Friday, September 23

Thank you to Star Travel

When I first started going to Kenya, Christian, lead musician with the Milele music group told me to use Loise Sauer from Star Travel to book my flights. I have used Loise ever since. She has become more than a travel agent...she is a friend and a supporter of Partners for Care. This will be Star's third year to support our run. This trip Loise had arranged for Partners for Care to be the ministry in Kenya to partner with the team from Protocol International who went to Kenya to train executives on protocal. The staff from Star Travel in Kenya and Protocol International from the US did a day of service with the PFC staff. They went to Maururi Slum and planted a kitchen garden for a family. They also made a donation to the ministry. Some of the PFC staff were able to attend one of the trainings conducted by Protocol International at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. The staff loved the training! Loise also made sure I was included on the invite list to attend the evening event at our US Ambassador in Kenya. It was an honor to be in the home of our Ambassador. I want to thank Loise and her sister JoAnn who manages their Nairobi office. We consider Loise a great friend and supporter of the work of Partners for Care.

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Monday, September 19

We have been to see Yewlanda and the other children of Parkishon

On Saturday Sammy, Mark, Dr. Vincent and I traveled to Isiolo and took the all night bus to Marsabit. Our mission was to see Yewlanda and to buy shoes for the children of Parkishon. We also planned to meet with the Ministry of Health to partner with them to assist in Kenya's 90 day Rapid Response Initiative to eliminate jiggers throughout the country. We wanted to make sure the children of Parkishon were included in this Initiative. Yewlanda looks great. She is walking and is jigger free.

Baby Yewlanda
Her brothers are also jigger free. A donor funded our trip to Marsabit and sent us with money to buy shoes for the children. The shoes help the children avoid the jiggers. We also were given $40.00 from a young girl who shared her birthday money to buy shoes for the children. While the children looked "better" following the medical camp we did in August they still broke our hearts. They are dirty because there is no water to bath them. They are in rags and some are naked.

The children of Parkishon

Fitting them with new shoes
Thanks to both the medical camp and Pastor Hirbo's weekly visit to treat the jiggers only a few of the children had jiggers. Pastor Hirbo will help them on his next weekly visit. We met with the Minister of Health and he said the answer to the elimination of jiggers in Parkishon is WATER. We are exploring now with the Ministry of Water. Pastor Hirbo is also teaching the women starting with Yewlando's mom how to use animal dung to help rid the house of the jiggers. You mix the dung with the dirt once a week and spread on the floor of the manyatta it keeps the jiggers away. Imagine...but it works.

Returning to Nairobi now...remembering the children of Parkishon in our prayers, Connie

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Friday, September 16

Yewlando returns home

Pastor Hirbo took Yewlanda back to her home yesterday. She is now jigger free, walking, playing and growing. Pastor Hirbo was greeted by the elders of the village and the chief who stood and faced the East saying a blessing to the Americans, Partners for Care and Pastor Hirbo praying for them to have a long life.

We cannot forget the condition Yewlanda was in when we did our medical camp there. She was very sick - weighing just 40% of what she should weigh, so infected with jiggers she couldn't walk and severely malnourished. And, her siblings and other children at Parkishon are in the same condition.
We want to help. We want to see that Yewlanda never returns to the condition she was in.

Parkishon children
Jiggers hurt
Dr. Joe (our doctor consultant here in Kenya) came this week to tell us of a government program called Rapid Response Initiative for jigger elimination. It began September 1 and the intent is to deploy necessary resources to treat everyone in the Nation who has jiggers in 90 days. Homes will be sprayed to kill the jiggers. Medicines, spray chemicals, etc. will be distributed throughout Kenya through the clinics.
This is very exciting but we know in any program not everyone is reached. We know the children of Parkishon are the most marginalized children and we know the health situation in Marsabit is critical. The drought has made a difficult situation even more desperate. The children of Parkishon could be missed.

Dr. Paul Farmer, well-known for his work in Haiti, says you must work through and with the governments of developing Nations to affect real change. So, we are going to Marsabit this Saturday to meet with the Ministry of Health to partner with them to reach the children of Parkishon. We will see how we can do our part while they do their part to eliminate the jiggers in this small village. Jigger elinimation involves four parts:

  • Treat the people infected
  • Spray their manyatta
  • Shoes
  • Water

We will let the people who care about the children of Parkishon know what we find out and ask for them to partner with us to help the children. Maybe our part will be to help transport the government workers to this village to spray the manyattas. Perhaps our part will be to put shoes on everyone of the children. Together we can make a difference for these children. We went there last year and treated the children with jiggers. We went there this year and treated the children with jiggers. I pray when we go there with Dr. Craig and Pat and their team in March we don't find children infected with jiggers.

Partnering to care for the least of these,

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