Update on the Grace Centre January 2021
The Kenya Partnership was founded as a Twining Project with Kongowea and Wesley Churches, Mombasa approximately 25 years ago by the late Elizabeth and Adrian Shafford. They were touched by the plight of the young people in Kenya who were denied anything but extremely basic education. Through them, a number of youngsters were able to fulfil their ambitions, one becoming a Doctor, another a pharmacist. The twining project expanded rapidly to include church building programmes, Nursery feeding programmes, Catering and Woodworking projects, and helping to establish a Local Hospice. A fresh water well was dug and a water facility established in memory of Adrian. The work has now developed into three distinct areas and become known as The Kenya Partnership. It is accountable to Billericay Methodist Church Council and is co-ordinated by a team of church members. A major area of support is the sponsorship of orphaned or single parent children in Mombasa. At present there are 9 children in schooling and 2 attending college/university (2019) Youngsters are referred by Ministers or Senior Lay members at the Mombasa Churches. In a recent letter, one of our students commented” my shoes are worn out as I have been wearing them for a long time.”
This last year we have established links with Timboni Primary School in the Kambe area of Kenya, which the Rev. Charles Mackonde has founded for orphaned children. They also feed over 300 children breakfast and lunch each day. This project is called “Under The Mango Tree.” The third area supported is the GRACE (Good-Hope Resource And Community Empowerment) Centre. This is a community project in an impoverished area of the city, founded by Rev. Dr Pius Kagwi and now run by his son, Rev. Sammy. The vision of the GRACE Centre is to allow people to become independent and self-supporting. To this end, our donations have established a Sewing School for young women and a Motor Bike Taxi service, keeping young men away from gang culture and drugs.
A large number of people live in the most appalling conditions at the edge of Mombasa on the Mwakirunge dump site. At Christmas and Easter, Billericay Methodist Church raises money for basic food parcels, which Sammy distributes to as many families as possible.
In an effort to encourage the Community to become self-sufficient, Sammy has instigated a Bio Intensive Farm Project which will empower the people of the Mwakirunge Dumpsite to have sustainable food supplies. To this end he has acquired land and as a church we are supplying money to construct buildings, purchase seeds, livestock, water tanks and other essentials, and to teach and train people to maintain the farm.
So where does the money come from?
Our income comes in two ways. For the children’s education, regular committed giving is faithfully received from a number in the church family in Billericay.
Our other projects, Under the Mango Tree, The Grace Centre, and the Bio Farm project are largely funded from donations in response to specific appeals.
So what of the future?
The Kenya Partnership will continue for as long as the Church family and wider community continue to support it. As the young people complete their education programme there are always new requests for sponsorship, and Rev Sammy continues to have new vision to help the lives of his people. We are the only people they have for financial help….
How can we say “No!”
A Video Message to Billericay Methodist Church from Rev Sammy
Rev Sammy sends the following message:
Dear Our Mission partners
From the many families you have touched through prayers and kind support I humbly want to say—Thank you.
I am optimistic that through this strategic partnership, we will realize the goal of reaching out to more families in need -one at a time, as we share the love of Jesus Christ.
If you would like more information, please use the contact form below.