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Sep 12, 2018

The Power of Girls Leading Change

Mary and one of her younger sisters
Mary and one of her younger sisters

Mary (we have changed her name for her privacy) is 14 years old and is one of six siblings.  Her parents are both HIV positive. This sweet family lives in a two-room, tiny wooden house with 4 generations getting by under one roof.  That’s right, 4 generations! Their elderly grandmother, Mary, and her two younger sisters sleep in the small living room. Grandma gets the paper-thin mattress on the couch and the girls sleep on the floor on makeshift cardboard mattresses. Mary’s older sister, a teenage mother, her baby and Mary’s parents sleep in the other room of their humble house. There is, of course, no running water so the girls have to walk several kilometers to the local river after school to fetch muddy river water for cooking and bathing. Their story is one of heartache and struggle and so much sickness.  It would be so easy to give up and let the pain take over.  However, do you see that beautiful smile on Mary’s face as she hugs her younger sister?

Mary is supported by our school fee project, and this gives her all the hope she needs to keep going!  Knowing she is supported and loved by strangers motivates Mary to do well.  And boy does she do well!  Mary is at the top of her class.  Her grades are excellent, but that is not the only thing that takes her to the top.  Mary is incredibly motivating to her younger sisters.  They look up to her and follow her positive outlook and work ethic.  Thank you to our donors, without your generosity this would not be possible.  Your love reaches Mary and her family in Kenya and beyond!

Everyone here at Springs of Hope Foundation thanks you for your continued support of this important project.

Please mark your calendars. On September 12th Global Giving is offering another great opportunity for all of us to boost our donation.

Starting at midnight ET on Wednesday, Sept. 12, GlobalGiving partners will have 33 hours to boost all donations with a $50,000 incentive fund. The hours of the September Bonus Day have been optimized for multiple time zones and all participants will share in the prize winnings!

If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please visit our web page or contact me at

Jenniferhughes@springsofhopefoundation.org.

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Mary heading off to school.
Mary heading off to school.

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    Sep 12, 2018

    Our 2018/19 class is off to a great start

    Week1 Introduction to machine care & maintenance
    Week1 Introduction to machine care & maintenance

    Last July a new life began for 12 very fortunate young women as our 2018/19 tailoring class took off to a fantastic start! 12 very grateful girls will receive free career training in our tailoring course, housing, food and mentoring, as well as access to English as a 2nd language and computer classes thanks to our overseas volunteers. Our dedicated staff, Martha and Joanne, along with our volunteers are working hard to ensure they have all the support they need to succeed.

    MEET ONE OF OUR NEW STUDENTS. Her story is told in her own words.

    Mary (I’ve changed her name for her privacy) is one of seven children, both of her parents are living. Her father is an unemployed alcoholic. Her mother, the pillar of the family, sells vegetables at the local market to support the family.

    Mary was raped at school on April 25th, 2007. She was two months short of her 10th birthday. She says she remembers the day as Wednesday since it was such a traumatic event. She did not take any action, instead, she went home and kept silent out of shame. She felt afraid to tell her mum as she was so strict.

    Mary continued with her studies but due to the trauma her grades began to fail; she dropped from number one to number twenty-one. People started to question her performance. Later she started feeling ill but didn’t know why. She was taken to the hospital where it was determined that she was 4 months pregnant. She was removed from school and secluded in her home until she gave birth. After her baby stopped breastfeeding she went back to school and finished her form four. Needless to say, this bright young girl now faced many challenges, school fees and supporting her baby being her biggest.

    In 2016 Mary found a job as a house girl in order to raise money to help support her mother and her child. During her time working for this employer, she was not permitted any days off to visit her child. Several months would pass without receiving a paycheck, which eventually forced her to return home.

    When she received a call from Kijiji Mission telling her that she had been accepted into the 2018/19 tailoring course, Mary felt that this opportunity of a lifetime was a dream come true and the answer to all of her prayers.

    Your support means the world to these girls. This program would not exist without the incredible generosity of people like yourselves. On behalf of all of us, we say a big 'Thank You'!

    We have another great opportunity to make all donations qualify for a matching bonus today, September 12th.

    Experience a Global Bonus Day

    Starting at midnight ET on Wednesday, Sept. 12, GlobalGiving partners will have 33 hours to boost all donations with a $50,000 incentive fund. The hours of the September Bonus Day have been optimized for multiple time zones and all participants will share in the prize winnings!

     

    Warmest regards,

    Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

    CEO. Springs of Hope Foundation.

    Links:

    Jun 13, 2018

    Graduation day has finally arrived for some of our young women.

    Graduation
    Graduation

    After a very long 12 months of hard work, sacrifice and long periods away from their families in Samburu our ladies have graduated. There was a great deal of excitement in the week leading up to graduation but on the day of graduation many tears of joy and sadness were shed as we all came to the realization that this brave group of women and their beautiful children, who had become part of our family for the past 12 months would be leaving us for good. 

    As the certificates were awarded each student made a very moving speech, expressing how much their lives had changed during the time they were with us, how much they have learned and how very grateful they were to be given this life-changing opportunity...More tears...followed by beautiful singing, dancing, and celebration.

    During the 12 months this group was with us they not only learned every aspect of tailoring, our volunteers also taught basic computer skills which included preparing individual resumes, creating an email account and sending an email with an attachment. I know this sounds very mundane to us, but the ladies had not sat at a computer when they first arrived. By the time they left, they were quite confident and always eager to take their turn at the laptops.

    We still have 8 ladies living with us who will graduate in December. Next month a new group will also join us for 12 months. All of this is possible because of you and your very generous and continued support.  Empowering one woman not only makes it possible for her to feed, support and educate her family, the trickle-down effect will continue for future generations.

    If you would like to continue to help us support the ladies, please spread the word by sharing this report on your Facebook page.

    Asante Sana, thank you so very much.

    Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

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    Computer class
    Computer class
    Our most recent donation, a Janome sewing machine
    Our most recent donation, a Janome sewing machine
    Study time
    Study time
    Frieda learning & loving the new Janome  machine.
    Frieda learning & loving the new Janome machine.

    Links:

     
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