In 2016 I visited the village of Miwani, Kenya, where AFCA has various projects. My intention for this visit was to see how things are going, plan for the future, and teach some conservation farming techniques so that gardens would grow despite lack of rain. We worked hard and have a great time.  The older children from Hadrein Academy helped plant seeds and there was much laughter as we worked together. This was the first time that mulch was used on plants in their garden and we had no idea how things would turn out.

Something must have gone not-quite-right, as some of the plants didn’t grow as they should have, but others did.  I guess that is gardening though.  You don’t always know what you’ll get. But, the children are well and healthy as ever, thanks in part to that garden. Yesterday, I received a note from that project saying, “We want to thank you for the donations you’ve put towards the orphanage which ensure that the children have food to eat each and every day. Words are not enough to show our appreciation, as they are happy to eat good food and drink clean water. I must comment, the water filters have really helped us a lot! There are now no cases of stomachache and typhoid with the children since they started drinking the filtered water. Thank you!” It is so exciting to know that gifts like seeds, training, and water filters can make such a difference!

Now, Kenya has been experiencing a drought for quite a long time now and the land is so dry now. Even so, they were able to harvest good greens for the children from the seeds we sent and it seems the children love eating them. And, great news is that the papaya seeds we sent seem to resist the drought and some are producing papaya fruit already! The children are so happy with the papaya trees, as fruit is already growing and the kids are dreaming of how good they will taste. The variety we sent seems to be different from the local papaya seed, as the trees have grown quickly.
When I return to this area with three volunteer teams in the summer of 2017, I am sure we’ll meet healthy children who now know what good, plentiful food is like.  Together with the volunteers, children and community members, we’ll be tackling the painting of a school, a clinic, and an orphanage, as well as setting up a tailoring school, and a playground.  Exciting times are ahead of us in this village and we are super excited!

If you’d like to be part of something like this and have been looking for a way to use your vacation time while doing something purposeful, check out our Vacation with a Purpose tab at There, you’ll find opportunities to volunteer in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. We’d love to have you work beside us and the communities with whom we’ve partnered.