We presently are facing several difficulties, the most urgent of which is food. The difficulty with this right now is that there is none.
I did not specifically ask Joel this time, but on the previous occasion when they had gone without food for almost a week, I asked him if they had had nothing at all to eat during those days. He told me that they did have some corn meal and they have water, with which they made a kind of watery porridge to have once a day. I do not know what it is now, only that the children are going to bed without having eaten.
The food reality is that it daily takes $150-$200 to feed and provide other daily requirements for the children and the orphanage staff, of whom there are about a half a dozen adults. This is every day.
Another reality is that, as encouraging as it was for me to see the dormitory coming along so well, the building is still not ready to be occupied. If we are going to have the children sleeping there when the rains begin, we need to be able to continue working. Right now it is at a standstill, since we have no funds.
The next step is to plaster inside and out. The plastering is for much more than just aesthetics, since on the inside, the plaster makes it possible to keep the rooms clean. Outside, the plastering keeps the rains from seeping into the joints and causing structural problems.
The floor also needs to be resurfaced. It already is hardened from the mixing of the concrete when they prepared it for the brick mortar and beams. They mixed the concrete by hand on the floor. It is level and it is somewhat even, but it is not smooth. It needs to have a coating.
On the ground outside the perimeter of the building, we need to put a hard surface as well to keep the entire ground from becoming constant mud during the daily rains.
The cost of all of this work is about $2000.
This is the next step for the dormitory. There are several others as well. Among these are finishing the toilets, which the health and sanitation department of Kenya tells us needs to be a flush system with a holding tank.
This of course requires the plumbing and tank itself, but also a cistern, since there is no well.
I will write about all of these additional dormitory costs in future posts, but the rains will begin possibly later next month, so we need to get moving.
Another reality is the schooling for the children. For the 42 students, this totals to approximately $1000 per month for the nine months of the school year.
“Our Father in heaven, please provide the daily bread for these, your children. This is the most critical need right now. Also please provide for the continuation and completion of the dormitory before the rains begin.”