Yesterday (21st September) I got an email from Mr Mutua whom, you will recall from earlier posts here, is a friend of mine in Kenya who is doing remarkable work improving his lot and that of the community in which he lives. Here is the operative paragraph (bold and some additional words are mine):
We were privileged to buy an old-looking but an operating car from auctioneers and there is a balance of Kshs. 7000 which we cant raise within the period of time of 2 weeks [before 5 October, I think] they have given us to pay. We are stranded for we don’t know what to do; if the time expires they will resell and get 20% out of our money. U know I am a man who likes to die for an idea that will live [rather] than to live for an idea that will die. So I am requesting u to come in were you can becoz we are in [a] jam, and also [to] speak you heart on matters like this one in our hands: what we are supposed to be doing. [And to] assist if possible.
Seven thousand Kenyan shillings is about 52 Pounds (74 Euros or 105 US Dollars). For a number of reasons I’m not currently willing to assist by simply sending money. But it occurs to me that someone else might welcome this opportunity to make a financial contribution that may make a palpable positive difference to Kenbric Vocational Training Centre, its Director: Mr Mutua, and the community of Nguluni.
I’ve sent money to Kenya in the past with Western Union, which is pretty much instant these days, contact me for his details if you would like to help out. If you don’t know my email address, leave me a comment here and put your email address in the form below (these do not get published on this site so you’ll not be spammed as a result) and I’ll get back to you.
Alternatively, if you have any other ideas of ways to raise capital quickly in Rural Kenya, I’d absolutely love to have those comments here as well and you can bet I’ll make sure he gets the information.
If you know someone whom you think might be interested, please tell them about this page. And in the event that more than one person would like to help, I am willing to be involved in deciding what to do that will satisfy everyone’s needs.
In the rest of his email, Mutua told me a couple of other great pieces of news from Kenbric:
This term the college has instituted a policy that I discussed with him back in 2004 about how to deal with non-payment of fees. I had suggested that he take the approach that the Principal of Holy Rosary had come up with and apply it rigorously. To have prepared, at the start of each term, two piles of forms: enrolment forms and deferral forms. When a trainee has an outstanding balance of unpaid fees from the previous term, he or she should be required to defer until the following term should he or she be unable to clear the balance. This would prevent Kenbric from functioning as a credit agency, remove the burden of “chasing” unpaid fees and prevent the need to interrupt studies by “sending the trainee home for fees” during term-time. By applying it rigorously and consistently it would send a message to the community that it was pointless to try and re-register at Kenbric unless you could at least clear your outstanding balance. Mutua says:
We are on our third week of our third term this year and we reject trainees from enrolling this term with balance and quite number didn’t turn up but its serving a purpose
He also tells me that they are preparing an advertising bill-board to put by the roadside to advertise the institution.
The two photos on this page are from the Peace Corps volunteer working at Kenbric (Thanks Brady). The top one shows Mr Mutua “mechanizing” the car they bought with the help of money from my leaving party. This one shows trainees enjoying a computer familiarisation class on my old Dell.