• JNI-ContentTeam

The launch of the Gideon’s Empowerment Project

Following JNI's recent Zoom Tea Party event, we're launching the Gideon's Empowerment Project. Its something we're extremely excited about (as you can see from all our smiling faces) and hopefully you will be too!

Over the last few years, Jack Nadel International team members have steadily built relationships with the inhabitants of Ramba, a village in western Kenya, Africa. The village originally drew our attention thanks to the great work done there by one Newton Atela. In 2013, Newton was the director of what was then a growing orphanage known as Gideon’s.

A few years ago, Newton struggled to maintain the good work that he was doing for the orphaned children in Africa. He appealed for help. The non-profit organisation, Awaken Love for Africa, stepped in and raised enough funds to sponsor over 250 orphaned children.

Since then, generous donations, funnelled through Awaken Love for Africa, have drastically changed Gideons. They have financed the building of boarding houses for the orphaned children. They built a sanctuary for local widows. And, recently, generous funding from Jack Nadel International’s friends and clients has financed the creation of a much-needed fresh-water well on Gideon’s land. The success of this endeavour prompted a second campaign which put a well in the village.

This second well-building project was financed by JNI’s ‘Tap for Life’ fundraising campaign. It is a particular source of pride for those that were involved. It was a huge success! Since the wells were built, life has changed drastically for Ramba’s inhabitants.

The life-changing donations have changed the design of Gideon’s orphanage. For those that have watched the orphanage develop, its modern iteration is something unrecognisable from what stood in the same place before the intervention of Awaken Love for Africa.

A changing role for a much-changed sanctuary

With this change in appearance has come a development of the orphanage’s role in the local community. Gideon’s has become something greater than was ever expected of it.

With the first clean-water source in the village developed on the land that Newton Atela had long attended to, neighbours soon came to visit, preferring to journey to Gideon’s rather than complete the previously necessary 13-mile roundtrip to secure drinking water.

Since the arrival of the Coronavirus, the importance of Gideon’s to its village neighbours has grown even further. Regular readers will know of the orphanage’s distribution of foodstuffs to neighbours who might otherwise have starved.

We’ll not go into it too much in this article but suffice it to say that, due to lockdown measures, essential food sources were harder to find. Restrictions to movement and the closure of open food markets threatened to cause mass starvation in the area.

It was only due to life-saving donations and the incredible volunteerism of the Gideon’s children that the orphanage’s neighbours did not starve. The threat of mass-starvation, which had seemed almost inevitable, was subverted by the incredible work done by these incredible children. Those of the orphans that were old enough to help, have completed countless food deliveries to over 2,000 families each month since the pandemic hit.

This is a story of incredible hard work, of truly mind-blowing charity, and, to make it even more remarkable, it has been enacted by some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.

The food shortages that are the unhappy consequence of the Kenyan government’s Coronavirus response measures highlighted a problem that dearly needs solving. Until stable sources of sustenance are secured in the area, Ramba’s inhabitants are in danger.

Daily food donations to all of Gideon’s struggling neighbours is not a long-term fix.

A better plan was needed!

Join us in celebrating the launch of the ‘Gideon’s Empowerment Project’ campaign

And thus, the ‘GEP’ campaign was born.

In this, our latest fund-raising push to improve the lot of the disadvantaged peoples of Ramba, Africa, we decided to do something a little different. Gideon’s and its neighbours still urgently need your help. But this time your donations will give them a chance to build something for themselves.

The inhabitants of Ramba are all landowners. Even the most impoverished of them owns at least an acre of land. What they lack is the means to tend that land, as well as the know-how necessary to grow life-giving crops.

Your donations, should you be kind enough to offer them, will go toward providing that means. With whatever you can give, we will buy enough seed and fertiliser to tend the land of the 100 families that neighbour Gideon’s Orphanage.

However, the seeding alone is not enough. We want to maximise the impact of your potentially life-changing donations. So, Newton has found local agents: individuals with farming experience to help manage these nascent farms.

4 experienced field managers will monitor the newly-made farmers. Ruth Obuon, Elly Ngoe, Kevin Ogendo and Kevin Omala will guide the work done on 20 farms in order to ensure they are tended to correctly. The field managers will be remunerated with a percentage of the harvest yield. And, in order to promote efficiency on the farms, we will offer awards for the top performing teams.

Our vision is to build multiple start-up businesses. We are helping those that otherwise couldn’t till their land, turn it into a business. 20% percent of the land’s annual yield will be recycled through the programme. 5% of that will go towards paying the wages of the management teams and the other 15% will give back to Gideon’s orphanage.

The remaining 80% will all belong to the landowners, to do with as they so please. Our modelists have suggested that 80% of crop yield on a one-acre property is more than enough to both re-sow the land for another season and feed a large family for an entire year.

We hope that this project will be a means of providing self-sustainability. We will also offer incentives to the first-time farmers that manage to procure the best results.

We believe that this is a truly remarkable solution to the poverty of an area that has long suffered at the hands of hardship. It is not the traditional fundraising route, we know that. It is, instead, a complex solution to a complex situation.

Putting power back into the hands of Ramba’s residents

Flooding, the closure of food markets, a reliance on outside aid. These are huge dangers for this small rural community, unfathomable to many western readers. With your donations, we’ll be able to build these incredible people the ability to fend for themselves.

So much has already been done for the disadvantaged people of Ramba, for the orphans of Gideon’s, but this – an opportunity to build for them the means to rise above the threats of a hand to mouth existence – promises to bring about the biggest change yet.

If you want to help the peoples of Ramba build for themselves the means to escape their own poverty, text JOY to 70085 and donate £5 per month. A small sum for a life-changing contribution or contact Sophie@Awaken Love to donate directly sophie@awakenlove.org.uk

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