CRED Partners – looking back over the year

Hello, I trust this finds you well and that there is space in your lives for the peace and hope of this Advent season to come to the surface.

I thought that you might find it interesting to read a summary of all the CRED partners, for your prayers and thoughts as we move into 2018. Please note that it is a summary, so apologies if I don’t go into great detail – but if I did you’d not get to the end of it!

So, in alphabetical order by country:

Ethiopia

  • CBISDO – now have the youth centre up and running again after years of dilapidation due to army take-over. Continue to do child and elderly sponsorship programmes as well as other community based initiatives.
  • AHISDO – Continue to do child and elderly sponsorship programmes as well as other community based initiatives.
  • Women At Risk – Cherry is retiring in June and she and the family are moving back to North America. New leadership team in place and a phased handover is taking place. Programmes continue to grow and reach more women and their children. An ethically-trading shop in Brighton now stocks jewellery made by women from the programme.
  • Berhan Lehetsanat – continues to advocate for children with disabilities, as well as equip and train education providers to enable those children to enter mainstream schools. Also working with communities to destigmatise disability, and increase inclusion of the children and their families into community life

India

  • FIAM: Janaki had a very good trip to UK recently. She met with some of the CRED Trustees, visited friends and churches that already know and love her, and also made some good contacts with new churches so increasing the supporter base for the work of FIAM.
  • Janaki remains positive despite the increasing levels of pressure for Christian people and projects in India, and continues to see growth in the numbers attending the churches that she has helped plant in the rural areas. This year was the second year that the members of the FIAM supported leprosy community have not had to go out and beg during the hot summer months, thanks to generous support from donors.
  • The goat project continues to grow slowly, and provide income support to some of the other projects

Kenya

  • Spurgeons Academy: This has been a very challenging year for Kenyanito and Spurgeons Academy. The expansion of the railway has led to the local authorities reclaiming land that the school was built on, with subsequent demolition of school buildings.
  • There have also been the ongoing tensions due to the contested presidential elections, and the subsequent unrest from that has centred  within Kibera, the area where Spurgeons is found. The school has thus been a safe haven for many children, but education has also been disrupted due to families fleeing the violence to rural homelands etc.
  • Despite all this, the top class from the school got very good grades in their national leavers certificates and many of the pupils are going on to secondary education. For many they are the first in their family to achieve this.

Malawi

  • Butterfly Space project continues to reach out to a range of groups in the local community, and this year has seen the first full year of the Stepping Stones primary school, which provides smaller class sizes and high quality education for local children.
  • Alice is currently in Lilongwe studying for a PGCE which will better equip her to take the school forward, and develop educational programmes within the Butterfly Space family.

Nepal

  • We have two new partners in Nepal; both schools, both in the Kathmandu area, and for now both primarily there as destinations for teams of young people who are embarking on CRED Team Trips. Over time we plan to expand our support to more strategic and professional input, but its early days for both

Rwanda

  • GNPDR: The work of Pius and GNPDR in Rwanda continues to develop.
  • The catch-up school is providing good education for young people who were living on the streets, and there are a couple of new programmes that are thriving.
  • One is a food security programme in Nyamata for widows of the genocide.
  • The other is ‘Mercy Mattresses’ which employs widows and those orphaned by the genocide to make mattresses for prisoners (many of whom were perpetrators of crimes during the genocide). The mattresses have gospel verses printed on them, of love and forgiveness, which speak to those who make and those who use the mattresses.

Tanzania

  • ‘The Voice’ Trust: This is another new partner, and the primary focus is a school and related community projects. Called ‘The Voice’ the school is special in that it provides access to mainstream education for young people who are albinos, and therefore highly marginalised in the local community. I am going out to visit the project in January, so will be able to report back more after that

Uganda

Lots going on in Uganda!

  • Nkuru – Nziza Foundation: 
    • The Acholi projects are embedding, and the local cooperative that we work with are becoming more equipped to take strategic decisions. They have set themselves up formally, and have chair, treasurer and secretary, and a bank account. They run adult literacy classes, a savings scheme, and an educational day–care for some of the children. They continue to need opportunities to sell beads etc both in Kampala, and via supporters overseas. Their desire is to set up a micro-finance scheme to enable small loans to be given for starting up new income generating activities
    • The main focus of John’s attention at the moment, and for the coming year, is the development of a vocational training college in rural Mityana. It will be run using a Whole Brain Approach ethos, which is unlike anything else in Uganda, and aims to reach young people who have dropped out of education for one reason or another. It will include the biogas farm, and an on-site kitchen / cafeteria open to the pubic, and will provide evening classes for local adults.
  • I Live Again Uganda
    • There have been some big financial pressures this year, but the team continue to provide support and trauma counselling on group and individual levels to victims of the LRA conflict of 1990’s, both in the main towns and reaching out into smaller rural communities.

Zambia

  • Chisomo: Aaron and Josephine continue to support the street kids in Lusaka, through a number of interventions, and also families of children who are at risk of ending up on the streets. Next year they will be host to two CRED teams, which is very exciting as they have not had the opportunity to host before.

The mercury free gold project in Busia region of Uganda continues to develop, and they have sold their first consignment of fairtrade gold. So that’s another positive story.

And CRED Team Trips are starting to ramp up again as we work in conjunction with Adventure Lifesigns to deliver them.

So, there you have it – CRED Partners in condensed summary form!

Thank you for your prayers and support for them all, and wishing you all a blessed Christmas – may it bring peace, hope and special moments, whether Christmas itself is same format as usual for you, or with some new dimensions added.

God bless you

Helen

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