Expanding Opportunities

Expanding Opportunities' mission is to increase self-sufficiency and cultural awareness through educational and charitable projects for people nationally and internationally. It is a broad mission designed to be clear enough to guide and flexible enough to respond to a variety of human need.
Jul 24, 2014

Meet Susan

Susan
Susan

Meet Susan. She is a pastoralist girl, 16 years old and living with her grandmother. At 16 she is still in primary school due to t he pastoralist life style, family problems and poverty. She is very bright but has been in and out of school due to the lack of school fees. She is in Class eight and should be taking her final primary examinations, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, this year.

The headmaster of the primary school confirmed that she is indeed bright and needy and deserves assistance. He can allow her to attend school without a uniform but she has no serviceable home clothes either.

Thanks to donors like you Susan is now back in school with a new uniform and supplies.  She is grateful that she can continue her education, and have choices in her life.

Susan and her Grandmother
Susan and her Grandmother

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Jul 10, 2014

Meet Dominic

Shy Dominic on his first day to meet us at JWHS
Shy Dominic on his first day to meet us at JWHS

Dominic and his sister, Joanne, lived in Kenya with their single mother. Mom was working hard and able to care for her children. The children were living with their mother in a city about 2 hours from here. She had placed Joanne in private boarding school in Grade 6. Dominic was in a nursery school. Their mother had to travel to Nairobi on Good Friday. The Matatu had an accident and she died instantly. The children were left as orphans. At the burial, the extended family was discussing the children and no one wanted them. They were going to divide them and they would be living far apart geographically. Elizabeth, a more distant relative, was quiet at first but the talk of breaking up the children bothered her so she offered to take them both. The family was very pleased as no one wanted the responsibility. Elizabeth came to Mangu with both children. She started first to sort out the private boarding school for Joanne. The school offered to allow the girl to stay there with no fees until the end of this year. Then she began looking for help for Dominic.

Elizabeth, old enough to be a young grandmother, is handicapped, walks with a prominent limp, but does not talk of her problem.   She and her husband had three children. He provided well for them and was building a house. It was not quite finished when he died but they live in the house quite comfortably. Her last born is in high school.   She struggles to work to pay school fees and support herself and her children.

Thanks to generous donors like you, Expanding Opportunities was able to buy Dominic his uniform, books, school supplies and pay his school fees. We expect to bring his sister to public school next year where they can attend school together.

Dominic in his new uniform
Dominic in his new uniform

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Jul 3, 2014

FINDING MOM

Together Again
Together Again

An amazing day! FINDING MOM

He was 6 years old when we found him (withholding his name,please) on the streets of Nakuru with his ailing grandmother. She had brought him to stay with his uncle. Maybe she did not know that the Uncle was severely addicted to alcohol, glue and any other substance he could find. His addiction disabled him completely. The young boy was being hazed by the other street children and sent to beg. He was brought to our children’s home. He so often spoke of a mother and a sister. Attempts to enlist the Uncle in a search for the mother and sister were fruitless.
As I write this he is doing his morning chores – with a smile on his face and a song “Good Morning Jesus”. When he doesn’t sing, I worry. I love hearing that young voice, piping his joy of living.
Once there was a journey to his home town, it returned fruitless. But never did he give up. Each holiday when some of the children went off to auntie, or grandma, one would not hear the morning singing. His heart was heavy wanting to see his mother and sister again.
“ you were so young when we took you, do you truly think you would remember where you lived?” His response a hearty “YES” So I determined to give it one more try.
Armed with only his young memory, his mother’s first name, and a few scattered notes from his file, we started off early taking 3 children, the social worker, manager and myself. If nothing else we will have a good outing The drive is about 1 ½ hours on what has been called one of the 10 most dangerous roads in the world. There is no sleeping, drifting, gawking or otherwise allowing distractions. Speed, reckless passing, enormous overloaded trucks in poor condition puffing up the hills tempting a follower to take chances passing on the two lane road to avoid being choked by the oily black fumes spewing from the puffing behemoth.
We arrive at the turn off. Imam remembers lions and a Supermarket. Turn left, turn around, go right, go left, along this narrow dirt pathway barely wide enough for the van, people staring, moving out of the way. HERE! I stopped in the middle of the road and he, Mary, the social worker, and Chege the manager left the van. Another vehicle was attempting to pass along the road so moving out of the way to park in a church yard, we waited. Soon they were back. He indeed did remember where he lived. Another woman was there now who also remembered his mother. I sent them back to see if she knew anyone who might know where we can find the sister or the mother. Any relatives, Any friends,
Chege returned with a young man. He led us down the road through a pathway to the home of a woman who was a good friend of his mother. She told us the entire sad story. In brief, the mother had been arrested for child abuse and was in prison in a relatively close by town. The sister had been taken to a children’s home. Oh sweet information.
So off to the children’s home. The first stop was almost fruitless until someone remembered. Yes, she had been there but was shifted to another children’s home.
SUCCESS! There she was! Looking so similar to her brother! The two were silent. No noisy hugging and greeting session in Kenya. Their upbringing holds emotions in check but the tears were brimming. Off to a small restaurant to get away alone for a little while. A favorite treat in Kenya “chips and soda” (French fries and coke). Soon, too soon, we had to say goodbye to the long lost sister with the promises to return. Now off to find his mother. By this time we had learned that she was in prison for the child abuse of the sister. He heard us talk that his mother was in prison but the reason was to follow.
A young man of 11 facing the armed guards at the gate, the search of the vehicle,, the end of a long search. We had the blessing of a kind and sensitive guard to ease his tension. The guard had worked in the children’s remand. A long wait allowed him time to look around the compound of the prison outside the walls; prisoners working, guards questioning, visitors entering and returning. Finally, the door opened and we were called. The mandatory search and we were ushered, not into the visiting room, but into a small office. All the prison employees were polite, understanding and kind. They would hear the story of a boy searching for his mother, only to find her in prison. And their hearts were touched and wanted this reunion to be the best possible.
Soon a beautiful woman in prison stripes, carried chairs for each of us. After we are all settled we learn this is Rebecca,  -  Mom. Her eyes soon filled with tears but again in the controlled Kenyan culture she dabbed her eyes and sat straight, tall and quiet. He was moved to sit next to his mother. Both of them holding their emotions close. Eventually they spoke. Eventually his mother told him why she was there. She has two more years to serve.
A reunion that was not what any of us would have hoped, not what any of us imagined, but a reunion of mother and son. A flow of well contained emotions. The beginning of a trail of forgiveness.
We will return to visit Mom with sister and start the long trail of reconciliation.

Mom
Mom

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