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Apr 10, 2017

Meet Grace

 

Meet Grace,

Grace’s HIV positive mother was introduced to us 4 years ago when Grace was just 5 years old. Her mother’s only source of income was seasonal work in the fields which earned her $2.00 a day when work was sporadically available. Four generations lived in their tiny two rooms, mud home. Mama Grace’s very ill, HIV-positive husband, their  80 year old grandmother, 4 daughters and the one year old baby of Mama Grace’s 15 year old daughter. Desperately poor does not begin to describe the conditions this family of 9 had to live in with no electricity or running water,  but above all else, Mama Grace’s  biggest priority was that her children get a good education.  We began by assisting the family with rent, food, clothing and cooking fuel while the 3 younger girls attended the local public school. It soon became apparent that these three very bright girls would not receive the education they deserved in the very overcrowded public school system which has as many as 95 children per classroom. We enrolled the girls in one of the best boarding schools in the district while being mindful that they must be within walking distance of their family, allowing their mother to visit them. At boarding school the girls get three nutritious meals a day and their own bed, ensuring a good night sleep.

Little Gracie and her older sister Theresia are both placing #1 in their class at Rosepark Academy.  The oldest sister, Margaret is in class 6 and will be graduating to high school at the end of this year. Well done girls…

If it wasn’t for YOU and your generous support, bright young girls like Grace and her sisters would not have access to education. They would never know that they are capable of achieving whatever they reach for.

We didn’t place in the top 4 in GlobalGiving’s Little by Little campaign last week, missing out on  $3,000 in bonus money. But we are delighted with the response we did get. Your donations made a lasting difference for our girls in Kenya AND created a race to the top!

Because our project did so well, the other projects in contention had to ramp up their efforts to get ahead of us - meaning your support for girls in Kenya inspired others to empower more girls in the Dominican Republic, educate more girls in Cambodia, sponsor STEM camp for more girls in Nigeria, and help more girls in Vietnam get to school. We're so proud to have been a part of this competition where girls around the world came out as the clear winners.

Thank you so much to everyone of you who made this campaign such a success! 

I appreciate your readership, please pass on our newsletter to family and friends, it is a way of helping us help more children in Kenya.

Warmly,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Grace when we first started sponsoring her at age6
Grace when we first started sponsoring her at age6
My recent trip to their boarding school so grownup
My recent trip to their boarding school so grownup

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Jan 30, 2017

Here's to a fabulous 2017, all because of you and your generous support.

1st day of school 2017
1st day of school 2017

Jumbo from Kenya,

 We have had a very busy month with more groups of children joining us to begin their education and for many, to begin healthier eating once again after an unusually long two month Christmas break. This year has been particularly challenging for parents to feed their children as the last rainy season was just not long enough to sustain the growth of crops of maize and beans, which is the staple diet here in rural Kenya.  We are always saddened to see little bodies that are not only malnourished but struggle with disease because of the conditions they live in. We bath many and try to heal their ringworm and jigger problems and hope that once again we do not receive another scabies outbreak as this hurts all of our children.

Our major accomplishment during the end of year break was the construction of our library, which will also serve as a computer classroom. Despite sometimes torrential rain and impassable, muddy roads the project was completed just before Christmas, giving the very hard working crew, led by our director Job, a much deserved few days of rest before the new school year began.

Unlike the rest of the classes and office buildings which are made out of 'mabati' (corrugated iron) our new library is made out of stone.  This makes it a cool and inviting place to be as we experience the hot dry season.

We wish you could all see and experience the pleasure we all get, especially our dedicated teachers, from watching the faces of the children as they absorb every word, every picture and every new adventure waiting to be discovered behind the cover of each new book in our new library.

We have YOU, our sponsors to thank for this gift. Because of your kindness and generosity the children at Roko 20 now travel, in their young imaginations, to a world filled with wonder, knowledge, discovery and adventure.

Our children are growing up so very fast, which makes us so extremely proud of them all. We thank you for making the success of our school go from a dream to a reality.

Kindest regards,

Tracey Neale-Ferrera

We provide a free breakfast and lunch.
We provide a free breakfast and lunch.
THANK YOU, from our very appreciative children.
THANK YOU, from our very appreciative children.

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Jan 24, 2017

Here's to a 2017 filled with Many Blessings

Dear Friends and Family,

While we are still in the early days of raising funds to set up the NAKURU SAFE HOUSE, I would like to share with you why this project is so important to us at Springs of Hope Foundation. 

WHAT IS A SAFE HOUSE?

If a young child is raped, often by a family member and the rape is brought to the attention of the police the offender is arrested, the child is removed from the family environment until the case goes to trial. This is to prevent the child’s testimony from being influenced by the family. Unfortunately, there is no facility in Nakuru to temporarily place the child. The child may spend her or his first night in the county jail until the magistrate releases the child into the care of the Remand Home until the case comes to trial, this could take several months.

When a child is found lost in the street and is brought to the police station he or she will spend the evening, or weekend in jail until the judge commits the child to the Remand Home the following business day. The child will remain there until children’s services can track down the child’s family.

A single mother is arrested and sentenced to prison for 3 months. Her crime, locking her 3 children, the youngest one under one year, in their 10x10 home while she desperately searches for any kind of day work to feed her children. She is allowed to keep her youngest child with her in prison, a cell shared by approximately 19 other women along with their babies, who all sleep on the ground on worn out mattresses and threadbare blankets. The two older children aged 4 and 6 are committed to the Remand Home until children’s services can find a children’s home willing to take the children on a temporary basis. Most children's homes are full and do not have the facilities to accomodate temport cases, so in most cases the children will remain in at the Remand Home until their mother's sentance is served and she is released from jail.

These are just a few of the reasons why innocent children find themselves temporarily living in the Remand Home.

WHAT IS THE REMAND HOME?

In Kenya, when a juvenile under the age of 18 commits a crime they are held in the Remand Home awaiting trial. Many alleged criminals have been in the remand home for several years, thus fostering further aggressive, criminal behiviour. There are approximately 80 juvenile alleged offenders living in the Nakuru Remand facility at any given time. Their alleged crimes range from murder (currently five juveniles classified as 18yrs or under, in custody awaiting trial for murder), rape (currently 12 alleged rapists in custody), sexual assault, robbery using violence, drug dealing etc. There is no school in the remand home. The children temporarily committed to the home by the magistrate are not separated from those sentenced there awaiting trial for criminal activity. They share the same dormitories.

SOLUTION

Springs of Hope Foundation has registered “Nakuru Safehouse” as a Community Based Organization. With your help, we are in the process of opening a safe, secure home for these innocent children to live in while permanent solutions for their safety and wellbeing are found. Ideally, the solution will be to reunite the child with their families, relatives or guardians.

Thank you for your help with the initial set up of this brand new pilot program. I look forward to telling you about the progress of the Safe House and sharing great success stories of the children and families we have been privileged to help. It will be an exciting journey that we will take together.

Warmest blessings,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

 
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