What a summer! With your help Jitegemee had a hugely successful summer of
fundraising, and we are currently more than 50% of the way toward our fundraising goal for our new school. This was the amount we wanted to have in hand to begin construction, so now we are moving forward with deciding on a local architect to work with and making a timeline to break ground in the coming months. We are very excited, and so are the kids.
In addition to the fundraising success, we had another huge success this summer: our first university graduate, Wambua Charles Kieti!
You guys should all be proud of Wambua, and proud of yourselves. Supporters
like you have been the difference - literally - between this kid being a 10 year-
old drug addict and him being a college graduate. Jitegemee has been his mother and father, and he is turning out just fine.
A brief background on Wambua from our Founder, Farah Stockman:
“When he was about five or six years old, he was a permanent fixture in front of the town grocery store. He used to beg, carry bags for money, and wash cars with water from the sewer.
When I met him, he was a great kid, but totally addicted to sniffing glue. We took Wambua to a special boarding school for street kids to get him off glue. He stayed there for years and did well. We would take his brothers and his mother up there to visit him. Then one day he up and ran away, without warning. He reached the little shantytown where his mother lived just in time to say goodbye to her before she suddenly died of an illness. He said he just "knew" she was dying.
He decided not to return to that school, sand to stay closer to home. He lived with his cousins and siblings in a home headed by a 19-year-old. It was a struggle, but he continued on with his schooling, and got accepted to a good high school, where he developed an obsession with computers, even though the high school hardly ever had electricity. When he graduated, he was determined to learn computer programming in college. These last few years, college has been tough for him because although we paid his room and board, he didn't get too much pocket money and was living on his own in the city for the first time in his life. But he stuck with it. This past spring he did an internship fixing the computers at a Kenyan government office. His college experience was not cheap for us. We invested probably $4,000 in him over the last three or four years, more than any other kid. But it looks like every dollar was worth it. Wambua is going to be the shining light of his brothers and sisters, and the breadwinner of a very poor family, and the inspiration for the little ones.
Once again, THANK YOU! The support from individuals like you is what made this happen