Who We Are

  First a little history.  The Boscovet Project was started in 2008 by a small group of concerned individuals living in Kisii Kenya, a fairly large town in western Kenya not too far from Lake Victoria.  They wanted to help those poverty stricken families, many of them widows, who lived in a small village nearby named Menyinkwa.  The goal was to combine labor and ideas to help those less fortunate while living out their Christian faith.   Lilian Marube, a veterinarian by training (married to Herbert and a mother of now 3 small children), met with Kennedy Gichaba, a college graduate with a degree in agriculture (married and father of two children and Evans Gwaro, a small businessman (married and father of one at last report), to launch this small project.  It was granted official NGO status by the Kenyan government in 2011 or 2012.  They combined their efforts with Pastor John, the pastor of a small church and school in Menyinkwa and a small landholder/farmer named David.  They then went searching for help on the internet and found us at the Christian Veterinary Mission website.  In January 2009, Craig Humphries and Dan Haskins volunteered to go on an assessment visit to learn more about these individuals and their project which at the time consisted of around 25 members.

We soon found that this group was a solid Christian oriented organization with people who were seriously looking for ways to lift them and their families out of the cycle of poverty.  We made the observation that there were several simple things - some required money, but others did not - that would improve their lives immensely.  We visited homes and vaccinated and dewormed their animals; held training seminars for them and the community on animal health topics, emphasized the value of goats for their relatively small farms; observed the critical need for access to a clean and more convenient water source. and learned a lot about their operations and constraints.  

Each year a team has returned in January.  January is a good time as the rains have stopped and the harvest is over.  The rains come again in late February  or early March and then they get ready to plant the first of two crops of corn and other vegetables of the year in April.  Organic methods of soil improvement was another need we recognized.  So the next year we organized a field trip to a local teaching site for organic agricultural methods where about a dozen of the farmers learned about techniques for improving their soils at minimal cost and increasing crop yield.  In 2011 we provided scholarships for two of the members to return for a week long stay and training.  They have since passed along their knowledge to many others in their communities.  In fact, Joyce has added several women to the Boscovet group, now known as the Otamba chapter.  We have 3 chapters of Boscovet  Project - one in each of three villages.  All pool their efforts to help and support one another.  (Update - as of September 2014 we now have 4 chapters and approximately 100 families)

After the first trip, and after seeing the need for quality water, a few of the members of my church, Our Saviour's Lutheran of Stanwood, Washington, held a fundraising dinner where $10,000 was raised - enough for 4 wells.  Since then we have "negotiated" a lower cost per well and have been able to provide funding for an additional 14 wells and two community cisterns.  In addition, past trip participants have done fundraising and we have placed gutters and cisterns on approximately 30 members' homes so they can collect the rain water for use in their gardens, wash clothes, or to water the animals.  

We have been able to fund chicken projects for 5 families so far at an approximate cost of $450 per family. This provides for the construction of a chicken coop, 25 chickens and feed.  The preschool classes at Our Saviour's Lutheran have held several "Chicks for Kenya" fund drives to raise funds for this part of our outreach.  Our goal is to be able for each family to have a small chicken project f their own so they can raise the level of nutrition - especially protein - for their children.  The goats we have been able to  purchase are also designed to elevate the nutritional status of each family.  If a family receives a goat, they must "gift" the first female offspring to another family in the project ala Heifer International.  The milk and eggs can also be sold in the market place.  

In 2012, we launched a microfinance program whereby members could apply for a low interest loan.  This loan could be for seed or fertilizer purchases or to help launch a small business idea.  This is the only access these small farmers have to financial resources due to their inherently risky economic status.  But they have proven to be good borrowers so far.  One of the reasons is the peer pressure from being part of a group like the Boscovet Project.  They hold each other accountable.  The other important characteristic is that they are all Christians.  When you visit their homes or talk with them as we walk along, it is quickly apparent that their faith is strong,  Much stronger than mine I am afraid.  And it is not that way despite their impoverished living conditions, but because of it and why it is so easy to work alongside these people.  They inspire me in so many ways.   

The microfinance program is one of the fastest growing aspects of this project.

Another example of helping them lift themselves and their children out of the cycle of poverty is the new school recently completed in the fall of 2013.  The first classes started in September.  Our goal is to  offer a quality education to children whose families cannot afford to attend the "free" public schools which often are lacking quality teachers to instruct them.  The school will also provide a meal per day to the students.  We currently have around 60 students - most of which are on scholarship through the Boscovet Project.  In other words they pay no fees because their families are the poorest of the poor.  We soon hope to have some or all of these children sponsored by people in the United States.  Please keep this in mind as you talk to friends and family, or church members, or clients.  I will soon be sending out a list of the children with pictures to aid in this outreach effort.  It only costs $15 per month to sponsor one child.  

Finally, I'll wrap up this long letter by covering the veterinary medicine aspect of this trip.  We typically will hold vaccination clinics in 3 or 4 neighboring villages.  The sites are determined by the District Veterinary Officer.  We also will vaccinate and deworm the members animals when we visit their homes.   Most of the patients will be cows, but there are quite a few goats too.  And the occasional dog for a rabies vaccination.  We will also give talks on various topics ranging from small business development to animal health to human health.  In the past we had discussions about milk quality and mastitis, reproductive problems, nutrition, small business and marketing, animal husbandry, and more on nutrition.  I hope to hold a seminar this year at which we will train some individuals to be paravets in their communities.  

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Our 4 color brochure.  11k v. 1 May 27, 2013, 11:22 AM Daniel Haskins
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Form you can use to fax in your donation.  11k v. 1 May 27, 2013, 11:22 AM Daniel Haskins
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Our Logo  1k v. 1 May 27, 2013, 11:22 AM Daniel Haskins
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