• Chris Hirst

Moving towards self-sufficiency

Dear friends and supporters of the Olive Branch Foundation and our work in Kenya,


Despite every effort of the Coronavirus to wipe out us and the school, I am confidently assuring you that it will not succeed.


My recent fact-finding trip to the school and orphanage was a very productive one. The forefront of my intentions was to instil in them a desire for independence, rather than something we force on them. Many still find it difficult to accept that after 14 years of supplying their every need we are now asking them to raise their game and eventually support themselves completely. Obviously, this is not going to happen overnight, but we have to have a goal and an objective to work towards. We need to give them dignity and a sense of achievement as they work to the goal of Kenyans supporting other vulnerable Kenyans.


Up until this last one year these principles were alien to them. The nation as a whole has become over-dependent on aid from more developed countries. It has sunk down into their psyche and will be difficult to change. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. ‘How long will it take’? I hear you ask. The answer is I don't know. How long is a piece of string? Despite this uncertainty, our resolve to move them along this road will not diminish.


I want to assure you that the aims of this charity will continue to be that of educating the most vulnerable in society, and if we have to accommodate and feed them because of their lack, then that's what we do best. As and when we see independence at the school and orphanage in Ringa, we will hopefully be able to do the same in other regions. The Olive Branch Foundation will not die and wither away, despite the mature years of all the trustees.


This brings me to my next point; we need younger people to come on board with us as trustees. I do believe that God at this moment is raising up young men and women to come to Africa, see the work, be moved with compassion and help continue this life changing work.


Is it you?


Don't be afraid to contact us; all our details are on the website. If it's not you, perhaps you know somebody who is looking for some kind of meaningful voluntary work.


At the moment, all schools across Kenya have closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak; however our orphans are still with us - they still have a bed to sleep in and food in their bellies.


We give thanks to God first and foremost. Then thanks to you, who by His grace has enabled you to support with whatever you can afford each month. Your monthly support is valued, although I am sure it is going to become more difficult for you as the virus crisis eventually morphs into a financial crisis.


I urge you to continue to stand with us.


At this moment we have great difficulty in organising fundraising events because of the ban on people numbers meeting together. Thankfully, we are only curious as to how these latest world events will unfold. We are not afraid, and we are not dismayed, but we are certain that all things work together for good to those who love God.


Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this letter and I thank you in advance for your continued support.


Long may we work together for the betterment of others less fortunate.


Yours faithfully,


Chris Hirst



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