In this season of giving, we are celebrating those who have given their time, love, and support to the work we've been doing over the last 22 years. Today we're sharing the story of Bill and Nell Rider, who first started visiting MITS 20 years ago!
Tell us about your visits to MITS over the years.
We visited MITS in 1997. It wasn't called MITS at the time, but the program was just getting started. The Coulstons were at KCITI and running a day school for street kids. We were there for 2 months. We taught some classes for the street kids and worked with the KCITI students some. I helped build a water heater for the boy's shower and worked on electrical projects. Nell altered clothes for boys, cut boys hair, treated them for head lice.
In 2005 we returned to MITS for a month. I taught woodworking, agriculture, and researched, designed, and supervised the building of the first metal hen house for laying hens. Nell worked with skills classes in tailoring, hair salon, and catering.
In 2006 we spent another month at MITS. We brought several computers and software funded by my Rotary Club to establish the "Virtual Library" for MITS. I taught woodworking building tables for sewing, dining hall, and classrooms. I also helped build the second hen house, and worked on ag projects while Nell worked with the skills and taught Bible classes.
In 2011 we returned for another month's stay. I taught woodworking, mainly concentrating of teaching how to build beds, chest of drawers, and fold down sofa. Nell again taught cooking and other skills topics.
Wow you've visited a lot over the years! What caused you to first want to get involved?
We first met the Coulstons when they lived in Redwood City several years before they went to Kenya. After I retired, we decided to volunteer to work with the Coulstons at their street school. Based on our experience, the Rotary Club got interested in helping us fund projects at MITS. The projects were: virtual library computers and software, hen houses including chicks and feed, complete set of major woodwork shop power tools, street teen mothers pilot project funding, major clinic funding, lumber and supplies for furniture building class, general support funds.
When you do this for 20 years, you're bound to pick up a few stories and lessons along the way. Thoughts, impressions, news, and highlights from our staff, visitors, donors, students and alumni.