Rama is a quiet, friendly boy with four siblings who has been in AFCA's project for the past three years. When we met him, he was living with his family in a very dilapidated house with rain pouring in during the wet season and mosquitos breeding as soon as the sun would come out. Rama, his siblings and mother would take turns sleeping in their only bed and would all share a daily meal, leaving the kids hungry and Rama and the older kids unable to focus in school and daily life.
When I first met Rama, he was withdrawn and hungry and grabbed the banana and boiled I offered him out of my hand. I thought he was going to eat it all in one gulp, but instead, he broke the bananas into pieces and shared them and the eggs with the others. When I asked Rama if he'd like to return to school, he smiled a shy smile and said he would. His mom said it was impossible due to the costs involved, but we assured her that it was ok and that there was a school that wanted him to attend. You see, the counselor in the clinic where Rama attends knew that he is special. She knew that with a little help, the kids in this family could do well because they are bright and eager to learn. They just needed a little help.
So, that summer, a team of volunteers worked with the community and Rama's family to fix their home, providing them with a two-roomed home with a good roof, beds, mosquito nets, and sturdy walls. The kids now all have a safe place to study and they are enrolled in school. Rama is in first grade at Star Academy and his teacher reports that he is a clever boy and doesn't want to miss any classes. He also attends kids' support group and likes interacting with others.
Thank YOU so much for changing this boy's life, friends. Thank YOU for helping his siblings, too, to have hope and the ability to go to school. Thank YOU for giving his mom something to smile about every day when she sees her kids excelling at something they love.
YOU are changemakers.
Katana is a total orphan living with the grandmother. A total orphan menas that his parents have died. Katana's younger sister is also HIV positive and both of them have been receiving counseling, medical attention and care from our facility in Mombasa. He is currently 16 years old. Since we started supporting him, he has greatly improved in his school performance because, as he says, he feel that someone cares for him and is interested in his future.
When Katana first joined our program, he was unable to dream of a future and coundn't conceive of graduating from highschool and much less, of becoming a bread winner. Now, thanks to school fees paid for him, along with his books and uniform, Katana feels that he has a chance at a future and has said that he'd like to be a lawyer to support himself and his younger sister. Right now, he is in secondary school and is working hard. He had the best performance during the school year this year, scoring a great grade for his hard work!
It's kids like Katana who make us excited to continue helping them. They have terrible struggles to overcome and most of them are quite alone in their suffering. Yet, with a bit of hope, given by YOU, they are able to move forward in order to make something better of their future.
Thank you for caring for Katana and all the other children in our school fees program. Thank YOU for giving generously and for building young futures. If you'd like to learn more about our programs and would like to receive our news, please sign up for our newsletter at www.AFCAids.org. We are always happy to hear from you, too, so feel free to write us at info@AFCAids.org.
2014 is going to be a wonderful year for Katana...thank you!
Hillary is an HIV+ boy who is part of our program in Mombasa, Kenya. He is 9 years old and is full of life. He loves to play soccer, to run around yelling with his friends and to eat ugali (corn mush) with greens. His cheeky grin is contagious and everyone who meets him loves him!
Hillary isn't only a cute kid. He is also a kid who wants to be something important when he gets older. First, he'd like to be a doctor. Then, he'd like to be a priest. Sometimes, though, he'd really like to be a teacher. There are times, he tells me, that he's like to be a gardener so he can see things grow. I shake my head when he comes up with a different dream each time he's asked, but really, he is just a little boy who knows that going to school is very important and the best thing is, he loves to learn.
He is doing well in class 4 at St. Jude Academy, where his fees are paid for by you all, the generous donors who help us keep deserving and needy children in school. He gets up early, washes up and heads to school five days a week, eager to see what else he can be when he grows up. Whatever he finally decided to do, I can't wait to hear about it.
But, for now, Hillary is a normal little kids who attends a junior support group at the clinic in Mombasa and because of the counseling and support he receives there, he is able to take his medicines without any problem.
Thanks, friends, for supporting children like Hillary. You are making a world of different. We know it, they know and you know it. Please don't stop...there are so many other children who'd like to have the opportunity to go to school, too.
Edna Akoth and Jemima Atieno are siblings and, together with their mother, they are cared for at our partner clinic at Mikindani, Mombasa. When we first met them, these girls and their mom were in pitiful shape - hungry and sick and desperate for help. Upon testing, it was discovered that the three of them are HIV+, so all were admitted into AFCA's program.
Now, a couple years down the road, they are all healthy and doing well. The girls love going to school, where Edna is in form 4 at Changmwe Secongary School and Edna is in class 2 at Sir Henry Academy. They are so proud of their uniforms and accomplishments, as our we! All of them are breathing a sigh of relief because they don't have the pressure of paying for the girls' school fees anymore and because they know that getting a good education is going to help all of them.
These girls are a great example of the difference a little hope can make in the lives of a child. Thank you for being part of this work!
Hadija is a sweet and active girl. She is 12 years and lives in the Miritini station, close to Mikindani, where she goes to the clinic for counseling, medicine and support. Hadija has been attending this clinic since she was 3 years old and everyone there loves her. Her family has been trained on nutrition and also more information on family testing has been passed on to them. This keeps them involved in Hadija's health issues and together, they work on her clinic plan so that she can be as healthy as possible.
While she is an orphan and is being raised by her maternal grandma, Umazi Mwanga, Hadija is a positive, happy child who is an active member of the junior support group and has benefitted from the group in terms of education on stigma, disclosure and counseling services and she interacts well with her peers/friends.
Hadija is in class 3 at St. Cecilia Academy. Early this year, she was assisted by is with remedial dues (even though education in Kenya is supposed to be free, the costs are too much for children and their sick guardians to bear) and she is still continuing with her education. While her performance is average, her teachers are really trying to assist her in her weak subjects.
Thank you for helping children like Hadija so that they, even though they are poor, can attend school.and have a future.
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