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.
Dec 10, 2012

Street Children of Isiolo

Abdi
Abdi
It was pouring rain, the streets were flooded. I was driving onto the main road from a garage where my tire had been repaired. The back of the van flew open and two tires rolled out of the back. A dirty dusty child rushed to the road yelling and grabbed the tires. He help lift them back into the van. As he stood there, I asked his name and why he was not in school, the usual. He was very polite, before he had a chance to ask for money, more children arrived - my heart could resist no more so I told them to meet me at a local restaurant. They rushed across the street picking up a few more children on the way. I entered the restaurant and found no empty tables. The children were being chased off the door step while I hurried to ask a waitress if it was ok to bring them in. I told the chaser that these children were my guests. I asked a woman seated alone if she would help me with translation and I would buy her lunch. She smiled and the children sat at the table. One by one they went to the sink to wash at least their hands. The woman at the table knew some of the children. Serendipitously, she was the manager of that restaurant and on the board of a large children's NGO in Kenya. Together we got names and short stories about each child. One school had closed for the year and most were students at that mission school. Two of them were only about 6 years old. One is in a desperate situation.
Here are two stories...

Julius. He is the dusty little boy who rescued my tire from the street. He is quite bright. His Mom and Dad are alive but do not live with him or his brother. He lives with his grandmother. His brother is hired tending camels. He is 10 years old and attends the New Life School in Class 2. When not in school he is on the streets looking for any work or moeny he can find to help his grandmother buy food.
This is Abdi. I had met with Abdi several ties on the streets since I arrived in Isiolo. Each time I ask where is your mother and he responds at home. Why are you not in school, he replies with buy me a bread. So finally I had a chance to know him better. He is 6 years old, born of a woman who does not know how to care for him nor does she try. He is on the streets and has begun stealing and other
antisocial behaviors. He has gone to some of the feeding programs but when he sees and adult he runs away for fear of being beaten. He has never attended any school. This child is a serious case. One thing that impressed me the most. As we were leaving the restaurant, the other children ran off and headed for the next chance. Abdi returned and stuck out his hand and said Thank you. I was reminded of Jesus and the ten lepers. I plan to talk to the Chidlren's Officer about Abdi and his mother and his situation.
 
Julius
Julius

Links:

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:

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