When I went to Kenya in 1998 I was struck by the friendliness and warmth of the Kenyan people. This is especially true of Mercy Thuo who founded the Good Samaritan Children's Home in Nairobi, Kenya. Mercy is very grateful and gracious for the support she gets from Global Giving through Fabulous African Fabrics, always taking the time to send notes to those of us dedicated to supporting her work. Ms Thuo is the "mother" at the orphanage, organizing the every day work of the staff and children and providing them the emotional support the need so much. One only need to see Mercy move through the the building followed by 25 toddlers to know that she is their true mother.
In the early 1990s Mercy founded the orphanage when she discovered 2 homeless children and housed them in an empty bedroom. The orphanage now houses about 125 children, with the numbers fluctuating because of admissions and graduations. On the 21st of January Mercy sent this short e-mail to me which I want to share with you, because the thank you is for all of our donors and expresses the gratitude Mercy is not able to express in a formal letter through Global Giving, as she is not the project leader on our account.
Dear Laura Salazar
How are you and the entire members of FAF? We at Good Samaritan are doing fine.
We just wanted to send our lovely [loving] greetings to you and wish you a wonderful new year 2012.
Yours Mercy, staff and children
The FAF Board has passed a budget of $7150 for 2012. The goal for the Anthony Salazar Fund, which is used for emergencies, is $1500. During 2011 we spent $500 of this emergency fund on high school tuition for teens in The Good Samaritan Children's Home in addition to the money sent through GlobalGiving. This year the Salazar Fund Drive is set for the month of December.
FAF raises money throughout the year in a variety of ways. During 2012 we hope to raise $1000 through sales of textile items and another $1000 from garage sales.
The Goal we set to raise through GlobalGiving projects 6163 and 7377 is $3000 in 2012. Through your help we hope to surpass our goals.
In 2010 we sent $10,000 to The Good Samaritan Children's Home and Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya.
REORGANIZATION: Mercy Thuo reports that there will be changes in the operation of The Good Samaritan Children’s Home. Children’s homes and orphanages will have to adjust policies to be in compliance with government rulings. The official title of children’s welfare in Kenya will change to “Charitable Children’s Institutions,” ICC, affecting the governance, organizational structure, programs and physical structures. The Good Samaritan Children’s Home will have to move into compliance by 2030. Objectives of the ICC are scholarship for basic education and vocational training, basic needs, and medical care. These are the objectives for which GSCH can accept funds. As we move forward, we will need to cooperate with the Good Samaritan Home and the Kenyan Goverment's rulings.
"We have a big standing fee which amounts [to] more than 200,000 Kenya shillings in secondary school tuition," writes Merci Thuo on May 15 from the Good Samaritan Children' Home. The bill is $2100 US dollars. Until this bill is paid, all funds FAF sends to the orphanage will be funneled into tuition. When bills go unpaid, teens are sent home from school.
In light of this, FAF sent $900 to the orphanage last week. Thanks to you, $400 came from funds we raised on Global Giving, with $500 from FAF's emergency fund.
Your donation will make a difference in this crisis. When you give on Global Giving's Bonus Day, June 15, Global Giving will match your gift by one third when you give to project 6163.
Donations need to be made on line between the hours of 12:01 A.M. and 11:59 P.M. Donate early in the day so FAF gets its share of the matching grant of $75,000 from Global Giving.
Teens will be happy that they can stay in school.
We have been notified that children at The Good Samaritan Children's Home are unable to attend school after their holiday because of standing tuition fees. All funds, including that designated to the camera, are now being diverted to this need.
The Good Samaritan Children's Home is located in the Mathare slum, Nairobi Kenya, where heavy rains are making mud of the outdoors.
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Ph. D., Executive Director