and so enabled the vetiver grass hedges to thrive. Sam has been busy establishing many vetiver nurseries and introducing the plants throughout the villages.

Natural Medicine News Comes to More People

Rosalia has been able to increase the teaching program for natural medicine benefits.

Fireless Cookers Promoted

Roger has written an article on the Fireless Cookers, which REAP has been introducing in Africa, for the next edition of Organic Way.

22May/07

Newsletter: Spring 2007

Read the complete Spring 07 Newsletter.

PRAYER POINTS

  • Thanks that training in the use of natural medicines is being well received in many areas. Please pray that appropriate statistical data on their success, together with chemical analysis
    of the plants used, will be reliably acquired.
  • Guidance in finding the most suitable plot of land in the Kisumu region, to purchase with a grant from Greyfriars, in order to facilitate more effective work in that area
  • For the safety of all REAP  personnel as they live, work and travel in often dangerous areas of Africa. Particularly for several young people from Devon who will be working with REAP over the next few months.

Rain; its Blessings and it’s Challenges

Unusually heavy rains through January and February (normally very dry months) have been of enormous benefit to REAP’s work.

Medicinal Plants Thrive

Many of the medicinal plants, which REAP is introducing for the poor to be able to produce themselves, have spread much faster due to the increased amount of moisture in the soil.

Food Security for Tanzania

Dr. Sharland has been very encouraged by the response in central Tanzania to REAP’s holistic approach.