ASI Projects Report
Living Waters Grows Food to Feed Orphans
Living Waters International would like to share our sincere appreciation for the ASI funding received for the development of a farm project to assist in the sustainability of the Living Waters Feeding program on Rusinga Island, Kaswanga, Kenya.
Currently, the feeding center feeds 175-plus orphaned children breakfast and lunch, and provides school uniforms and free medical care to children who have been left without one or both parents due to death. We have been operating since 2006, and the program, through God’s grace, has grown to have a major impact in not only the physical lives of these children, but also spiritually. Baptisms of the older children range from 20-40 per year. The project has spawned a partnership with the local Seventh-day Adventist Church that operates a church school, kindergarten through fifth grade, and has approximately 150 children attending. Many orphans in this school are sponsored by Living Waters donors. The children attending the feeding center consistently rank as some of the highest on the island in the national exams required at eighth grade and most now qualify for sponsorships to continue their education.
The community has benefitted from the presence of the feeding center, not only as a means to help the local children, but as a financial boost to the community as a whole. There are ten full-time staff employed by the local conference (sponsored in full by Living Waters) to care for the children and to operate the farm. The feeding center is used for community education programs, weddings, church functions, and much more.
The development of the farm to help offset the cost of feeding the children started Phase One in July 2016 and we recently completed the first phase. The farm has been fenced with 15-strand high-tensile, solar-operated electric fence, a 30-foot water tower was constructed along with a water pumping station and work shop, miles of underground irrigation was installed, and a jungle property was transformed into a productive working farm.
The farm is supplying fresh vegetables every week to the feeding center as well as having surplus to sell to the local village to offset the farm expenses and is on schedule to be fully self-sustaining this year. The farm is one of only a few sources of fresh vegetables on the island as Rusinga is experiencing a years-long drought. The local community recognizes God’s mercy in this farm project.
The farm project was about 20 percent over budget, as there were many unforeseen challenges and expenses. One, for example, was the need to build a retaining wall to keep the rising waters of Lake Victoria from claiming the farm land we leased. A 150-foot long by seven-foot high dike was built with the electric fence being integrated into the top of this dike. The construction of the dike cost approximately $10,000, and in order to do the work, we had to purchase a large tractor with a front-end loader to move the 20 dump truck loads of large rock into place.
This project has been a tremendous success and will continue long into the future. Thank you again for the support of Living Waters International!