Here are some of the projects that The Crossing continues to be involved in at Mwingi:
Hens & Eggs Project: This project purchases baby chicks and gives them to the orphanage. In a few months time the chicks grow into laying hens that provide eggs and cooking chickens to feed the orphans. Eggs and chicken meat are vital sources of quality protein for kids in Kenya but they cost too much for most orphanages to purchase. By providing the orphanages with their own egg laying hens and a rooster, we give them a high-quality sustainable source of protein. The kids also learn how to raise the chicks, tend the hens and gather the eggs. Over time the number of chickens increases by letting some of the eggs brood. Eventually, surplus eggs and cooking chickens become available which the orphanage can sell in the local market providing an income source to help the orphanage with other necessary supplies. Hen and egg projects are a great way to increase nutrition while also teaching the kids valuable farming and small business skills.
Water Projects: There are several forms of water projects to choose from depending on the need and location of the individual orphanage. Both orphanages we have partnered with are involved in farming, gardening and raising small animals for food. The children participate in doing chores and tending the garden as a way of learning life skills. Some examples of useful water projects include:
- Drip Irrigation System: This type of system is used for vegetable gardening. It helps maximize how many vegetables can be grown from a limited amount of water in a dry region. This uses a tank and tubes that drip water at the base of each plant ensuring it has enough to thrive.
- Rainwater Collection System: Many areas get rain only once or twice per year but during that time the rain falls in abundance. A rainwater collection system uses gutters and large tanks to collect and store runoff from the rooftops of the orphanage. This type of collection system helps in desert regions where carting water long distances is required in the dry season.
- Hand-pump for a Well: In an area with plentiful well water a hand-pump can greatly assist getting that water to the surface for gardening and watering animals. This involves removing the rope and bucket from the well and installing a sturdy hand-pump. In a few minutes one man or boy can use a hand-pump to pump as much water as it would take two men several hours to haul using a rope and bucket. It also caps the top of the well making it safer when children are around.
Solar Electric Project: This project involves placing specially designed panels on the orphanage rooftop to collect energy from the sun and convert it to electricity that is stored in a specially designed battery. Since Kenya is located on the equator the sun is very bright during the day but it goes down around 6:30 p.m. every night. This makes it difficult for the kids to study, do homework, participate in making crafts or playing games at night. They even eat their supper in the dark or with only a small candle because lamp fuel is too expensive. With a solared power system, the sun does its work filling up the battery when it’s shining brightly all day. Then at night the stored electricity is used to power lights in the orphanage so the kids can have a safe and productive evening. The kids also get to learn about solar electricity and how it works.