Lift Up Africa provides a hand up NOT a hand out
LUA News
The Lift Up Africa Quarterly Newsletter

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors
- African Proverb

In This Issue
Hamomi Children's Centre Starts Cooking Solar
Project Spotlight: Peaceful Home For Children
Brief Updates
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3rd World Stove Soot: Global Warming's #2 Contributor
The New York Times recently reported that third world stove soot (a/k/a/ black carbon) has emerged as the No. 2 contributor to rising global temperatures, responsible for up to 18 percent of the planet's warming.
    For years medical professionals have acknowledged the devastating health effects of black carbon in poor countries. Now research shows this same soot might be responsible for half of Arctic warming. Worldwide, glaciers are losing ice, much of this due to black carbon--tiny black particles that warm the air and melt ice by absorbing the sun's heat when they settle on glaciers.
    In Asia and Africa, cookstoves produce most black carbon emissions. Decreasing these releases, scientists think, is a relatively inexpensive and quick way to help reduce some of the worst projected consequences of global warming. The combination of both environmental and health benefits from reducing black carbon emissions gives a "big bang for your buck."
    Recommendations include replacing primitive cooking stoves with more modern versions that emit far less soot and using solar for cooking.
    Solar cooking projects like those LUA supports help reduce global warming, improve health consequences, and save the environment. For more information on LUA's solar projects, check out the Lift Up Africa Solar Cooking Wiki Page.

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Issue #4 Spring 2009

Here's the fourth issue of LUA News. In this issue we are focusing on how Lift Up Africa (LUA) helps vulnerable African children.  As you'll see, a small amount can really help these children in meanin
gful ways.

Please Contribute (gradient)Please consider helping LUA make these children's lives so much better. It's easy, secure and quick to make a contribution. And because our board covers all administrative expenses, 100% of  your contribution goes to support our African projects.

If your friends or colleagues might appreciate learning about what we do to help African people, it's easy to forward this issue using the link at the bottom of the page.

Asante (thank you) and enjoy!

Hamomi Children's Centre Starts Cooking Solar
Brian Mays & Dennis Dutton, the donors
Last year we told the inspirational story of two boys--11-year old Brian Alexander Mays and 17-year old Dennis Dutton--who together gave LUA $200 (US) to help kids in Kenya. With their approval, last summer LUA made a small grant to the Hamomi Children's Centre to purchase solar cooking equipment for its feeding program. Our hope was that this equipment would make the program more affordable.
Hamomi purchased the equipment from Solar Cookers International's East Africa Regional Office (SCI-EA), our partner organization, and then hosted a demonstration for the school's staff, students and other Hamomi residents. The event was delayed for about 5 months because tight funds forced Hamomi to temporarily suspend its feeding program. 
Then on January 27th SCI-EA's Margaret Owino, Faustine Odaba and James Odaba picked up Susie Marks, Hamomi's Executive Director, took her with them to purchase pots for the hay baskets, and headed into the Kangemi Slum for the solar cooking event.  On that day, said Susie, Margaret and Faustine showing rice cooked in a hay basket firelesss cookerHamomi was "forever changed in ways I had foreseen, but also in ways I hadn't even considered." 
Hamomi has no dining area or table for set up. The SCI staff was not deterred. They unloaded and lined up an array of solar cooking equipment on the dirt outside Hamomi's office. "A crowd began gathering, staring, asking questions to the mzungu, (white person), who they didn't believe was just as clueless as them," Susie said. "... once it became quite clear that I was not in charge, the solar cookers were a far bigger spectacle than me. They began addressing their questions to Faustine and ... found it pretty amusing that I was helping clean vegetables."
The crowd surrounding the demonstration included Hamomi's staff, students, and community members. It was sometimes so big that people needed to take turns gJames teaching people how to cook solar at the Hamomi eventetting up to where the cookers were to touch the panels, feeling how hot they were getting.
SCI made rice, beans, hardboiled eggs, vegetable stew, an omelet, and even a cake.  Everyone learned that Hamomi could pasteurize water using the heat of the sun. "We are still learning if the dirty river by the school can actually get clean and we will be testing the water," Susie said. "If this will work, we will suddenly have free clean water, not only for us but for the entire community. Parents and guardians can come get water for their households and stop drinking from the river which leads to awful diseases." 
Since Hamomi received its solar cooking equipment, they're using only a single sack of charcoal per month instead of 5--an 80% decrease in charcoal consumption. Each sack of charcoal costs $10 (US), so they are saving $40 per month on charcoal expense. For a $200 investment, the solar cooking equipment will pay for itself within the first 5 months of use.
Thanks to this savings and increased donations, Hamomi has been able to stretch its budget and expand the feeding program to 6 days a week. This encourages the kids to come and study on Saturdays, school attendance is near perfect, and they nowMargaret and Faustine showing rice cooked in a hay basket firelesss cooker have a much steadier stream of volunteer teachers who at least get paid in meals.
"The solar cookers did not make the whole feeding program so much cheaper that we can now afford it when we couldn't before, it just made us bolder...pushed us to take risks that we'd grown a bit weary of taking, and these leaps over dangerous crevasses have led us to much higher, firmer ground," Susie concluded.
When we called Brian to update him about how Hamomi had benefitted from his inspirational gift, he said:  "That's so great. I'm so happy that I could help them have a better life."
And that's what it's all about, isn't it?! Thank you Brian and Dennis for making this possible. 
Project Spotlight: Peaceful Home For Children

Worldwide, the plight of poor children is heart wrenching. There are over 12 million orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.  In Kenya the situation is critical with an estimated 1.1 million orphans today and more and more Peaceful Home kids with the project's directorschildren being orphaned as the result of accidents, disease or abandonment, generally by a child-mother who cannot look after a baby.
Culturally, Kenyans do not adopt orphans. Therefore, children who come to an orphanage in Kenya usually stay until they become adults. As children, this is the only home they will know. To help ease the plight of this growing contingent of Kenyan orphans, LUA is supporting the Peaceful Home for Children, a new orphanage project.
Peaceful Home for Children, located in the Kianyaga area near Mt Kenya, is a private institution that will be sustainably run and funded under the umbrella of the Angels of Hope Foundation, a Kenyan NGO. To give these children a true chance at a better life, plans call for five orphan homes, a home for the on-site directors, and land for food cultivation.  Ultimately, the project will house 40 orphans with each home providing a family atmosphere where a mixture of 8 boys and girls will live with a housemother.
Peaceful Home currently owns 1.5 acres of land on which a single 23x40 square meter living unit was constructed in 2008. Water and electricity are onsite, the septic system for the entire complex has been completed, and gardens and fruit trees have been planted. With the recent addition of two new orphans, a brother and a sister, 14 children Flora, Peaceful Home's cow, and her newly born calf Jimmynow live warmly in the new house.
The children and their housemother planted a vegetable patch and plan to sell surplus vegetables to purchase basics like rice, maize meal and cooking oil. Recently, Flora, a cow donated to the orphanage, gave birth to a young bull calf they named Jimmy. The additional half acre Peaceful Home purchased in 2008 will provide needed land to grow more fruits and vegetables, and provide more space for Flora, Jimmy and other farm animals, too.
When LUA's Larry Donahoo visited the site last April, he said "it was obvious that the children were receiving excellent care with all but one of them participating in group activities. The one not participating, a little girl named Pierina, was about two years old and had been taken in a week earlier. It was good to see the other children taking the time to help her," he said. (Recently we learned that Pierina is now fully integrated and happily playing with the other kids.)
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"Peaceful Home is well managed and has an excellent chance of reaching its goal of self-sufficiency if funds can be raised to complete the physical facilities," Larry concludes.
Four more orphan homes and a home for the project's directors still must be funded and built. If you are able, please consider helping Lift Up Africa help these vulnerable African orphans. A contribution of any size will help. And please contact us directly at if you'd like more information about the various construction projects or Peaceful Home's other needs.

Peaceful Home residents
Please support Lift Up Africa's critical efforts to help African people
  by making a secure on-line donation.

  Because LUA's Board pays for all administrative expenses,  100%
  of every dollar we raise goes directly

  to help African  people.
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   Asante (thank you)! 
   Lift Up Africa is a 501(c)(3) not for
   profit organization. Our tax  ID  is

Bill Longbrake (President) - Rick Levy (Secretary-Treasurer - Sam Muinde (Vice
   President) - Larry Donahoo - Anne V. Farrell - Kenneth G.Y. Grant
   Linda Alband, CFRE (Chief Administrative Officer)