Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children

by Springs of Hope Foundation
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Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children
Nakuru Safehouse for Kenya Women and Children

 

Finally, the hectic scramble of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us. Please join us today November 28th for Giving Tuesday as we give thanks, share our many blessings and kick off the sharing, caring and giving season!

For the next 24 hours, we have the opportunity to share in a whopping $75,000 in matching funds. For today only, Giving Tuesday, GlobalGiving will give away extra funds for every donation received. 

When you give to Springs of Hope Foundation's GlobalGiving project today, November 28th, your donation will help us qualify for a large share of the $75,000 in bonus money. 

Last year, over 700,000 people worldwide made a gift in honor of the spirit of #GivingTuesday. 

We could never have come so far or accomplished so much without your continued support. We hope that this year, through your gifts, you'll join us in continuing to empowering our women and children to become the leaders of change in their communities.
 
With Gratitude,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom
ON GIVING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28TH.
Please consider forwarding this email to your friends and family, telling them about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation.
You know your friends and family best, so use your own words -.Asante Sana.
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Jeremy
Jeremy

When Margaret first arrived she was so thin and malnourished that we had no idea she was pregnant. After a few days our nurse, Christine informed us that she was indeed very far along in her pregnancy, seven months along in fact. As Margaret had not had any prenatal checkups the first thing we did was take Margaret to the clinic for a checkup and the second thing we did was get her on a good healthy diet. Margaret blossomed during the following two months and last month gave birth to our newest arrival, a beautiful, healthy, baby boy, Jeremy.

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon here in Nakuru, Kenya, so we have a house full of happy, boisterous, healthy children playing with the toys that our visitors and volunteers have brought for them. Did I mention loud! It's such a treat to watch them having so much fun. These kids come from a region where they have little opportunity to go to school. Most test several grades below their age when they first arrive but thanks to the extra tutoring from our volunteers they have a better chance of catching up than the average child.

Our first intake of ladies into our tailoring course have been with us for three months and are progressing beautifully. They are so keen to become professional seamstresses that they have been practicing on the sewing machines all weekend despite the fact that the teacher is off and they are not required to. We're very proud of their dedication and willingness to achieve a better life for themselves and their children.

None of these life-changing opportunities would be possible if it wasn't for you and your continued support for which we are so very, very grateful and blessed.

Asante Sana,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Mama Margaret and Jeremy
Mama Margaret and Jeremy
Mama Carol and Purity
Mama Carol and Purity
Charity
Charity
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The first half of our group arrives safely.
The first half of our group arrives safely.

Hello Everyone,

I have just returned from a very exciting visit to Kenya. Our newest project, the Nakuru Safehouse for Women and Children, which was started back in November 2016 is blossoming in ways we could never have imagined. Initially, the need for the safehouse was presented at our weekly Rotary Club of Nakuru meeting. Renting, furnishing and staffing a facility that could accommodate lost and runaway children on a temporary basis while authorities looked for relatives or permanent housing solutions sounded like a project that Springs of Hope Foundation could comfortably afford to run. What I wasn't expecting was to find such an absolutely perfect house for the project at a rent that is manageable.

In the meantime, my Kenyan friends have always shared the fact that their high school or college educated children are struggling to find employment. Kenya's rate of unemployment is among the highest in the world.

Now... imagine that you're a Kenyan girl from a poor, rural village. You would be one of the extremely lucky girls if your family could afford to send you to primary school. Even then your chances of finding employment, never mind a trade are virtually non-existent. So we came up with a fabulous program for our very large rental house. We have converted the living room, dining room area of our facility into a tailoring classroom for young, single mothers. Our first group of ladies was selected by the area chiefs and Anglican Bishop in the Samburu region, which is a long, dusty, bumpy 8-hour drive north of us on mostly unpaved roads.  The ladies and their children will live with us for one year while they learn every aspect of tailoring. Our first class began on July 1st with the ladies learning basic pattern making. When this group graduates they will have all the skills needed to open their own small business. We'll also provide a small, repayable business loan upon graduation. 

The energy and enthusiasm in our first group of ladies was very exciting to watch and enjoy. The ladies have bonded and formed a small family group where the preschool children are learning to play together. We were able to enroll the older children in our local primary school. 

I'm really looking forward to updating you as the ladies learn new skills and we all learn and grow together.

Mark your calendar! GlobalGiving is having a GG Rewards Bonus Day on Wednesday, July 12th, beginning at 9 AM EST, that's 6 AM West Coast Time. All donations will be matched by a 50% bonus. The funds are limited, so donate as early as possible to ensure your gift is matched!  Please increase your impact so that as many young women as possible can acquire important skills and the training they need to succeed! 

Please share this report with your friends on facebook and social media or just forward with a personal request to donate as little as $10.00 on July 12th. If we receive just 30 donations from unique donors on July 12th we are also eligible for additional bonuses.

Together let's make the education dreams of each of these young mothers and girls come true! There is truly no better gift that you could give!

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about this program or our other programs, please contact me at jenniferhughes@springsofhopefoundation.org

Thank you all so much for your continued support of our work in Kenya.

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

The 2nd half of the group of ladies upon arrival.
The 2nd half of the group of ladies upon arrival.
The first day of tailoring class. Pattern making.
The first day of tailoring class. Pattern making.
One of the daughters on her first day of school.
One of the daughters on her first day of school.

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Lavix, baby Raj & Job finally reunited.
Lavix, baby Raj & Job finally reunited.

Hello Everyone,

One of the heartbreaking realities of life in Kenya is the extreme poverty. Six-year-old Joab and nine-year-old Lavix’s HIV positive mother was put in jail when she was reported to the police for child neglect. She was forced to leave Job, Lavix and their one-year-old brother Raj inside their 12x12, one room home while she went out looking for odd jobs such as washing and cleaning to feed her family. The one-year-old was allowed to stay in prison with his mother sleeping on a thin dirty mattress in a room with 20 plus women and their babies; however, the older children were placed in a place known as Juvenile Remand. This is a horrible place for young innocent children as they are placed in a dormitory with older children who are there awaiting trial for crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery with violence. Alleged criminals up to 18 years of age are sharing the same dormitories with innocent children such as Job and Lavix at remand. I have been told that some of these alleged criminals are actually up to 21 years old and simply lie about their age to stay in juvenile remand as opposed to jail. I learned about remand several years ago when I went down to Children’s Services to pick up the magistrate's commitment orders for two children that had been placed in my care and (of course) came home with two sets of orders and these two gorgeous children, Job and Lavix. Who could say no after hearing that they had been in remand for over three months?  These children had no idea why they were suddenly placed there or where their mother and baby brother had been taken.

The first thing I did was arrange for a visit to their mother and baby brother in prison. I then arranged to have Mama Lavix released into our care on parole and enrolled in a program training HIV-positive women to sew beautiful bags for sale to tourists.

Mama Lavix and the three children lived with us for a month while she was on probation and training at her new job. I loved seeing the joy and happiness the two older children experienced at being reunited as a family again. The bitter, sweet day came when Mama Lavix passed her unpaid one month training period and was hired on as a full-time paid employee. For the first time in her life, she was receiving a regular, reliable income. I say bitter, sweet only because it was time to say goodbye to two great kids who had been part of our family for several months, and Mama Lavix and baby Raj who had lived with us for just over a month. We assisted her with the first month’s rent on her new home, mattresses, blankets and a few necessities to get her set up.

That was over five years ago. I recently heard that Mama Lavix is still working at the same organization sewing bags for tourists. However, and this is the other great part of her success story, she has also opened a hair braiding salon which employs three vulnerable young women who would have found themselves in a similar situation if it wasn't for Mama Lavix's help.

If it wasn’t for your support back then I simply cannot imagine what the fate of this family would have been.

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 children 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 every one 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

Prison visit for the first time in almost 3 months
Prison visit for the first time in almost 3 months
On the first day the kids arrived from Remand.
On the first day the kids arrived from Remand.

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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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Organization Information

Springs of Hope Foundation

Location: Big Bay, MI - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @Kijiji Mission
Project Leader:
Jennifer Hughes
Big Bay , MI United States
$86,858 raised of $100,000 goal
 
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