This is just a short report of James’ visit to Kenya – please do get in touch with him through email if you would like to receive a more substantial and personal report.
There were two main goals to the visit. the first was to train Pastors, Church leaders and theological students in Creation Care, and the second was to kick start some small scale projects that demonstrate Creation Care in Action.
During his time in Kenya James trained around 150 people. These included 15 students and two lecturers at Ahero Bible College in Nyanza who spent two days looking at Creation Care and the rest were Church Pastors and Leaders from all over Nyanza who attended one of the three one day workshops held. James based his workshops on the Creation Care booklet he had prepared – this can be downloaded free of charge from the Resources pages. James also spent a day training Geography Teachers on Geography and Sustainability and also had the privilege of preaching three times – twice at local churches and once to a 900 boys attending an AIC sponsored Boys school.
The current toilet at Ogene and where the new toilet will be
As well as training James also was involved in several practical projects. One of these is building New Toilets in five Churches in flood prone areas. James visited three of the Churches to look at the current state of the toilets and see the proposed location of the new toilets. The Eco Team are planning to create a two toilet unit (one for men and another for women) and a washroom. The toilets are also going to have a small roof rainwater harvesting scheme attached so that people can wash their hands. The toilets will be available for community use as well as Church use on a Sunday. £1500 was raised by members of Shrewsbury Baptist Church and others to build these toilets.
Planting trees outside Ogene Church
Another project was Planting Trees. Less than 10% of the country is forested and in this part of Kenya deforestation has affected the pattern of rainfall making it tough to grow some previously commonly grown crops. Local indigenous species are also disappearing and so the AIC is planting more trees around their Churches to try and help the situation. The tree planting is supported by a local Bank. James and the Eco Team are going to be making an application for funding to a UK Foundation to expand this project to more Churches in the area.
Another small project that Tom and James have started is related to Energy and the use of kerosene for lighting and wood for cooking. A revolving fund has been set up to help people buy solar lamps. These cost around 2500 Kenyan Shillings for one that can also charge a mobile phone and few families can afford them compared with the 10 shillings a day cost of fuel for a kerosene lamp. What we are doing is giving poor families a solar lamp and then the family paying the money back over and agreed period of time. When all the money has been paid back then the money can be used to buy another lamp for another family. We are also hoping to buy a wood saving stove for a local school – called a rocket stove it uses about half the wood of a more traditional stove.