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 Biggleswade Deanery

Diocese of St Albans

A partly rural deanery, with a tradition of joint worship and an active synod.

Diocese of St Albans

Hello Everyone,

It's strange to come back to U K after 6 busy months in Kenya. Especially to the hustle and bustle for Christmas in the shops. Life is simpler in Africa and at a slower pace. 

Here we plan way in advance for presents and food for Christmas, in the village they wake up Christmas morning and if they have money for food they buy a little something to fill them, if not they go without.... No such luxury as presents.

As usual it has been a delight to spend time with our children at Casuarina House. I decided I would spend one night a week overnight with them if one of the volunteer rooms was free. It gave me a chance to be a fly on the wall and also catch up with all their news and see how their little personalities were developing. Angelina will soon be going off to High School, our first girl to graduate. She is very excited, just finished exams and will get her results on 26th Dec. All being well she'll begin High School in the New Year....the children will miss their big sister.

There was a graduation service for all the year 8's before I left. Very regal with gowns and mortarboards. A typical African celebration...long!.. with dancing, singing and speeches. It was quite surreal sitting out in the open underneath a canopy that had been decorated grey and lilac, the School colours, watching the proceedings in the heat of the day. In usual African fashion.... was supposed to start at 8.00 but folks turned up at 11.00! I've attached a picture of Angelina in all her finery and there are more pictures on our Charity web site: https://www.facebook.com/TheSureFoundation

Mariamu and Kadenge our 2 youngest children also graduated but from Kindergarten to class 1. As Mariamu had come top of her class she was chosen to make a speech. It was a very proud moment especially as she spoke in English. Just a couple of years ago she had no knowledge of the language. Times like that makes all the hard work and fund-raising seem so worth while. I feel expectant to see what they will do with their lives in the future, they all have such high aspirations, Doctors, Engineers, Pastor....are just a few.

We had a very unusual and exciting opportunity whilst I was with the children, a Spanish dance group called Flamenco Flow were performing at one of the beach Hotels and came to Casuarina to run a work shop for the children. It was such a fantastic experience for them as they all love dancing and this was a totally different style for them to learn than African dance. The group came with costumes, lovely red dresses for the girls and Spanish hats for the boys and music. They taught the children the steps and arm movements so they were able to perform to the staff at the end. So much fun for all of us as you can see from the smiling faces in the picture attached.

Last year at Christmas we wanted to give a present to each of the 500 children on our feeding programme but couldn't afford to. A kind lady in U K contacted me and arranged for 100 teddy's to be knitted to give to them this year. The group that visited in November crammed them all in their suit cases and took great delight giving them out at feeding before I left. These orphans that we feed are the poorest of the poor in the village and are not used to receiving a gift. You can see one grateful little chap in the picture attached.

Food costs continue to increase with every month that goes by it seems. We are still managing to feed all the children on FEED500 although have had to cut down on portion sizes. Whilst I was in Kenya the government upped the tax to 16% seeing half pint of milk increase from 45 kes to 60 kes,  not affordable for folks in the village. It seems the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and makes our job feeding the children at Casuarina and on FEED500 very difficult.

It's been a blessing to receive the donations we have to keep us going, enabling us to care for the children and give them the chance of a better future. Thank you so much.

If you are shopping online this Christmas please remember to go towww.easyfundraising.com first and choose our Charity: "The Sure Foundation - Utange Orphanage Project". Then click on your store; Amazon, John Lewis, M & S, Argos and many more. You can raise funds for us by doing this at no extra cost to you. You can even do your food shopping with Tesco online to save the hassle of the crowds in the shops! A percentage of what you pay will go to our Charity if you register.

From the children at Casuarina, those on the FEED500 programme and the Utange team.....  Nawatakia Krismasi yenye furaha na afya na mwaka wenye mafanikio!

Swahilli for.....We wish you a Happy Christmas and Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Future Fund-raising Events...do join us!

Sat.30th Nov, 11.00 - 1.30 Rushmoor School Christmas Fair, 58-60, Shakespeare Road, Bedford. Lots of denim items for sale on our stall!
Sat.30th Nov. Ladies Night, 7.30 Bromham Baptist Church, Village Rd, Bromham Beds. Tickets £5 00 on the door. Pamper corner, Christmas card making and table centre piece making.
Sun.1st Dec.11.00 - 3.00 Sharnbrook Christmas Fair, Sharnbrook Upper School, Odell road, Sharnbrook.Denim stockings, phones cases and bags.

Fri.6th Dec. Edith Cavell Lower School Christmas Fair, Manton Lane, Bedford
Sat.7th Dec.9.00 - 2.00 Bedford Crafts, Cakes and a Cuppa. Church Lane Community Centre, Bedford
Sun. 21st Dec.9.30 - 3.30 Huntingdon Craft Fair, Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon. Get your last minute Christmas pressies from the Utange stall!

Tues,28th Jan. 10.00 - 4.00 at Warwick University, One World Charity Day 2014.

Many thanks!

God bless, Debbie Scott, Nov 2013    www.thesurefoundation.org.uk  Reg Charity No 1061603

Biggleswade Deanery Synod Project 2012

"Casuarina House" The Utange Project in Kenya

November 2013