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FUM News in Brief – March/April 2014

Summer Mission Project Update Teacher for Teachers

The FUM 2013 Summer Mission Project Teacher for Teachers, has raised over $10,000 to support the work of Zadock Malesi as he supports the Friends Schools in Kenya. Contributions are still being received for this important ministry. We are half way to our goal!

The Blessing of Caring for One Another

Every now and then our hearts are warmed by the demonstration of caring that our students have for one another. Recently we were even more amazed as to the extent of that care when it came to one of our students, Shemar.

This young man had faced quite a bit of adversity in his young life. His mother, upon his birth, threw him away because he was premature. His uncle rescued him and vowed to raise him. His former school records stated that Shemar was “mentally challenged and would not talk.” Again, his uncle saw hope for his nephew and enrolled Shemar into Belize Friends School. It took little time for Shemar to feel safe and welcome. Soon he was like any other student. His uncle was astonished with the change in his nephew and attributed this change to the loving environment of Belize Friends School.

During Christmas, Shemar’s mother came to visit and took him to her village to spend the Christmas holiday. Her house had no running water or indoor plumbing. At some point during the visit, Shemar developed an infection. However, Shemar returned to the city and resumed classes at the end of the visit.

About a week into the semester, Shemar complained to his uncle that he was not feeling well. Immediately, his uncle took him to a local clinic that gave him over-the-counter medications. The very next day Shemar had chest pains and was admitted to Huesener Memorial Hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. From that point his lungs and kidneys began to fail. The medical team informed Shemar’s uncle that his nephew had only a 10% chance of surviving and they were not sure what the real problem with his health was.

His fellow students took this news very hard. Some reported feelings of sadness and others claimed an inability to sleep. Miss Candi talked with the students about Shemar’s progress and led them in prayer. Afterwards, a few felt led to collect funds to assist in the medical bills. (In Belize, few people have medical insurance.) The students collected $550 BZE to assist in the medical expense.

It is not known what the future holds for Shemar. The doctors continue to give him only a 50% survival rate, but Shemar seems to be getting stronger each day. All of us are assured that Shemar is in God’s loving hands. The students and staff at Belize Friends School are confident that whatever happens, Shemar will be and is taken care of by our Father.

Our hearts are warmed by the fact that our students took initiative to care for Shemar and his uncle by raising funds. We are all thankful that God blesses us through the lives of each and every student and that through him, we are empowered to provide an environment of care and love. We are blessed.

A New Outpatient Building at Lugulu Hospital

Lugulu Hospital has just opened a new outpatient building, relieving the long-standing overcrowding in the outpatient department, and integrating the HIV/AIDS and TB clinics with the rest of the outpatient clinical services. The building was funded in large part by AIDSRelief, a ministry of the Catholic Medical Mission Board and the organization has been sponsoring Lugulu’s HIV work for many years. The current trend in Kenya is shifting away from providing separate HIV/AIDS and TB services in segregated buildings — a practice that inadvertently compromises patient confidentiality — toward offering integrated services that can reduce social stigma and increase the rate of patient attendance at the clinics. This new building at Lugulu Hospital therefore represents not just improved treatment spaces, but also an improved social situation for people living with HIV/AIDS in the community.

Zadock Malesi Update

As Zadock Malesi entered his second year of ministry as the Kenyan National Quaker Education Secretary, he reflected upon his accomplishments and shared his vision for the future. Zadock believes the core of his ministry is to energize and equip teachers. He has identified mentor schools in every county that will help ensure that the opportunity for professional teacher development
reaches every Friends school in Kenya. It is his belief that highly trained teachers are change agents not only for students, but for the community as well. Competent teachers create a successful educational environment and add to the likelihood of academic success.

Also, Zadock believes in school and church partnerships. He continues to work alongside the yearly meeting education secretaries in order to encourage active partnerships between local meetings and the schools they sponsor. He urges local meetings to take care of their schools and to nurture a sense of the church community’s primary ownership of the schools.

He also has cultivated networks and built relationships between FUM, Friends Church Kenya and the Friends Church Peace Team. All three organizations collaborated to host a very successful International Day of Peace at one of the schools in Transnzoia County.

Finally, Zadock is moving forward in his work with the peace curriculum. The secondary school curriculum is widely used and highly successful. Piloting of the primary school curriculum has been completed in a few primary schools and he expects that the Ministry of Education will approve the widespread launch of the primary curriculum later this year. Zadock sees that his influence has begun changing schools at the very core. “Education,” he stated, “is a partnership of sorts. All of us must do something.” It is his desire to be an educational change agent for the Quaker schools in Kenya so that the ones who are being educated can become change agents for their community and ultimately, the world.

Biosand Water Filters Introduced to Bududa, Uganda

The people of Bududa, in eastern Uganda, live in a precarious environment. This densely-packed community of subsistence farmers
is perched on the steep slopes of Mt Elgon. This community ekes out a living under constant danger of the catastrophic mudslides that kill a large number of people every few years. Furthermore, there is no source of safe drinking water and the unique landscape makes it difficult to build traditional toilets. The burden of disease is very high in the Bududa community.

A large concentration of Quakers are located in Bududa. Last year, Uganda Yearly Meeting invited Friends United Meeting and Friendly Water for the World to partner with the local Friends in introducing the biosand water filter technology to this community. In January 2014, Ugandan trainers from other parts of the country spent five days training a group of 28 women and men of all ages in how to manufacture, sell, install and maintain biosand filters, as well as how to teach sanitation and hygiene within the community. At the end of the training, the group established a committee to oversee the ongoing work, with support
from the yearly meeting leadership. They intend to focus on empowering youth involvement in improving water, sanitation and hygiene for overall health in the community.

A New Direction for Kaimosi Hospital

Eight years ago, Friends United Meeting entered into a temporary arrangement with East Africa Yearly Meeting to restore Friends Hospital Kaimosi from the brink of collapse. The hospital’s situation was dire, and Friends around the world answered the call with an outpouring of prayer, volunteer time and financial resources. Under FUM’s leadership, the hospital has become financially stable with a well-qualified professional staff and an ever-improving reputation for medical care in the name of Jesus. We praise God for all that has been achieved during these years of FUM’s management of Kaimosi Hospital.

On 1 February 2014, FUM will cease involvement in Kaimosi Hospital. East Africa Yearly Meeting, in cooperation with Friends Church Kenya, is entering into a new relationship for the future of the hospital – the National Council of Churches of Kenya has chosen this facility to be the flagship of their new “Jumuia” chain of high-quality Christian hospitals. The Council is poised to invest significant funds in upgrading the buildings, equipment and staffing in order to attract patients from across Kenya.

FUM will, of course, continue to pray for Kaimosi Hospital. There will be “wrapping up” costs associated with this transition, so Friends can continue to send donations for Kaimosi Hospital over the coming months. As we look ahead, we invite all Friends to pray with the FUM Board as it discerns how God might be leading Friends into new forms of healthcare ministry in East Africa, in continuing obedience to the gospel mandate to heal the sick in Jesus’ name.

SEEDS Update

Seeds Educating Every Deserving Student

Several people involved in developing the peace curriculum for primary and secondary Quaker schools in Kenya realized that continuing financial support was essential for the curriculum to be effectively implemented to the more than one million students attending Kenyan Quaker schools. Thus the SEEDS project was formed in 2010 with the purpose of providing support for Kenyan projects from Kenyan sources of income. Initially, the SEEDS project was funded by zero interest loans to FUM from U.S. Quakers to lease land for growing seed maize for Kenya Seeds Company.

The SEEDS goals include providing sustainable funding to train teachers to use the peace curriculum in their classrooms, support for the AMO Education Secretary and continuing support for improving Quaker schools in Kenya.

In 2011, the yield was low due to a rainy harvest. However, the next year the harvest was very good and 30% of the loans were repaid. The project stalled in 2013 for lack of available land, but a lease to farm more land in 2014 may soon be signed.
Thank you for your prayer and support for SEEDS and the peace curriculum. Please continue to pray for:

1. A successful growing season and abundant harvest of seed maize this year.
2. Francis Makete as he oversees the farm for SEEDS.
3. Moses Kahoya and John Muhanji as they provide additional management support for SEEDS.
4. Good land for growing seed maize that would be available to lease for many years.
5. Wisdom for the FUM Trustees and SEEDS board as they plan for the organizational structure when the loans are repaid.
6. Effective use of the peace curriculum that is implemented in over one-half of the Friends secondary schools.
7. Approval and implementation of the peace curriculum in more than 1,200 Friends primary schools.