Construction

The Reason

I snapped this photo on the way to school this morning to remind us all of why we do what we do. These girls would not have someone to take them to school at the immoral hour of 6:45 a.m. if we were not taking care of them. We could not do that without you, and you, and yes even you over there on the right. Check out our campaign, and remember that we do this for Grace, Mildred, Sarah, Mercy, Sarah, Mary, Teresa, Beatrice, Edith, and all the other children we will impact in the future.

20130920_065507

 

These girls are the only reason necessary. 

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/a-barn-a-fence-and-a-dream/87683

 


Composting

When we bought The Shire last year I created a five year plan. The biggest goal of this 5 year plan was/is to grow 90% of our own food. Right away I deduced that there was a major flaw in my 5 year plan, I am no farmer.

What I am good at is researching. So I began doing just that. One of my best resources is Ali, team member and an experienced farmer. He has proven to be a valuable and reliable resource time and time again. Ali already has plans for The Shire that will not only help us raise food, but generate income as well.

Compost

I also know how to read, amazing I know. So I am buying gardening/farming related books like this one on compost. I have since then been practicing making soil. When we move on The Shire and begin farming in earnest I will create several compost piles, bins, and barrels. The soil has been used to grow corn and beans for almost 2 decades now. It needs some rehabilitation, which is why we did not plant this year. We are giving it a rest. Compost, crop rotations, and resting will be methods we utilise to grow food for the children we care for now and for children we will care for with the added space on The Shire.

Emma and I made this short video showing off the compost pile at the house we rent here in Nakuru.

Right now we are raising money to build a house on The Shire. Please consider helping us. Click on this link to see the campaign page: www.youcaring.com/afutureandahope

 


A Barn, A Fence, and a Dream

I meant to post this yesterday, but Kate and I thought it would be cool to be on The Shire for the kickoff of our new campaign. It wasn't. The network we use for the Internet was terrible out there so no post. Back in Nakuru now, and able to post.

As of yesterday we have a fund raising campaign going on to help us get out on The Shire (our new piece of farmland. ) Here was our kickoff video:

 

There you have it. Click on this link, or use the widget on the sidebar.

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/a-barn-a-fence-and-a-dream/87683

We are raising 20,000 dollars for building a barn (which will serve as a temporary house for us,) a generator, water tanks, and to finish our fence. The campaign will go on for 30 days.

Last year we had a very successful campaign to buy the land, we hope to repeat that success with this one. I want to move onto The Shire by the end of this year.

Click that link above and donate, please. Also share the campaign all over the place.


Who Are Those Crazy People?

This Friday, yep 2 days from now, we will be launching a fund-raising campaign. The purpose of which is to raise money to finish the fence, build the barn (which will serve as our temporary house,) buy a generator and water tanks for The Shire. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to remind folks, and even inform new readers/followers who we are.

We are Johnny and Kate Brooks a couple from Texas. In 2005 we moved to Kenya with our 3 children. The purpose at the time was to encourage Kenyans to help each other, and create solutions to poverty, orphan-care, and other issues. In 2007 we opened our home up to 9 orphaned/abandoned girls and started calling our project A Future and a Hope. The goal was to create as close as possible a family situation. To replace what was missing from the girls' lives, functional family. It worked. 

6 years later the girls have adjusted wonderfully and the family is working. We have our ups and downs, like a normal family would.

When we started out on this project we decided to not focus too much time and energy on fundraising. We wanted, and still want, to have relationships with people that are not based on how much money they can or do give, but instead want relationship for the sake of relationship. Follow us on Facebook and you will see posts about food, movies, books, our kids, Kenya, you know normal life stuff. The same type of stuff everyone else posts. (Except for those folks who only exist on social media for the sake of promoting their brands or themselves.) Things have changed a little bit.

We do have to think more about money now. 14 children need a lot of food, school, housing, and attention. We also have The Shire to develop and move out on. Prices have skyrocketed on just about everything over the past few years. It is still our committment to not make 100% of your interactions with us about money, but some of them will be. There is no way around it. We have no money of our own. We depend entirely on donations. If you do follow us closely you will see that the fundraising is not overbearing, and not 24 hours. 

That being said once we start the campaign on Friday it will be intense for the 30 days. We hope that you will give, share the campaign, and help us to move out on The Shire.


Time to Start The Hut

It is 2:32 p.m. on this Monday. Not so bad, up till now. I have had worse Mondays, so not complaining. I did wake up two minutes before it was time to drive the girls to school. It has been a struggle to get up these past few mornings. The girls made it to school more or less on time, so that worked out.

Ali met with a local fundi (sort of craftsman) to talk about building The Hut. The Hut will be small, twelve fut in diameter, and essentially just be walls and a roof. This fundi will charge us 10,000 KES to do it, not including the door, windows, and roofing materials. Besides the wood for the door and windows everything will be taken from The Shire, so part of that price is walking around collecting the materials. (The door and windows will be another 3,500 KES or so.)Ali thinks it is a good idea, and so we are poised to start building The Hut.

Altogether we need approximately $200 U.S. dollars to build The Hut. Not bad for our very first building on The Shire. If you would like to help you can:

Write a check out to A Future and a Hope and mail to:

A Future and a Hope
c/o Bob Humphrey
7909 Walerga Rd STE 112-141
Antelope, CA 95843

Or use PayPal and send to back2kenya@yahoo.com or afutureandahope@gmail.com

Western Union and MoneyGram are options as well, just contact me beforehand to make the arrangements.

Now let us see if the rest of this Monday can be as o.k. as the first half has been.


Heavy Rocks

Yesterday we began to gather up rocks from around The Shire to use in the foundation for The Hut. The entire piece of property is on a hill side, with a few exceptions you are either walking up or down the incline. Rocks of course roll down hill, which means we had to carry them up. Not that big of a deal except that the previous owners had planted maize where The Hut is to be built. Ruts, lots of ruts plagued our wheelbarrow. 

Pushing, pulling, lifting, and struggling to get the wheelbarrow up that small incline was a bit discouraging. Plus the place has really become overgrown with weeds since we did not plant. (Giving the land a rest.) In other words carrying those rocks was a real pain.

Painful until I remembered why I was carrying those rocks. 

There are too many children in this world who have no hope in their futures. They do not have mom's to make sure they eat healthy food, nor dads to make sure they partake of the delicious but nutritiously suspect foods. No aunts to help with homework, nor uncles to scrutinize their would be love interests. Too many children fighting the whole day just to get something to eat. Too many girls forced to sell their bodies for pennies. Pennies. Too many.

The Shire is a way we can help more. This land will help us secure a future for the girls we already care for. They will have a home, a place they can grow food to eat, come and visit on holidays, and call their own. Our plans will enable us to feed, clothe, and even perhaps house more children. It will help us give them A Future and a Hope.

Now let me go and carry some more rocks up the hill.