Children
 Kenya
Project #6107

Provide a HOME for Kenya's Street-Children 2016

by Expanding Opportunities
Vetted
Former vulnerable children - happy at JWHS
Former vulnerable children - happy at JWHS

 Entering the supermarket to purchase snacks and drinking water for our visitors, we are approached by four street children. A couple of them we had encountered a few times prior. “Give me 5 shillings”, “buy me bread”,... Knowing them, there are a few that have parents. We can only wonder if they know where their children are and if they approve or even sent them. Exiting the shop, I stop for a short discussion but we have only water this time. Driving off a hand quickly grabs the sunglasses from one of our visitors. ICK!! What a message to give visitors. Please, stop the vehicle and let us find that child. Eventually our driver found the boy and returned the sunglasses. Another day I will deal with this budding thief.

As we work with children on the street, we become more convinced that intensive work is necessary to prevent the inevitable progression from hunger, glue addiction, theft, incarceration and worse. Supervision, consistency, relationship and education are the tools to effect change. A meal long enough to communicate and establish relationship is the first step.

It is through the wonderful generosity of donors like you that we can change the lives of children. On the street, in the hands of the children’s department, abandoned or in other vulnerable situations, Expanding Opportunities works individually with children to provide what we can of what is best for that child. Thank you for your assistance.

Links:

In the kitchen
In the kitchen

2015 has begun.  The children at JWHs are a strong family.  The numbers of children still on the streets is overwhelming at times.  New faces replacing the liucky ones who have found places in children's homes .  Yet, some of my favorite moments occur during the ordinary daily tasks at our children's home, JWHS. All of them seem to include music.. Imam singing while he works, michael stuck on a chorus....Right now our new employee, David, is making chapati, a few kids are helping and there is happy singing in the kitchen. Lifts all my burdens and I can say, it is worth it. Thank you sponsors fir putting a song in These kids hearts. Anyone else want to be a part of a child’s life. We have a couple openings at JWHS, plenty of children to fill them but sponsors are needed to assure they will be supported.

Maggies project
Maggies project
mwel trying a hand at Origami
mwel trying a hand at Origami

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JWHS brothers and sisters. - Smiles all around
JWHS brothers and sisters. - Smiles all around

Is it worth it? I am often asked that question and can respond with a resounding YES. Your assistance makes a permanent impact on this generation and the others to follow.

Here are two spontaneous letters. They speak for themselves.

"Thank you, Thank you , thank you very much. Thank you for being like mother and my father.

Thank you for taking care of me by paying school fees for me and provide me with clothes, food and other needs.

Thank you for took us on a trip to Isiolo area. Thank you for taking care of us in Isiolo and providing us food.

Thank you for being a good mother for us and make us happy, I am always happy with you .

I miss you when you go to USA. This term I got 413 marks and was position 3.

Say Hi to you members of your family. Also remember our sponsors.

I promise you I will work hard in school.

I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Goodbye

A happy child in JWHS.

_________________-

Hey, I love you so much. Thank you for taking us to Isiolo. On the way you buy us bread, jam and peanut butter. Thank you for paying for me the school fees. I promise to improve next year twenty fifteen when I am in class five. Have a good journey when you are going to USA. Please greet your friends, your sons, and your mother also our sponsors. When you come from USA you are going to start a school in Isiolo. You have stayed with me for a long time, almost seven years. You have liked my mother. When I was in class four end term I had three hundred and ninety three marks when I am in class five I promise you mom that I will improve in class five. I like to have 420 marks.

 

Help us keepchanging ives and making it "WORTH IT"  An anonymous donor is matching every new monthly donation.  Global Giving makes it easy to give monthlyl. Even a small amount reguarly is a solid base upon which we can build.

The boys at JWHS - truly brothers
The boys at JWHS - truly brothers

Links:

John
John's marks

Is it worth it? You decide –here is one example -

 John Kimotho Gachau came to Expanding Opportunities’ children’s home, JWHS, in the year 2004. His single mother had died in 1997 and he was living with his grandmother. She was not able to educate John or provide for his basic needs. He was passed to other relatives occasionally but they too were unable to assist him. His step-grandfather approached us for help.

 John joined JWHS in 2004 and attended public school in Class Five. He performed well both in the Home and in school. When he reached high school, we enrolled him in ROHI High School.

 Expanding Opportunities does not usually assist children past High School except for a short course to obtain vocational skills. But John had a sponsor who wanted to take him to college. She first paid for him to reenroll in ROHI to try to obtain a B+ and therefore be eligible for a bursary, (scholarship). He received a B plain on both KCSE examinations. She then enrolled him in a short course and began to seek a college for him. She assisted him to enroll in JKUAT in 2014, then she herself had a financial crisis and is no longer able to assist John.

 Struggling for funding and grateful for all that is done for him; Expanding Opportunities and John are moving slowly forward. In his first year,he has received all A’s and Bs in his courses. He is positive, grateful and ready to continue to work hard, do well, get a good job and give back to other needy kids.  

 YES IT IS WORTH IT.

John
John

Links:

Together Again
Together Again

An amazing day! FINDING MOM

He was 6 years old when we found him (withholding his name,please) on the streets of Nakuru with his ailing grandmother. She had brought him to stay with his uncle. Maybe she did not know that the Uncle was severely addicted to alcohol, glue and any other substance he could find. His addiction disabled him completely. The young boy was being hazed by the other street children and sent to beg. He was brought to our children’s home. He so often spoke of a mother and a sister. Attempts to enlist the Uncle in a search for the mother and sister were fruitless.
As I write this he is doing his morning chores – with a smile on his face and a song “Good Morning Jesus”. When he doesn’t sing, I worry. I love hearing that young voice, piping his joy of living.
Once there was a journey to his home town, it returned fruitless. But never did he give up. Each holiday when some of the children went off to auntie, or grandma, one would not hear the morning singing. His heart was heavy wanting to see his mother and sister again.
“ you were so young when we took you, do you truly think you would remember where you lived?” His response a hearty “YES” So I determined to give it one more try.
Armed with only his young memory, his mother’s first name, and a few scattered notes from his file, we started off early taking 3 children, the social worker, manager and myself. If nothing else we will have a good outing The drive is about 1 ½ hours on what has been called one of the 10 most dangerous roads in the world. There is no sleeping, drifting, gawking or otherwise allowing distractions. Speed, reckless passing, enormous overloaded trucks in poor condition puffing up the hills tempting a follower to take chances passing on the two lane road to avoid being choked by the oily black fumes spewing from the puffing behemoth.
We arrive at the turn off. Imam remembers lions and a Supermarket. Turn left, turn around, go right, go left, along this narrow dirt pathway barely wide enough for the van, people staring, moving out of the way. HERE! I stopped in the middle of the road and he, Mary, the social worker, and Chege the manager left the van. Another vehicle was attempting to pass along the road so moving out of the way to park in a church yard, we waited. Soon they were back. He indeed did remember where he lived. Another woman was there now who also remembered his mother. I sent them back to see if she knew anyone who might know where we can find the sister or the mother. Any relatives, Any friends,
Chege returned with a young man. He led us down the road through a pathway to the home of a woman who was a good friend of his mother. She told us the entire sad story. In brief, the mother had been arrested for child abuse and was in prison in a relatively close by town. The sister had been taken to a children’s home. Oh sweet information.
So off to the children’s home. The first stop was almost fruitless until someone remembered. Yes, she had been there but was shifted to another children’s home.
SUCCESS! There she was! Looking so similar to her brother! The two were silent. No noisy hugging and greeting session in Kenya. Their upbringing holds emotions in check but the tears were brimming. Off to a small restaurant to get away alone for a little while. A favorite treat in Kenya “chips and soda” (French fries and coke). Soon, too soon, we had to say goodbye to the long lost sister with the promises to return. Now off to find his mother. By this time we had learned that she was in prison for the child abuse of the sister. He heard us talk that his mother was in prison but the reason was to follow.
A young man of 11 facing the armed guards at the gate, the search of the vehicle,, the end of a long search. We had the blessing of a kind and sensitive guard to ease his tension. The guard had worked in the children’s remand. A long wait allowed him time to look around the compound of the prison outside the walls; prisoners working, guards questioning, visitors entering and returning. Finally, the door opened and we were called. The mandatory search and we were ushered, not into the visiting room, but into a small office. All the prison employees were polite, understanding and kind. They would hear the story of a boy searching for his mother, only to find her in prison. And their hearts were touched and wanted this reunion to be the best possible.
Soon a beautiful woman in prison stripes, carried chairs for each of us. After we are all settled we learn this is Rebecca,  -  Mom. Her eyes soon filled with tears but again in the controlled Kenyan culture she dabbed her eyes and sat straight, tall and quiet. He was moved to sit next to his mother. Both of them holding their emotions close. Eventually they spoke. Eventually his mother told him why she was there. She has two more years to serve.
A reunion that was not what any of us would have hoped, not what any of us imagined, but a reunion of mother and son. A flow of well contained emotions. The beginning of a trail of forgiveness.
We will return to visit Mom with sister and start the long trail of reconciliation.

Mom
Mom

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Expanding Opportunities

Location: Brooks, ME - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.exop.org
Project Leader:
Beverly Stone
Brooks, Maine United States

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