Karen & Andrew McHale are a pretty remarkable couple, since we opened our gates in 2008 they have been very generous and supportive to The Good Life Orphanage. Both Gracie and Joshua are sponsored by the family, and they have held various fundraisers including the annual McHale Golf Day for the past two years to help with our ever increasing running costs.

McHale Golf Day 2014

We were so happy when Karen contacted us with her planned climb up Kilimanjaro to raise much needed funds for the project but this money was earmarked for one purpose, developing our Shamba (farm) and training our farm employees to ensure we are getting 100% from the 1.5 acre plot. It was no mean feat from Karen, climbing Africa’s highest peak is grueling with everyone of the 19,340 feet a small victory in itself.

Karen & Rachael with Kilimanjaro in the background

So along with Karen’s good friend Rachael Conway, both ladies set off to conquer Kilimanjaro. It was indeed a very difficult climb but on Thursday 9th October 2014 they reached the summit of this towering peak, what an achievement for everyone in the Team Kilimanjaro group. Karen is in the white bobble hat in the photo below!

Karen & Rachael on the summit of Kilimanjaro 9th October 2014

Thanks to the generosity of everyone involved and the dedication of Karen we now had enough money to start, we visited Umoja Orphanage on the South Coast to see first hand the size of the greenhouses and how exactly using permaculture we could increase the yeild from our Shamba. It was a very informative trip and on our return we ordered the greenhouse, the first step in our planned development.

Kevin along with Cathy & Patrick

Prepararing of the Shamba

Fistly we had to prepare all the area before the greenhouse could be erected, this was done by our own staff and some local labour, it was a long process but needed to be done to a high standard otherwise it would cause problems later in the process. After back-breaking work the area was ready and the greenhouse was erect, everyone on the project was estatic as we had been hoping for the funds to buy it for nearly two years.

Greenhouse erected

Once the greenhouse was erected and drip-feed system installed, Kennedy, Paul and Joseph under the supervision of Sister Prisca started to plant the tomato seeds and wait to see how quickly & healthy they grew, it did not take long to see the way the project will benefit from this new addition to our Shamba.

Preparation for the planting

After an inspection this morning we are surprised to see the progress of the first batch of tomato plants, we know this will be a bumper crop and the first of many. A massive Asante Sana, Karen, Andrew and everyone who has made a donation towards this development, as you can see it is going to make a massive difference to the production of fruit and vegetables in the Shamba and also it will be so educational for our children as they learn how to farm in this environment.

Our tomatoes are thriving in the greenhouse