Saturday 19th October 2019
A Kibera Food Packing event will take place in Barlaston
Watch this space for further information - coming soon!
Barlaston (CofE) First School Link
Sarah Broome writes:
In September 2018, our school became a pilot school for a Lichfield Diocese scheme of work investigating ways which schools could learn about mission in the world beyond the local area.
We began working with Feed the Hungry UK and our church to forge links with The Soweto Academy, a school in Kibera, Nairobi. Kibera is the largest urban slum in Africa.
In January 2019, myself (Sarah Broome), Mrs Clarey (headteacher), her daughter and brother, Mrs Price (RE lead), along with Vicar Stewart and Julie went to Kenya with a Rachel and Rich from Feed the Hungry. We visited Soweto Academy, Soweto Juniors and Kisumu Dogo Schools in Kibera.
What we experienced in Kibera, we will all never forget. We found an area roughly the size of Barlaston with over 1 million people living in extreme poverty. There was no running water to the slum, the people lived in very basic homes the size of one room in a UK house but there was a genuine warmth, happiness and sense of friendship from everyone we met. The people had a real love of God and genuine thankfulness to Him for what they had or achieved. They also believed in the power of prayer and had faith.
We felt drawn to develop and strengthen our link to the community surrounding the schools, which included a local church and also a medical centre. This is partly to support these people but also to help us here in Barlaston to learn from the people of Kibera and their spirit of faith and compassion.
Since returning, we have run several events with the aim of raising money to help out with their direct needs, but also so that we can participate in a Feed the Hungry food packing event in Barlaston, so that the vital food that sustains the children at school and at church can be sent to them.
The children and parents and staff at school have really taken the connection with Kibera to heart and have learnt so such about the area and the people of Kibera. It has also been fantastic to develop the links the school has with St John's.
We are hopeful that some of the staff we worked with at the church and schools in Kibera will be able to come on a reciprocal visit to Barlaston within the next year.
Soweto Academy Kibera, Kenya
Feeding 500 children daily
An exciting project we are connected to
Stewart Jones, Vicar of Barlaston writes:
In January 2019 a group of us travelled from Barlaston to Kenya to visit a church and Barlaston School in Kibera, Nairobi. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa and is home to over one million people.
Our visit was to see what help we could give, to build a real link with the people there and to help us here in Barlaston through our school and church learn from them about life and all its fullness.
Those of us who went will never be the same again. It was a life changing and life enhancing experience and one that we want to share with as many people in Barlaston as we can.
The need there is huge. The children do not have enough pens and pencils, the buildings they use are basic to say the least. (In one school there is a large hole in the floor so the teacher has to be careful not to step back and disappear!) Staff don’t always get paid because of a lack of funds. (Education in Kenya is not free!)
The clinic providing essential health care lacks things like a fridge to store medical supplies. The list goes on and on and it would be easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. But the situation is not hopeless. The community there are helping themselves with projects such as a water bottling plant, which sells the water to raise money for the school. They are creating a place to keep chickens and fish so as to provide food.
They even have plans to start a farm. (The land has been bought and the next stage is to dig a well to provide water.) With our help too, the situation can be utterly transformed. In the coming months we will be sharing more of what we have learned and seeking very practical ways to help and to learn together what it means to be a Good Samaritan.
In our global connected world these people are as much our neighbours as those who live in our road and community. Being a Good Samaritan isn’t defined by geography. We have heard about the need in Kibera and we are determined to help as much as we can.
My prayer is that you will want to be part of this adventure too.