Starlight Kenya Update

Kenya Starlight Partnership update 

Mechanization update
Since September, Riverside members have pledged $15K toward the matching grant our Kenya Starlight Partners (KSP) are working to raise. The funds, which will be matched by a Dutch non-profit development corporation called SNV, can be invested in equipment that will help farmers adapt agricultural practices to a changing climate.

The Starlight farmers identified a prioritized list of equipment, starting with a tractor and ground tiller, they would like to purchase with the grant. The farmers have pledged $6700 to date and Good Shepherd Church in Nairobi is also raising pledges.

While the original deadline for raising the funds was the end of December, Laureen Njuguna, the Starlight project director, has been able to negotiate with SNV that fundraising for the match up to ($50K) will be an ongoing initiative until all the needed equipment is purchased. In the meantime, SNV has begun training the farmers on sustainable agriculture practices.

Laureen wrote, “We are so grateful for the continued support and prayers from Riverside.”

If you wish to make a contribution toward the project, you can go to Riverside’s online giving page and make a designated contribution to Kenya Starlight Partnership with a note that it‘s for the matching grant, or simply write a check to Riverside with a similar note.

Other ways to get involved In addition to financially supporting the mechanization project, there are other ways to connect with our Kenya Starlight Partners:

KSP Team
This team meets periodically to stay abreast of updates in the Kenya Starlight Partnership. The goal is to create a group of informed advocates who will be able to share with others what is happening in the partnership and what the giving opportunities are. Meetings will include Zoom calls between the team and Starlight Project Director Laureen Njuguna. If you would like to be added to the team, email us.

Letters to Starlight ladies
Last spring 24 members of Riverside’s women’s ministry shared lunch and wrote letters to women in KSP. They talked about their families, their interests, their church activities, and a lot more. In the summer, we received 44 letters back from our Kenyan friends! We’d like to keep this program going. If you are interested in helping organize our next event, please contact us via email.

Next summer, Riverside will be sending some interns to Kenya to work alongside our partners. In addition to understanding of global issues such as health, backgrounds in accounting, IT, agribusiness, or marketing would be useful to the Starlight Farmers Cooperative.

In the fall of 2020, Riverside will be hosting some Kenyan interns who will be working with us here in Virginia for a while. We are looking for a team to host or otherwise facilitate their stay when they are here.

If you are interested in being an intern in Kenya OR helping with Kenyan interns here next fall, contact us.

Annual Support
Riverside provides annual support to KSP as part of our partnership. This support, which is separate from special requests like the mechanization grant, depends on general giving and designated gifts from the Riverside congregation. If you wish to make a contribution, go to Riverside’s online giving page and make a gift to Kenya Starlight Partnership, or simply write a check to Riverside with KSP on the notes line.