I hope this letter finds all of you in the best of health and blessed with a good start to 2014. This letter is long overdue, and I sincerely apologize for the delay. It has been an eventful year with a lot of unforeseen challenges. I am grateful however, because it was also a year of much growth in faith and inner strength.
It is now a year since the ethnic clashes in the Tana Delta ended as abruptly as it started and life has slowly returned to normal. TRLF was invited to be part of the Tana Delta Peace Forum set up by the Deputy County Commissioner’s office, aimed at conflict resolution. I believe that our human development initiatives can bring about not merely periods of normalcy but long term peace and sustainable development for the people of Tana Delta. The following report elaborates on this conviction:
As part of our efforts to support the areas most affected by the conflict, we started a mobile library this month, initially serving two schools in the delta, including Buyani Secondary School which was vandalized and forced to stop operating for almost a year as a result of the clashes. Our school The Delta Mustard Seed Academy is now registered with the Ministry of Education as a Private Nursery and Primary School, with an enrolment of 115 children from all the delta tribes. You can read more about these and our other educational initiatives at :http://tanariverlife.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2013-pdf-part-b-and-c-education-support1.pdf
We terminated the services of the contractor responsible for constructing Phase 1 of the Emmaus Centre (i.e. the school building) in the middle of last year on grounds of non-performance. We were unable to proceed as planned as he refused to return the original building plans to us. The case is currently pending a court decision with a ruling date set for 17th March. Meanwhile, construction of Phase 2 of the Emmaus Centre (i.e. the Community Centre housing the library, computer room, meeting room, auditorium and cafeteria) will begin this month under a new contractor. This phase is expected to be completed by August. Details about the ECP are available at:
To better manage these new initiatives, I have delayed my annual trip to Asia. I will arrive in Singapore on 21st March. Collections for the Mitumba Project (i.e. sale of recycled goods to improve rural livelihoods) will start on Saturday 22nd March and run through to Saturday 29th March. The venue remains the same as last year, i.e. the Nativity Church Kindergarten at Hougang Ave 8 (opposite Punggol Park). I look forward to your support once again. Full details can be obtained from : http://tanariverlife.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2014-part-b-pdf.pdf
This project, with your generous support, benefited over 50 families last year. I write about this and other entrepreneurship programs at:
The farm project has progressed very well in spite of being partially destroyed during the floods that hit the delta in May and June last year. More information on this is available at:
This was largely due to the efforts of the present group of youth under formation who are also the farm managers. They have matured tremendously in the past year, and are very responsible and honest. I explain more about the youth formation project in the following write-up:
We were blessed with many visitors last year. A compilation of photos of 2013 visitors is available at:
I am grateful for these visits, as it enriches the life experiences of our youth. I trust that every one of our visitors were also enriched in some way, and I welcome more such visits in the coming years.
I am very grateful to all who have helped us in one way or another, making possible so many initiatives last year. May you be blessed abundantly for your generous spirit. Below is an acknowledgment of the help we received in 2013, and I apologize if I have inadvertently missed mentioning anyone:
Highlights of our 2013 initiatives can be downloaded at: http://tanariverlife.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2013-pdf-part-a-cover-and-intro.pdf
The complete 2013 Annual Report comprising all the above sections is available at:
We have made major changes to the administration of our school fees sponsorship programme with the aim of assisting the most marginalized students from every location in the Tana Delta. This and all our other plans for 2014 are outlined in the following report:
I hope you will be encouraged to continue to journey with us this year as we work towards a more complete humanity for all.
I created a new email address for the foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org, and will be sending all future reports through that address. Please save that email address in your contacts list/address book to prevent our future reports from inadvertently being sent to your spam folder.
Lastly, I look forward to meeting you during my stay in Singapore and Malaysia from the end of March until the middle of May. I will be contactable at both +65-98338401 (Singapore) and +6012-6237040 (Malaysia) from 21st March. Please note my new permanent mobile number in Singapore.
Thank you once again, and I wish you all a year of peace and fulfillment. God bless.
Gabriel Teo Kian Chong
Idsowe – Tana Delta
Filed under: Education Centre Project, Gabriel Teo, Second hand goods collection, Tana River Life Foundation | Tagged: Construction of ECP, Education, Education Centre Project, Gabriel Teo, projects, Second hand goods collection, self-sufficiency, shamba, sustainable agriculture, Tana River Life Foundation, Used goods collection | 1 Comment »