Oct 18, 2019

Let's catch up on everything that's been happening


Wow, it will be two weeks today since my return to Kenya after a wonderful, but fleeting, three months spent at my Northern Michigan home in Big Bay. Returning to Big Bay is always wonderful. Being back with family and friends, sleeping in my own bed and just loving a long, hot shower...Ahhh, the comforts of home! Being able to just turn on the tap and drink the water, or go among the shelves of the supermarket with bountiful fresh produce and way, way too many choices for other goods :)  all of which there are no comparisons to where I spend so much time each year.
A couple of years ago a dear friend asked me a question. At the time we were just enjoying the company of a few good friends and sharing thoughts. 
The question we were all asked was: "Where in the world would want to be at this moment?" My immediate response was, right here, right now, enjoying this moment with you, sharing the blessing of your friendship and good company. No matter where here and now is, be it Kenya, Michigan or our home in Australia or wherever I may be, I always enjoy the moment, savor the experience and give thank to God for my abundantly blessed life...

FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER HER LIFE AND HER DESTINY IS A LUXURY THAT 

              IS UNIMAGINABLE AND UNATTAINABLE TO THE MAJORITY OF

                                      SUB-SAHARA AFRICAN WOMEN.

                           LETS WORK TOGETHER TO CHANGE THAT.


Our training project is coming along tremendously. Our students have had the opportunity to recieve invaluable taining from volunteers from all over the world. Each  volunteer contributes a different, unique skill to our program.

Sophia from Isreal spent her time with us helping organize our office after our recent move.

Laura, a social worker from Germany focused on giving our students power point lessons on mental health, self esteem, self-talk etc.

Leila from Switzerland spent the majority of her time with us running our computer classroom and teaching an HIV/AIDS awarement course.

Mayca and Robin from the UK.
Mayca focused on teaching the students many new sewing and craft skills. The most popular one being crocheting. The young ladies now spend their evening leisure time chatting, laughing, joking and just being teenage girls...while crochet needles are at full speed. They love this new skill and I must say, their work is very good.

Robin was kept very busy during his time with us. I think he will agree that his most important contribution to our project was assisting our hearing impaired students, who will be graduating in December, with the paperwork and filing needed to apply for a small business startup government grant for the disabled.
The girls have a well thought out business plan
and this grant will set them on their path to success.

Melissa from Brazil was with us for a couple of months and taught our students so much about the delicate environment we all live in. Among the many things Melissa taught our students was how to make Ecko Bricks out of plastic bottles. Melissa's most enduring gift to our students will be the time she spent teaching them how efficiently compost their organic waste into rich soil that will nourish a fertile and productive family garden plot.

Every volunteer contributes their own unique and valuable talent to our program and leaves a lasting impression with our students. If you would like more information about becomming a volunteer with us please email me at jenniferhughes@springsofhopefoundation.org or visit our web page www.springsofhopefoundation.org for additional volunteer information.

Asante Sana,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Social worker Laura's classroom
Social worker Laura's classroom
Leila from Switzerland teaching HIV/AIDS awareness
Leila from Switzerland teaching HIV/AIDS awareness
Mayca from the UK
Mayca from the UK
Melissa also taught about recycling & composting.
Melissa also taught about recycling & composting.

Links:

Aug 2, 2019

Graduation day has arrived for some of our student

Graduation Day 2019
Graduation Day 2019

After a very long 12 months of hard work, sacrifice, and long periods of time away from their loved ones, our young ladies graduated at the beginning of this month. 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 young women who had become part of our family for the past 12 months would be leaving us and venturing into the next exciting stage of their lives. 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 rejoicing.

During the 12 months that the young women are with us, they not only learn every aspect of tailoring, our volunteers also teach beginner computer skills which included working with Word and Excel, preparing their resume, creating their own personal email account and sending an email with an attachment. I know this sounds very mundane to most of us, but our students have not touched a computer when they first arrive. With shaking hands and sweaty palms, the young women are introduced to a whole new and exciting experience that they never dreamed they would be exposed to. This is not only a huge confidence builder for them, but it is also a great help when applying for work at one of the local manufacturing facilities or setting up and running their own business. By the time they graduate, they are quite confident and always eager to take their turn on our computers.

Empowering one young woman not only makes it possible for her to feed, support and educate her family, but the trickle-down effect will also continue for many future generations.

Please help us to continue to empower underprivileged young women by spreading the word about our project and our work. Please share this report on your Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages and encourage your friends to consider becoming one time or monthly donors. We have no office overhead, travel or salary expenses in Australia or the US. 100% of your donation goes directly toward our work in Kenya.

Asante Sana, thank you so very much.

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Proud family members joined in the celebrations.
Proud family members joined in the celebrations.
With up to 4 generations coming along to rejoice.
With up to 4 generations coming along to rejoice.
Our youngest and oldest proud family members.
Our youngest and oldest proud family members.
A proud moment for Mama Esther.
A proud moment for Mama Esther.
Our counsellor & 2 of our hearing impaired student
Our counsellor & 2 of our hearing impaired student

Links:

Aug 2, 2019

Graduation day. A wonderful day of celebration.

Graduation
Graduation


After a very long 12 months of hard work, sacrifice, and long periods of time away from their loved ones, our young ladies graduated at the beginning of this month. 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 young women who had become part of our family for the past 12 months would be leaving us and venturing into the next exciting stage of their lives. 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 rejoicing.

During the 12 months that the young women are with us, they not only learn every aspect of tailoring, our volunteers also teach beginner computer skills which included working with Word and Excel, preparing their resume, creating their own personal email account and sending an email with an attachment. I know this sounds very mundane to most of us, but our students have not touched a computer when they first arrive. With shaking hands and sweaty palms, the young women are introduced to a whole new and exciting experience that they never dreamed they would be exposed to. This is not only a huge confidence builder for them, but it is also a great help when applying for work at one of the local manufacturing facilities or setting up and running their own business. By the time they graduate, they are quite confident and always eager to take their turn on our computers.

 

Empowering one young woman not only makes it possible for her to feed, support and educate her family, but the trickle-down effect will also continue for many future generations.

Please help us to continue to empower underprivileged young women by spreading the word about our project and our work. Please share this report on your Facebook, Instagram and other social media pages and encourage your friends to consider becoming one time or monthly donors. We have no office overhead, travel or salary expenses in Australia or the US. 100% of your donation goes directly toward our work in Kenya.

Asante Sana, thank you so very much.

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Family & friends all came to celebrate.
Family & friends all came to celebrate.
With up to 4 generations of proud family members.
With up to 4 generations of proud family members.
A proud moment for mother and daughter
A proud moment for mother and daughter
Grace and her baby girl, Angle
Grace and her baby girl, Angle
Our graduate proudly displaying their certificates
Our graduate proudly displaying their certificates
Mary, our volunteer student counsellor
Mary, our volunteer student counsellor

Links:

 
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