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.
Nov 21, 2012

The Ariemet Girl's Rescue Center

The Ariemet Girl
The Ariemet Girl's Rescue Center from the East Sid

The Girl’s Rescue Center:  This center was first conceived in 2009 as a meeting of stakeholders led to the formation of the CBO POWER and the commitment by the Turkana community in Ariemet to donate the land. A grant form the UN Slavery Fund was granted and construction began in October or 2012.  Though there have been many challenges, people, water, transportation, the river rising…

One day, two young  ladies arrived. They quietly sat under a bush until the work day was closing and they approached to tell us the story of Irene.  So now Irene is in a temporary situation and is the first girl to be served by the new center,

Today the windows and doors were installed! Pictures in the next update.

This center will assist the project to provide safety and education to pastoralist girls in the Isiolo area.  We are so excited to finally be taking this major step in preventing girls from FGM and early forced marriage and providing a safe place for them to find education.

According to the World Bank, Educating girls brings the highest return on investment of any in the developing world!

This project is now in the GIRL EFFECT CHALLENGE until the end of November.  Your donation of any amount will help push us to the top.  It is the number of donors and the total amount that will help us get to the top 12 and help us EDUCATE GIRLS!!

The Ariemet Girl
The Ariemet Girl's Rescue Center
Roofing the Center was a HUGE step!
Roofing the Center was a HUGE step!
Before the center was finished, Irene arrived
Before the center was finished, Irene arrived

Links:

Nov 9, 2012

UPDATE From Rabondo

Lilian, the Center Coordinator
Lilian, the Center Coordinator

The learning center is open and running. Maggie Smith was there in September. She spent days doing catalogs of the books at the library. I was there during that time and the work she did is very great. I really appreciate on behalf of the RCPUSA, the community and the Learning Center.

Though the learning center is running well, there is still more to be done and money is badly needed. Supplies are needed, for example; paper, ink cartridges, toner etc. Lilian's salary also. A pit latrine is badly needed as Lilian has to cross over to the other side of the compound. People coming to the Learning Center also need a latrine. Some maintenance is needed as well. We await the expansion of the learning center to the other available rooms. Plastering, painting and installation of electricity is necessary. The purchase of books in line with the Kenyan education curriculum will help students who cannot afford to buy them. They will be able to come to Learning Center and study.


We got a better printer and it is good in both quality and reliability compared to the others we had, but the toner it uses is very expensive.

The traffic that we had earlier went down during the power shortage then before it could rebuild, the strike occurred in schools. The schools rely on the Learning Center for services.

As we did not expect traffic to rise immediately, the progress is promising. Indeed, the Learning Center and especially the library is one of the best things in the Rabondo community and we cannot afford to lose it. It really supported students who were out of school due to the strike. They found a place in the Library at the Learning Center conducive to study.

I am sure the Learning Center will achieve self-sustainability. I expect the traffic to start building up soon. I anticipate that there will be a lot of work as the election is nearing. People will visit for various services; pictures, posters, ID processing documents etc.

Women and children are benefiting very much from the program. Women train and embrace the culture. Therefore, its continuity is important for the community.

Class and Services
Class and Services
A Computer class in sesson
A Computer class in sesson

Links:

Oct 29, 2012

ELOTO: a Determined Learner

Eloto, in the shade of the bush.
Eloto, in the shade of the bush.

Eloto: I met him under a tree.  As I wandered a new area, I was curious why some men were in the shade of a large tree and several yonger men were huddled in the sparse shade of a bush. The young men told me they cannot sit with the elders. While discussing culture norms here in this place we would build the Girl's Rescue Center, I noticed a young man intently staring at my mouth and tipping his ear and concentrating with a palpable depth.  Eloto, 19 years old, an orphan, had never been to school.  When asked if he was interested in school, there was a resounding YES.  When asked if he would go to school with young children, another resounding YES. Well that is just what happened for Eloto. He interviewed at the local primary school, traveled to town to be fitted for a custom made uniform, and was in class by Tuesday!  He took some of the expected ribbing being called an "elephant in the classroom" yet he persevered and is moving along very fast!  It has cost him more than either of us had expected though.  His uncle, with whom he lived, was angry. He will no longer care for Eloto because he cannot herd the goats; He is unable to load sand on the trucks to earn his food. He eats only the lunch served in the primary school. He sleeps outside wrapped in a blanket. 

We had located a sponsor for his basic needs in primary school, uniform, pencils, shoes, notebooks etc., but had not considered the need of his accommodation. We are currently reevaluating how we can raise the funds to send him to a boarding school or support him in a hut on a well wisher's land near the current school.

Thanks to you, global giving donors, Eloto and others with a thirst for education that surpasses the desire for money and even food, students like Eloto attend school.

Eloto, a turkana youth and warrior
Eloto, a turkana youth and warrior
Eloto, at his school interview
Eloto, at his school interview
Measuring for a uniform
Measuring for a uniform
Eloto trying on his uniform
Eloto trying on his uniform
Eloto patiently waiting to show me his progress.
Eloto patiently waiting to show me his progress.

Links:

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