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In this month's issue

  •     Internships, Elective Placements, and Work Experience
  •     Could you be a Fundraiser?
  •     St Georges Day
  •     Young Volunteers
  •     Breaking Disease Transmission
  •     Gender and Rights

Internships, Elective Placements, and Work Experience

Porridge and Rice offers internships, elective placements, and work experience in a range of fields.

If required, Porridge and Rice will liaise with the relevant university department to agree a programme that meets university requirements. Students like Jenny (above picture), a nursing student from London South Bank Uni, have completed electives in areas such as nursing and early years teaching in Kenya at Porridge and Rice partner schools in the Nairobi slums.

Internships can be in the UK or split between Kenya and the UK. If completed entirely in the UK, UK internships require working on a charity project for 12 weeks and if completed between the UK and Kenya, internships require at least 4 weeks out of the 12 to be in Kenya, again on a project agreed with the charity.

For information on internships, elective placements, and work experience with Porridge and Rice, fill in the form on the volunteer website.

Could you be a Fundraiser?

The work of Porridge and Rice depends on the funds it raises from supporters, events, and foundations. The charity would love to support more schools and hence more pupils, but must act wisely and stay within what it can afford.

Could you help to maintain and grow the charity by raising money? A sponsored event like a run, a cake sale, or even making craft items that the charity can sell, are all ways to be able to contribute. A big thank you to the many people who are already contributing.

St Georges Day

The charity attended the St George's Day celebrations on the Whitton High Street with the petting zoo and a range of craft items, all made by volunteers at no cost to Porridge and Rice, to raise money for the work of the charity in the Nairobi slums.

The charity relies on volunteers run its stand at events. Thank you to everyone who has graciously given their time.

Young Volunteers

For several years now, young volunteers have played an important role in supporting the charity with events, spreading the word, and raising money all to benefit Porridge and Rice, so it is time to recognise their contribution through the Young Volunteers Club.

The Young Volunteers Club meets once a week each Sunday to work on projects that support the charity including planting seedlings, grooming guinea pigs, and washing pygmy hedgehogs. If you have a child that might enjoy volunteering or wants to volunteer for something like Duke of Edinburgh, email to discuss.

Breaking Disease Transmission

In the slums, diseases are transmitted from person to person. Children, in particular, make physical contact a great deal enabling the rapid transmission of disease.

Handwashing works to break the transmission of disease, reducing the number of people who get sick, sometimes with fatal consequences. Volunteers teach children how to wash their hands properly and why they should do so.

Hand washing and hygiene lessons are usually lively and popular with the children, using poster paint to demonstrate how the germs spread from hand to hand (to desk, to chair, to hair, to walls, to uniforms - oops!)

Gender and Rights Programme

Kenya is a patriarchal society, in which daughters are still seen by many families as a liability. Girls are discouraged, often prevented, from getting more than a primary school education, as this is seen as wasted expense, and encouraged to learn the skills they will need as wives and mothers.

One of the easiest ways for a poor family to reduce their costs, is to marry off their daughters early, sometimes as young as eight. Some marriages enable fathers to settle a debt or initiate a relationship with a wealthier or more powerful man, so can not only save the expense of raising a daughter but solve a problem of poverty.

Girls married very young to much older men are generally not the first wife, and when the husband dies, the wife is frequently thrown out of the family home with children in tow. Having no education and no longer being a virgin, means that the girl will need to seek work, usually very poorly paid, and survive as a single parent, often well below the breadline. When an 8 year old girl is married to a 60 year old man, she can expect to be a widow by the time she is 18, with 3 or 4 children. Women and children in Kenya are much more frequently driven into poverty than men.

Girls are also victims are cultural practices like FGM and beading, which can result in death, HIV infection, and trauma. While Kenya is ahead of many African countries in its fight against such practices, progress is slow - for example, the last estimate was than around 48% of girls are still circumcised in Kenya.

In Kenya, marriage is illegal before the age of 18 as is FGM, however, the relevant laws are seldom enforced due to indifference and corruption. There are a small number of Kenyans fighting for girls but they are few in number and often not taken seriously.

Porridge and Rice is opposed to all forms of discrimination and abuse. It works pro-actively to educate girls and boys about their rights under Kenyan law, and the benefits of an equal society whithout abuse.

Slum Drains

There is no system of waste and sewage removal in the slums leading to wide scale littering and people emptying everything from faeces to old food into the local drains creating a major health hazard.

First Lunch

Five years later, it seems like a long time ago, but it was a pivotal moment for the charity when the first lunch was served at Excel School, the first Porridge and Rice partner school in the Nairobi slums.

Visit the PaR Facebook page for more pictures and details about the work done by PaR.

If you have any questions or comments, please email on info@porridgeandrice.co.uk


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