Orphans Cheer Water

These are exciting days for the kids at Belwop Child Rescue Center in Nyeri, Kenya. The 38 children and staff residing at Belwop have been struggling to get by with expensive – and inconsistent – water delivered by truck. They’ve been hoping and praying for a dependable source of clean water for years.

Now that wait is over!

A team of staff and volunteers just returned following the installation of a  water system at Belwop. Through the generous donations of supporters, ER was able to provide the custom-built cistern and system that will supply 100% of Belwop’s water.

The cistern is huge – approximately 17 feet in diameter – with a capacity of of about 26,400 gallons (100,000-liter). It took several months to dig out, pour and finish the cistern walls and cap.

It’s a good thing the system is high-capacity. Many human and animal mouths, plus food crops, need lots of water in this arid climate.

Fortunately, Nyeri receives good annual rainfall. The system will collect this water, store and purify it, and deliver it for  bathing and clean drinking water. It also will be used for gardening and watering livestock.

The system still needs a few tweaks, but the water will be flowing soon. Can you see it? Soon kids – and maybe some thirsty livestock – will be splashing in fresh water.

Belwop director Veronica Mumbai has cared for the vulnerable kids of Nyeri for many years. This system will be a vey big help.

Why it matters:

  • *Children, animals and crops finally have dependable clean water
  • *Belwop will save desperately need funds
  • *Donors made a life-changing investment in these kid’s future

Scroll below to read more about Belwop and ER’s Orphans & Vulnerable Children initiative.


Water Project Funded!

(Oct. 26, 2018)

We’ve got GREAT news.

Earlier this year, we began raising awareness, and funds, for a huge need at the Belwop Child Rescue Center in Nyeri, Kenya. This long-time ER partner struggles to obtain enough water for the vulnerable children in its care. Clean water is available from water delivery services, but those deliveries are sporadic and expensive.

So we began sharing this need with ER supporters and volunteers. With the right equipment, Belwop can capture the ample rain that falls in the region and deliver it through a water purification system and store it for later use. This system not only will provide steady clean water for drinking and bathing, but will save Belwop valuable funds throughout the year.

We’re excited to announce the funds have been provided! Many individuals generously provided gifts. And recently, a donation from Canvas Church in San Francisco put the project over the top. Canvas also has sent two teams of volunteers to Belwop to work with the children. According to Lead Pastor Travis Clark, the congregation has developed a special bond with these incredible kids.

“We love Belwop and felt this water project was a solution that would meet a variety of needs to further the important work that Belwop is doing in the lives of so many,” said Clark. “We’re glad we could play a part in creating a future where no child at Belwop is thirsty again.”

Now that the funds have been secured, ER will focus on the obtaining the water system equipment and the installation, with plans to complete the project in early 2019. Watch this blog for updates on the system’s installation.

Interested in helping? Any additional funds designated for this project will be used for its upkeep and maintenance, or to meet similar needs. Scroll below to read more about Belwop, as well as ER’s initiative to help orphans and vulnerable children who live in extreme conditions.


Water Project to Help Vulnerable Children

(April 2018)

“Reaching out and equipping children at risk to feel safe, cared for, protected and provided for so they can thrive and become independent members of society.” – ER Vision for Orphans & Vulnerable Children.

Jessica Sanders, Extreme Response’s new Orphans & Vulnerable Children Initiative Coordinator, has traveled to our three regions to meet ER staff and partners. One of those trips included a visit to Nyeri, Kenya and BELWOP, an ER partner that is home to 28 beautiful children spanning all ages.

Jessica spent two days at BELWOP, where children such as Joseph melted her heart. She writes, “I can still see his face and how he beamed every time he looked at me. The way he said ‘yes’ so excitedly when I asked him a question, even now brings a smile to my face.”

Like so many of BELWOP’s residents, Joseph has lived life on the streets and endured extreme circumstances that no child his age should even dream of. But under the care of BELWOP director Veronica Mumbi, “He is now thriving here and is often seen running around with the other boys, with a smile glued to his face.”

Jessica’s visit to BELWOP also revealed a significant need for water. Jessica and Veronica discussed this need, and Jessica came home with a plan, which she details here:

“Currently, water is hauled in weekly, but does not always arrive as scheduled. When it does come, it is rationed because they never know when the next delivery will arrive. Imagine not knowing the next time you will have water or how much you will have to clean, wash, bathe and cook for your children.

“The good news is Veronica and her staff presented ER with a simple solution: harvesting rainwater. Rain will collect in gutters, channel into downspouts and then into an underground water tank. The water would be pumped to various locations on the property – the kitchen for cooking, the dormitories for washing and bathing and to a vegetable garden. One rainfall could collect up to three-months worth of water.

“I am so excited about this project because it is truly life-sustaining! It will cost just $14,000 (U.S) to purchase and install the system, providing a consistent supply of water, while saving BELWOP thousands of dollars. Our goal is to raise these funds by August 1.

Read our fact sheet on this life-changing project.

Will you join me in this endeavor to impact the lives of these children? My desire is to complete this project by January 2019 (with ground support from volunteers). Click here to donate in the U.S. and here to donate in Canada. Designate your gift “BELWOP WATER”. Or mail your gift to P.O. Box 345, Snellville, GA 30078.

For further questions, please contact me at jsanders@extremeresponse.org. Thank you!

Here’s what UNICEF says about the water crisis in Kenya:

Estimates of water supply in the country indicate that only about 56% of the population has access to safe water. Approximately 80 percent of hospital attendance in Kenya is due to preventable diseases and about 50 percent of these illnesses are water, sanitation and hygiene related. Coverage of adequate sanitation has dropped from 49 percent to 43 percent in recent years. 16 million (50 percent) Kenyans do not have adequate sanitation; more than 90 per cent of the water and sanitation related disease outbreaks occur in the rural areas; 50 per cent of rural households have no toilet facilities at all, and where they exist they are generally unhygienic; up to 50 per cent of the urban populations reside in slum environments where sanitation conditions are appalling; on average, schools have only one latrine per 100 pupils compared with the recommended maximum of 40 pupils per latrine; more than three-quarters of Kenya is still vulnerable to disasters, especially floods, droughts and cholera.

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OVC Gives Kids Hope under Leadership of New Coordinator Sanders

(January 1, 2018 update)

Jessica Sanders recently joined ER as Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC) Initiative Coordinator. She has spent much of her first months traveling and getting to know our programs and partners. Below she shares some observations from a trip to Quito, Ecuador. Watch for regular updates from Jessica in 2018.

ER’s Quito Dump Community

Upon my arrival at our Quito After-School program, he ran up to me—without knowing who I was—and greeted me with the biggest bear hug. I recognized him from a photo. He was so joyous, running around and gladly participating in activities.

His back-story tells a different story. From the outside, he seems like a young boy who is “put together,” but lives in extreme poverty. It’s more than that. His parents did not want him. He lost his father at a young age. He was seen as an extra mouth to feed, which can be common in poverty stricken countries.

He was sent away to live with a family member, who wanted him even less. His time there was brief and  he now lives with another family member. His situation is a little better, but not by much. He is behind in his studies and struggles in many areas, but his heart captured mine.

As I was getting ready to leave, he ran up to me again and gave me another long hug. He looked up and asked if I would return tomorrow. My heart dropped as I explained I was only there for the day, but hoped to return soon. Like many of the Quito kids in our programs, this boy has potential and I truly believe he can rise from the ashes.

Pan de Vida Feeds Street Kids

They formed a line outside for Pan de Vida’s mid-week outreach. The families in line knew the routine; hand washing first and then inside for a time of study and a hot meal. I was visiting Pan de Vida to experience how this ER partner helps people who work on the streets.

The Pan de Vida staff works with 40 families enrolled in its beneficiary program, plus 280 individuals on Wednesdays and Sundays. They focus on hunger relief, education and healthcare. They are mostly women and children. A few were elderly. The kids’ hands were dirt-stained. The women’s hair was either braided or “kept nice” as it is custom to have long hair here. I loved seeing the women in the traditional dress and men in their hats. Many collect and sell recyclables for a living. They are very protective over their “collection” and sometimes hide their day’s work in the bushes when they arrive at Pan de Vida.

Some sell candies and other items on the streets; others are now part of a new micro-business. In my book they are all survivors. I could not help but smile as a few women, upon seeing me, became excited over my blonde hair and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and commented on how “precious” I was. How could I not smile as they came in grinning from ear to ear, chatting and laughing? Seeing people with so little who exude such joy puts things into perspective for me.

Casa Elizabeth Supports Girls in Crisis

She is about 12 years old and became pregnant by a family member. She lost the baby because her own body was still developing. Today, she is in a safe place and is slowly finding her ground. This girl is receiving support from Casa Elizabeth, a local crisis pregnancy center (part of Inca Link).

As I sat on a couch, the girl shyly presented me with oranges. My heart went out to her and the other girls in their care who are trying to heal from severe trauma. Seeing this program brought tears to my eyes as I thought about the journey to recovery they face.

Even though this was a short trip, I was grateful for the opportunity to better understand how ER’s programs and partners are helping give vulnerable children hope for the future.

Contact Jessica at jsanders@extremeresponse.org. Click here to visit her blog.