Jack Nadel in Africa: Flood-hit Ramba and the wonderful emergency house-building project
Updated: Jun 19
In our last article on developments in Ramba, western Kenya, we documented how the children of Gideon’s Orphanage, themselves saved from a life of hardship and hunger, helped deliver food packages to those that were cut-off by the destabilising effect of the Coronavirus.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to read about this incredible act of kindness, you can access the article here.
Together with the not-for-profit organisation, Awaken Love for Africa, employees at Jack Nadel International have been pooling their efforts to ameliorate the hardships visited upon the impoverished village of Ramba.
At first, the effects of certain employees' donations included the financing of a boarding school and the provision of new clothes for the orphanage’s children. Now, after several years of working together, Gideon’s is a much-changed place.
The village now boasts two fresh-water wells. One at Gideon’s orphanage and another closer to the villages centre. This is a massive improvement from the 15-mile roundtrip that used to be necessary for water access. Gideon’s also has a rejuvenated vegetable farm and much improved housing.
Hardship seems to always be just around the corner
Ramba is, unfortunately, very remote. When Coronavirus countermeasures caused the closure of local open markets, villagers feared the inaccessibility of staple foods.
As a result, many vulnerable individuals flocked to Gideon’s Orphanage, seeing in it a form of refuge. Thanks to donations made by many of JNI’s employees, those that came were given the help they needed. These donations have proved life-saving to many and the value of them cannot be overplayed.
However, the troubles of those in Ramba were not to end there. The Coronavirus’ arrival coincided with a sustained period of heavy rain in western Kenya. Flooding followed in the wake of the food markets’ closures and 30 different homes were destroyed in its coming.
The power of pulling together
In its development, and thanks in part to the funding that comes its way, Gideon’s Orphanage, under the watchful eye of its founder, Newton Atela, has become something of a focal point for the local community.
With food shortages and then the effects of the recent flooding, the community has pulled together in extraordinary fashion. 102 different people, including JNI employees, threw in their efforts to build replacements to the houses that were lost in the flooding.
In a timespan that would be considered impossible in the building of British houses, 12 new buildings were quickly erected, providing much needed shelter in an already unstable time.
There is still work to do
Despite the incredible and timely efforts of all those involved, Ramba is not yet out of the woods. The villagers living there are fortunate in the fact that there are yet to be any confirmed cases of the Coronavirus entrance into the community.
However, there are still those that fear for where their next meal will come from as well as those that have been forced to find a suitable alternative to the houses lost in the flooding.
The replacement houses, pictured here, are quick and easy to erect. They cost, on average, 1200 GBP per house.
If you want to help the community around Gideon’s Orphanage through this troubling time, text JOY to 70085 and donate £5 per month. A small sum for a life-changing contribution.