Will you help us fix our house? (27/5/14)
When we moved to Kijabe, we weren’t certain what our housing would be. You see, missionaries and long-term humanitarian volunteers often have to supply their own accommodation. We know several people who have had to raise upwards of $50k-$100,000 to build their own house from scratch, particularly if they lived in a remote area. Even though labour is relatively cheap in Africa, materials and transport are costly, and this makes the cost of building new accommodation roughly comparable with what it costs in the West.
So we were delighted when we arrived here in early 2011 and found that the Hospital had a house available for us–built by a missionary family fifty or so years ago, now Hospital accommodation for long term volunteers such as ourselves.
We love our little house. It has 1.5 bathrooms which have water most days of the week, and three bedrooms, one of which we use for our frequent guests, and one of which the kids share. The roof leaks, the kitchens and bathrooms are decrepit and smelly, and due to living in the seismologically active Rift Valley, we’re pretty sure that the shed is going to fall off the back of the house sometime soon. But it’s our house, our safe place, and we are grateful for it.
Kijabe Hospital manages, barely, to keep the lights on and electricity flowing via the low patient fees we charge patients who are able to pay. So as you might imagine, there isn’t spare money in the Hospital budget to, you know, fix roof leaks, or do structural fixes to homes that are falling apart. So when volunteers come to serve here, the Hospital provides a house (if there is one available), and we are asked to be responsible for maintenance.
We’ve been in our house almost three years. We hope this will be our home for the foreseeable future. But there is some major maintenance we must do in order to continue to live here: our toilets leak, the bathtub has more ants and rust than you can shake a stick at, and we’ve got some electrical and carpentry work to do to fix some glaring issues.
We estimate these repairs will cost around $5,000 to fix, but we can’t do it alone. We don’t have money in our budget for major house repairs. Will you help us?
I don’t know how to be really clever or persuasive in asking for financial support. All I know is to tell you how real the need is here in Kijabe, and how wonderful the opportunities are to make a measurable difference in the lives of the people here and in East African healthcare. Even by, especially by, helping us repair our house so that we can continue to live and work here. Your investment into these home repairs has impact far beyond our time here…it also materially impacts the doctors who come after us.
For information on how to give, click here. It would be helpful if you could select ‘Ministry’ when choosing which account to donate to.
Your support for these repairs is a material investment into both Kijabe Hospital and the community–thank you for being a part of the compassionate medical ministry here! SIM Australia recently did a spread on the work of Kijabe Hospital and our involvement in it–you can it here.
PS: I’d be remiss if I didn’t post the latest photo from the water tank. The roof went on this week: how difficult is it to lift a 5 ton roof onto a 10 meter tall tank with a 25 ton crane? Many safety briefings and planning meetings later, they made it look easy. Now the final preparations including grinding, final quality testing, and internal and external painting/coating begins before our hydrostatic test and commissioning at the end of June.