Often we find that we would like to have or need something in our kitchens, at Kibuye Hope Academy (KHA), or at the hospital that we are not able to get in country. Sometimes, there is a way to import a needed item but not always. Even if there is a way to import something, it may not be a sustainable, long term solution. It may also not be able to be gotten quickly enough to fill a more immediate need. So, from games to reinforce a skill in the elementary classroom to litmus paper for a science experiment at KHA; from incubators to porridge needed at the hospital, we make it here.
It is not uncommon to come across a recipe that sounds great but includes an unavailable ingredient. Instead of giving up on those lentil sloppy joes, we learn how to make our own barbecue sauce.
When elementary students need to learn how to spell with suffixes at KHA, a file folder together with a pad of stickers and a few 3x5 cards becomes a board game and the answer to the doldrums of repetitive skill practice. Did you know that the poinsettia plant is the answer to your litmus paper needs? Heather did! She made some for a recent experiment wherein the 5th graders learned about acidic and base substances.
The needs at the hospital are also great, but a little ingenuity (and many skills in the department of “handyman”) allows those needs to be filled. Hospital beds - including eight new labor and delivery beds being installed in the new Maternity wing - are essential items made here in Kibuye. Handmade physical therapy equipment and traction weights see patients bodies restored.
Don’t misunderstand, we do our fair share of importing and buying imported goods as we find them in country. But, it is always exciting to figure out a way to fill a need or solve a problem with creativity and available resources.