Expanding Opportunities

Expanding Opportunities' mission is to increase self-sufficiency and cultural awareness through educational and charitable projects for people nationally and internationally. It is a broad mission designed to be clear enough to guide and flexible enough to respond to a variety of human need.
Nov 17, 2014

24 children in 2014 - Help us double the number

Children at Sawa Academy
Children at Sawa Academy

School is closing for 2014 this week in Kenya. Expanding Opportunities assisted 24 children in some way to attend school. Uniforms, books, school fees, shoes, exam fees, are just some of the ways your contribution assists children in Kenya to attend school. Some of the children worked hard and moved from position 6 or 7 in their class to positions 1 and 3!!

Two children completed their first year of high school. Without sponsored assistance their education would have ended with class 8.

School will begin in January of 2015. It may seem far away right now but soon there will be far more than the 24 students on the list hoping for assistance from Expanding Opportunities to attend school. Help us to say YES by giving a Holiday gift of a school sponsorship for a child.   GlobalGiving makes giving secure, accountable and easy.

Classroom at Kipsing
Classroom at Kipsing
School Children
School Children

Links:

Nov 10, 2014

Thank You

Morning Circle at Camp Fforest
Morning Circle at Camp Fforest

Camp Forest 2014 was a great year. With several very well trained staff and volunteers we were able to reach many children this year. Teaching them about the great outdoors and mentoring in community and nature. We were able to give opportunities to children who are very interested in learning more about the natural world, to come to several weeks of camp that they normally couldn’t afford. We were able to give children who would never be able to afford any camp experience, a highly trained staff, and one on one immersed in nature and Camp Forest educational program. Some children have continued to come back to Camp Forest from 7 years old to 17. With help from our scholarship program at Camp Forest their interest has been fostered even when their families have hard economic times, Camp Forest is still there for them. Some children have attributed Camp Forest to their interest in higher college education in environmental studies and wilderness emergency medicine. Our expert staff at Camp Forest is able to mentor children who are very interested and great learners, as well as children who have many emotional needs and parents that are not around for them. We are there for them. And we wish to continue to be able to mentor children at Camp Forest from all economic classes and needs. That is why we need our scholarship program at Camp Forest so we can continue to serve those in the area who really need the help, and would not otherwise be able to afford to have this experience that can help them in their very important childhood years. Thank you for supporting Camp Forest Scholarship Program. Sincerely Adam Stone at Camp Forest.

Coal Burning a Spoon
Coal Burning a Spoon
Archery at Camp Forest
Archery at Camp Forest

Links:

Oct 7, 2014

FAIL FORWARD:New Life for the Girl's Rescue Center

The Rescue Center and Site of the Academy
The Rescue Center and Site of the Academy

FAIL FORWARD:

Several years ago, Expanding Opportunities was seeking the best way to assist the girl child. We sought the input of successful Kenyan women. FGM, female genital mutilation, early forced marriage and girl child education topped the list.   Along with community members, it was decided that a rescue center was needed to ensure a safe place for girls to be while they were educated. Research, meetings, agreements and a location in a supportive community, and our new project to assist Pastoralist Girls was begun. We conducted a successful community education day, rescued girls and continued to add sponsored pastoralist girls but the funding journey for the rescue center was long, tiresome and unfruitful for quite a while. After a few years we were awarded a grant to build the center! The Community Based Organization signed the agreement and the work began. Many things had changed and people had moved forward in other directions. It wasn’t long before we discovered that the CBO would be unable to hold their part of the agreement so the construction plans were rapidly scaled down. A bit fearful to admit the changes in the agreement, they continued to hope we would change. The agreement stated they were to operate the Center after construction. They hoped we would operate the center. In the end the Center was built, not to completion but to a stage it could be occupied. Expanding Opportunities placed a woman in the center and one rescued girl and left it for the CBO to operate. They were unable to operate the center so the project, though still funding rescued girls, was not making proper use of the Center.

Expanding Opportunities learned a great deal from this stalled project. We continued to work in the community and kept lines of communication open.  Slowly all the members of the CBO understood what had happened and understood that we were still committed to the community and the girl child.

When a church asked that we build a school in memory of a parishioner, we explored three rural areas. The community where the Rescue Center is located pressed to be selected. Because of our ongoing relationship and their eagerness to have us, their community was selected.

We have both learned a great deal:

1. Agreements need to be clearly discussed with ALL individuals in a group to assure total understanding in as many language groups as represented.

2. Keep the lines of communication open always. State and restate what you can and cannot do clearly and often.

3. Misunderstandings are bound to come. Working across and through different languages, cultures, needs and dreams makes a rocky path. Keep your organizations’ mission in the forefront.

3. Don’t Give Up. Change, mold, reform but don’t give up!

 We dissolved the MOU for the rescue center, obtained legal possession of the land and Expanding Opportunities is building the school on the site of the rescue center and will incorporate Girl Child Rescue into the school program.

As they say in Kenya – “We must persevere.”

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