The global pandemic forced us to make some rather hard decisions throughout 2021. We had to decide where money was needed most, what projects could survive with less help and which ones required more urgent support.

Lewa has always been one of our most independent and self-sufficient partners. Phyllis Keino has done a great deal, not only to create a home for Kenyan orphans but moreover to create a whole business to support the running of the home and create sufficient income. However, the home and farm was in desperate need of repair, they urgently needed a farm manager and enough funds to continue sponsoring children to attend high school. 

Fencing in need of repair for safety

The Baraka Farm has grown from a small farm to one of Kenya's leading cheese producers and even established export relationships for its high-quality products. While sales have decreased due to the global economic situation, the home has managed to maintain basic operations. Due to wear and tear there have been multiple projects and repairs that were becoming urgent. This all changed when Arena Flowers stepped forward and offered to fund all the repairs, the farm manager and the sponsoring of school fees - we couldn't have been happier! When we broke the news to Phyllis, she was filled with joy. 

Children getting ready to start their school day

We suddenly found ourselves busy working hard to get the funds to Lewa and discuss plans. Our first task was to identify the most important projects that could be funded with the sum received. On the list were repairs to the farmhouse, and multiple fences on the land, the purchase of a new cream separator as well as a new air-conditioning system to improve storage facilities. Moreover, the hiring of a farm manager would take off the strains the Keino family were feeling as well as increase the efficiency of farming processes. In addition, training for dairy farmers was set to improve the skills of the staff as well as participants from the community, and improve empowerment and employability prospects. 

After the projects were identified, agreed on and plans for the year were established the first improvements started quickly and children were able to start school. So far several repairs have been completed, such as the cooling system and the floor in the dairy kitchen. This is just the beginning and the project is still in full swing. 

Vital repairs will be made to the milking station

Read Part Three to find out about GFYA's new classrooms