Greetings from Miryante! Happy New Year! We would like to start off 2011 with a letter of thanks to all of you for your incredible support throughout this past year. Miryante has been growing thanks to your support and we want to share our news with all of you.
To date we have 15 houses that are under construction at the project. Seven of the houses are completely finished and occupied. The other eight houses are under construction and five are expected to be completed by February. In addition, we are in the middle of constructing a kitchen complete with wood burning stoves for preparing meals for the children.
In November, Miryante established a Board of Governors. It consists of 17 members from the community, Wekomiire Parish, and the Ft. Portal Diocese. It has already had three board meetings and hosted a community awareness function on January 9th, 2011 in an attempt to raise funds for the project within the community and generate other means of support. The turnout was tremendous with over 400 community members in attendance and representatives from both the district and sub-county level. Fr. Bernard and visiting priest Fr. Mike from Nairobi celebrated mass at the event.
Miryante Children sing for community member who came to celebrate mass at the awareness function.
The number of children has continued to increase as the capacity of the project has increased. Miryante currently houses 68 children and is employing 7 caretakers. In December, Miryante welcomed Mugambo Asman to the project as a general laborer and caretaker. In December, Miryante also welcomed Samuel Kule as a full time driver for the tractor. In January, Kellen Kaneema joined the project and is jointly serving as a caretaker and on-site nurse.
Miryante has been using the donations from Bishop Flaget and St. Mary’s School to build bookshelves for over 40 boxes of books that were received from ‘Books for Africa’. We are working on establishing quite a library.
We have made some improvements to our chicken coup and have started construction on a goat house and fencing for the goat project, sponsored by St. Peter’s Parish in Chillicothe, Ohio. The construction is coming along slowly but surely.
Miryante succeeded in diversifying its crops this season, and the children are helping to harvest sorghum during their holiday break. Many thanks to donors who sent vegetable seeds! The kids have been trying a variety of new foods from America. Thanks to support from a parish in Poland, this year we are starting to purchase a variety of foods to diversify the children’s diet.
We celebrated Christmas and New Years with special meals where the children were able to enjoy meat, rice, eggs, Irish potatoes and their favorite food- plantains. A special thank you to Jon Sill and family who donated money to purchase a soccer ball, net ball, and radios for the houses.
The children finished their school year in December, and we reviewed their report cards. Because many of the children had scores that were so low they will need to repeat a level, we hired a tutor with funds donated from the Teresa Ross Family to work with each class during their holiday break.
We are currently looking for funds to buy beds, mattresses, blankets, clothes, and mosquito nets for new children who are coming to the home. We are starting construction on a vocational school this year and will keep everyone updated as we progress with that project. Many thanks for the tremendous support we have received this year. Please keep us in your prayers as we work to expand the project in 2011.
Together in Christ,