Oct 15, 2020

Thinking positive and doing what we can!

Plant a tree of hope.
Plant a tree of hope.

Sometimes it is so difficult to think positively during these horrific times of the Covid 19 pandemic! All over the world people are sick, hungry, homeless, dying. It's difficult to keep thinking positively in the midst of chaos and grief. But life does go on and the future and its children still need to be loved, nurtured and educated. Like the philanthropist/singer/songwriter Jon Bon Jovi says and sings:

"If you can't do what you do, do what you can"

And that's exactly what we are doing in Kenya now. Besides raising funds for the Corona Emergency Relief Fund so that the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l children and their families receive donations to buy food and soap - we are trying to use this time wisely to reach our next goal. We would like to begin the construction of the Live and Learn in Kenya Vocational Training School at our Education Center in Nakuru, Kenya. It's difficult to raise funds at a time like this - but we know that only by thinking positively we can make the dreams of hundreds of children and youths come true.

People - especially children - need a dream - a vision - a goal to go on during times filled with shadows - and this is what we want to give them now. Watching a construction growing into a building that can change their lives and futures can only give them hope.

It's a great time to plant that tree of hope by digging out the foundation of the new school.

As the years go by we are watching the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center grow and blossom into a true community of children, youths as well as their parents and a strong, hard-working staff so that the poorest of the poor will be able to receive an excellent education and rip themselves out of the vicious circle of poverty. Five incredibly solid, beautiful buildings have been constructed - the primary school with its 8 classrooms and offices, a 3-classroom kindergarten, a modern kitchen and dining/multi-purpose hall, and an administrative building, It not only has offices for the project manager, social workers, and school health care specialist - it also has a day clinic and a relatively large library - just waiting for its shelves to be filled with books!

All of this has been funded only through kind and generous donations and the hard work of the LLK members at markets, fairs, and online events.

Not every child has the capabilities to proceed on to high school, college, or university. Not everyone can grow up to be a teacher, doctor, engineer, or lawyer!  The world needs carpenters, tailors, hairdressers, mechanics, and IT specialists. Our youths need positive and solid training in the vocation of their choice. Until now we have sent our primary school graduates to vocational training outside of the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center and paid all costs. Now it's time to give them the very best training possible at our own school with the best teachers, materials, and learning atmosphere that we can. And that's the plan for our next construction.

As soon as we have starting capital, we will begin the construction of the Live and Learn in Kenya Vocational Training School. There will be classrooms for carpentry, tailoring, hairdressing, auto mechanics, and IT.

And just like with the other constructions - we are fully dependent upon generous donations once again.

Especially during these crazy mixed-up Covid-19 times when everyone is so unsure of the future, we need to keep people - especially the children - positive and seeing the future unfolding before them!

Asante sana - thank you so much!

Aug 26, 2020

Covid19 Changed Everything

Finding a way
Finding a way


School meals are most often the only meals of the day for many, many children. Live and Learn in Kenya International is proud and happy to be able to make very nutritional and tasty meals available to all of the 480 children on its program. 300 children attend the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center Kindergarten and Elementary School. These children receive both breakfast and lunch every school day. On Saturdays, all of the 480 children on the program come for tutoring, activities such as sports, dance, music and handicrafts - and lunch. Sad to say, the coronavirus has put an end to this from March 15, 2020, until the end of the pandemic - and lockdown. Parents have lost the few and low-paying jobs that they had and are not able to walk the streets freely. Where there is no source of income, there is no source of obtaining food. We at Live and Learn in Kenya International - both in Kenya and in the mother organization in Germany - wracked our minds on how to get food to our children and their families. It was not possible to distribute food for two reasons - gathering larger groups is forbidden and if people found out that food was being distributed they would storm the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center to get whatever they could - understandably. Riots of that kind had already broken out in Nairobi where people were literally trampled to death. We couldn't let that happen. After many restless nights, we came up with the solution: M-PESA! M-PESA is a possibility to transfer funds within Kenya to cellphones. Once funds have been transferred, the person need only go to one of the many M-PESA agency offices and fetch the funds in cash. For those parents and guardians with no cellphone access, it was possible for them to come to the LLK Center in small groups to fetch the money personally. Live and Learn in Kenya International began the Corona Emergency Relief Fund and after weeks of hunger and fear parents were able to buy food and soap for their families. In time for Easter, we were able to transfer nearly $33 to each of the families of the 480 children. This was enough to buy rice, beans, flour, and soap. In May it was $27. We are hoping to go on providing at least a minimum of $25 every month until the end of the pandemic when parents can go back to work and earn their wages themselves. Until then they are depending on the charity and caring of strangers.

It is a difficult time for all involved - all around the world. Financial distress is coupled with the fear of contracting the virus ourselves or our friends and loved ones. There are so many unknowns. But one thing is certain - we will only get through this pandemic by working hand in hand - in Swahili they say Harambee - "joining hands and working together for a common goal" - and this common goal is staying alive!

If all goes as planned and prayed for - school will begin again for the new school year in Kenya in January 2021. All grades will be repeated as the children have been officially out of school for more than 9 months. That when we will be able to resume our feeding program and needn't transfer funds to parents any longer.

Please stick this one out with us for a couple of more months!!!

Asante sana - thank you so much for your kind and generous support!

Links:

Jul 31, 2020

This is What Sponsorship Means - HOPE

1 successfully sponsored kid wasn't enough-3 more!
1 successfully sponsored kid wasn't enough-3 more!

Four hundred and ninety-one children have hope where there was none before! What does sponsorship at Live and Learn in Kenya International mean in the lives of these hundreds of children? It means that they are now able to go to school wearing their mandatory uniforms and shoes, having textbooks and school supplies for all of their classes and courses, having at least one warm and nutritious meal a day - six days a week, being able to go to the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center library that opens up a world of books and information, taking part in sports, educational and musical competitions - and having a chance to win because they have been trained and tutored, enjoying games and playing in a beautiful and safe playground and environment, having trained professionals - social workers and teachers - to go to with problems and successes, college students even having their own laptops - and nobody worrying about paying school fees and being turned away from schools, colleges or universities because of lack of funding. Being a Live and Learn in Kenya Kid means enjoying childhood and youth just like children all over the world should be able to - carefree and dreaming of a bright future as long as you work hard for it. Some people say that this is all just a drop in a bucket - but we at Live and Learn in Kenya International say "If he or she were your kid, they wouldn't be a drop in a bucket - they'd be your love and your life". That's what these children and youths are to us - love and life and drops that will join into a sea of a future for themselves and their families - and their country. People coming from the bottom rows of poverty and rising up are the people who will lead with integrity and understanding in the future - whether it is within their own future families, businesses, schools as teachers - or who knows - maybe a future president leading Kenya to a better place for everyone!

Be a sponsor and make a difference in the world of a child who has all of the possibilities to be all that he/she can be. You'll enjoy the photos and letters from the children - and the knowledge that you are the person changing a life for the better!

From the four hundred and ninety-one children on the Live and Learn in Kenya International program, only six of them still need a sponsor.

Asante sana - thank you so much!

 
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