News, Articles & Other Links

Below are letters & links to articles about Kay and her Uhekule Village.

Daily Chronicle, Tuesday, January 22, 2013:  By Barry Schrader
Noeli&KayGenoa native Kay Oursler with Noeli, a 14-year-old orphan she has helped to raise
and educate in the Tanzanian village of Uhekule. (Photo provided by Barry Schrader)
Note to readers: Barry Schrader’s “DeKalb County Life” column is returning to the Daily Chronicle on a monthly basis:
Kay Oursler has spent the last seven years of her life in a remote village in Tanzania, Africa working with villagers to improve their farming techniques and building an orphanage and school with the financial assistance of churches and friends back in the states.
     Kay made a recent visit back to this country with one of her 35 foster children to see her own family scattered around the Midwest and former classmates from Genoa. She is a 1958 graduate of G-K High School and had lunch with some 15 class members, me among them. At age 73 Kay is seeking a non-profit organization (NGO), church or foundation to relieve some of the burden she has carried since joining the Peace Corps and then staying on another five years in Uhekule Village where she has raised money and oversaw the construction of an orphanage and school for the children. There are more than 100 orphans there who lost both parents to HIV/AIDS and she has been able to help nearly 50 of them obtain a better education in larger cities nearby  with the financial aid of people back in the U.S. as well as her own fundraising efforts.
     “But I am getting tired and at my age need to slow down and reduce my workload,” she explained at the class reunion. Her wish is to find an American charitable foundation or church to continue funding the orphanage and boarding school plus provide staffing to educate and care for the young students. It has a capacity of 50 but due to financial hardship she only has 12 enrolled at this time.
     She brought with her a 14-year-old boy named Noeli who is one of the many orphans she has either raised or help educate. He had never been more than a hundred miles from home and expressed amazement at what he has experienced since arriving in this country in early December. He speaks fluent English as well as Swahili and his tribal language Bena. When he first saw her minivan she keeps at her condo in Hot Springs, Arkansas he thought it was the most beautiful vehicle he had ever seen but asked, “How do you get it out of that room?” When she got in and used the remote control to open the garage door he jumped out of his seat in surprise and said “How does that gate open up?” He has never seen livestock except for goats and chickens, so was thrilled to get his first ride on a horse near Hot Springs, then on a big combine at the Jerry Bemis farm near DeKalb.
     I asked him what new American foods he liked and he replied “pizza with sausage, then waffles.” He had never seen a waffle maker until staying at a local motel. His diet mainly consists of a corn flour mixed in water called “ugali” and potatoes. On special occasions villagers may get goat meet or chicken. Kay is hoping to raise enough to buy three milker goats for the village this year. She has organized planting corn on a four acre plot and was sent a tractor by an American friend in Little Rock, so she can prepare the ground . The villagers form a team to dig small holes, then Kay and other women follow behind, planting the kernals and covering each hole using their feet. She has also planted a vegetable garden each year using chicken fertilizer and taught others how to do the same. There was no electricity in Uhekele until the Praecavemus Foundation in Los Gatos, California came to her aid and funded solar panels which now make it possible for lights, a computer and a refrigerator to be powered in the school.
     She heads back to her adopted village this month where she is known affectionately as Bibi Kay, a Swahili term for grandmother. And Noeli will return to a nearby boarding school to start seventh grade, with grandiose tales to share with his schoolmates about a land called America with big cars, giant combines, horses and pizza. What a culture shock for this young man!
     To find out more about her life mission go to www.bibikay.com on the web.
(Barry Schrader can be reached at barry815@sbcglobal.net or at P.O. Box 851, DeKalb, IL 60115.)

August 15, 2011

Mother of African Orphans (UMTV)

OCTOBER 19, 2010:

Dear Friends of Kay…

On Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., Kay Oursler will speak about the Sunrise Children’s Home in the village of Uhekule, Tanzania. You are invited to hear this story of a woman, who after rearing 3 children and having careers in the medical and business world, joined the Peace Corps at age 64 and served two and one half years from 2005 to 2007. In the fall of 2008, as a private citizen, she returned to the African village she had served.  Kay has worked with the villagers to build an orphanage for the many HIV/AIDS orphans in the village.  The Sunrise Children’s Home was dedicated in June 2010.  This is a story of how one person’s vision and positive energy is making a significant difference in the lives of the villagers in Uhekule, and also in the lives of people in our country who have had the opportunity to help make it happen.  Please come and bring a friend.  The meeting will be in the Annex of St. Paul United Methodist Church, 2223 Durwood Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207 and is open to all.
Directions to St. Paul United Methodist Church ,  2223 Durwood Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207   Phone: 666-9429. The Annex is second building to left of the Sanctuary entrance.
From Cantrell and University go North on University Avenue. Drive .4 miles to Hawthorne Avenue, turn left on Hawthorne. Go .5 miles on Hawthorne until you get to Durwood Road and turn left. The church is on the left.

November 19, 2009:  From Woodland Height Dialog Club

Dear Bibi Kay,

On behalf of the Woodland Heights Dialog Club, thanks for joining us tonight with your wonderful and inspirational program about your work in Tanzania, the Sunrise Childrens Home of Uheluke Village.

Dialog Club members-insofar as you are willing and able, consider supporting Kay Oursler’s work.  I believe that cash donations can be made to the Sunrise Childrens Home of Uhekule Village,  and sent to this address: Praecavemus Foundation, 128 Wilder Avenue, Los Gatos CA 95030.

Or donations of needed items can be sent (include a prominent marking of ‘God Be Praised’, or ‘Praise the Lord’ on the box) to this address: Bibi Kay Oursler, PO Box 746, Njombe, Tanzania.  Here’s a list of needed items:

  • Bath Towels
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Twin bed sheet sets
  • Blankets
  • Waterproof sheets
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Childrens’ clothing, ages 6-16 years
  • Toothbrushes, Toothpaste
  • School supplies- pens, pencils, notebooks, erasers, rulers
  • Medical kits  such as personal hygiene and first aid supplies

Thanks again to all for attending tonight.  Kay, we’re honored to hear of your wonderful work; thanks immensely for sharing it with us tonight!

-Jim Guldin

July 12,2009: Arkansas Democrat—Good Life Expo, Tri-Lakes Edition

  May 1, 2009:  Little Rock, AR

Dear Friends,

Kay Oursler, aka BiBi Kay, is back from Tanzania and in Arkansas for a brief visit.  You are invited to come visit with her at St Paul United Methodist Church in Little Rock, AR. (2223 Durwood Road, off of Pine Valley) on Wednesday, May 6th,  9 am to 11 am.   She will speak informally with us about the orphanage that she and the villagers in Tanzania are building.

We will have plenty of time to ask questions and dialogue with her about her experiences.
Since her time in the states is very limited this visit,  I am inviting several different groups to come together to make the best use of her time in Arkansas.
Come in your gardening clothes, tennis clothes, work clothes, pajamas, but put on a robe please!  Coffee will be provided.  Please invite any family or friends that might be interested.
So that we are all “on the same page”  check out the pictures and monthly letters on her website:

http://www.bibikay.com/

Kay is a great writer and she is doing amazing work.  You will enjoy reading her letters and will love meeting her.  We will all be richer for the experience.  Please come.
Love to all,

Kathleen Wesson, Friend of Kay  (FOK)

April 6, 2008:  Hot Springs Voice

August 26, 2008:  AARP Bulletin Today

May 28, 2008:  Peace Corp Online