On 17th Nov I walked 25 miles from Maidstone to Faversham via 12 churches for The Kilimatinde Trust (a charity I helped start). The Trust has been working with the Diocese of the Rift Valley, Tanzania for 20 years and one of their anniversary projects is to help replace expensive and dangerous kerosene lighting with solar lighting: creating jobs, helping the environment and saving lives.
The short term risks of fire and burns and the long term effects of the fumes make kerosene a very unhealthy lighting option. In addition it is the most expensive form of lighting. This project is linked with a savings scheme (pamoja) so it will mean from the outset that even the poorest household will be able to have a home lighting unit fitted and the savings from kerosene will enable this solar unit to be purchased in one year.
The project requires significant start up costs: to train 10 young people (5 men 5 women), to purchase a vehicle, to renovate a training room, to provide equipment as well as the solar lighting units. In partnership with GeNNex the Diocese of the Rift Valley and Tearfund this model will be self sustaining and will move out to other villages. for now the Kilimatinde Trust's commitment (and my fund raising walk) is to raise the funds for a second hand Toyota Hi-Lux (or equivalent) (£11,000) to take the installers to the pilot village and back each day with the solar panels.
The 18th Nov was a day of prayer in the Diocese of Canterbury in St Mary of Charity, Faversham. I took the opportunity to prepare for that the day before (17th Nov) by walking via a number of churches about 25 miles (St Paul's Maidstone, Boxley, Dettling, Thurnham, Hollingbourne, Wormshill, Frinstead, Doddington, Newnham, Eastling and Ospringe) to Faversham and praying for 5 mins at each one.
I'd be grateful if you could contribute even the smallest amount to this cause.