How do you know that the work you are doing - the visions you are living for - the hours and hours of finding ways to turn wheels - how do you know it is really working? Well, one way of knowing that you are on the right track is when you receive news from Kenya that a little girl who has been on the Live and Learn in Kenya International's sponsorship program since kindergarten has graduated from university and is now a highly educated young woman.
That little girl from the past lived in the poorest possible conditions in the Nakuru slums with parents who are casual workers earning about 2 US dollars a day between them. They would never have been able to even send their little girl to school in the first place! So much has to be taken care of by the parents - from school uniforms, shoes, books, and school supplies - to the necessary fees. Once successfully finishing primary school (first to eighth grade) the next step is the very expensive secondary school. Almost all pupils must live in a dormitory, where they even have to provide their own mattresses, blankets, pillows, and linens in addition to all of the other necessities of normal life. Uniforms and books and everything else must be bought - somehow... The joyous high school graduation day comes along. Twelve years of hard work, study, and frugality pay off with the possibility of attending a university. But how? All of those years of hard work - what now? Parents living in the slums of Nakuru, Kenya - or any slums in Kenya for that matter just do not have the possibility to send their child to university - no matter how hard-working and intelligent their child may be - from nothing comes nothing. That's where Live and Learn in Kenya International comes in. We accept very young children - from the age of 3 years old - and give them the chance of a lifetime. They have the chance to make the very best out of their lives and be all that they can be. Everything is paid for and they are lovingly provided with guidance and care. Warm meals and clean water keep them alert and ready to face everyday school challenges.
Of course, just like everywhere else in the world, it doesn't always turn out the way we plan, but when we receive news from Kenya that a little girl who has been on the Live and Learn in Kenya International's sponsorship program since kindergarten has graduated from Moi University and is now a highly educated young woman with a future of gold before her!
Congratulations to Fatuma - and congratulations to all of the people who donated to assist her and the hundreds of other Live and Learn in Kenya International children who now have hope for the future.
Asante sana - thank you so much!
After just returning from my annual visit to the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center in Nakuru, Kenya I have a lot to think about - and to write about.
Those bright and sparkling eyes and screams of pleasure at our arrival - playing with the children - singing and dancing with the children - planting flowering plants and trees - doing handcrafts with the children - sitting in on classroom lessons, and especially making the children laugh and squeal with joy at our antics - what an experience!
I feel so humbled every time I'm there. All of the stress of the hard work of fundraising and figuring out how to pay the ever-growing expenses for school fees, mandatory uniforms, shoes, books, meals, etc all makes sense seeing the children smile!
One of the visitors in our group, Martina, is a recently retired dentist. She brought along hundreds of toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, and even a huge set of teeth to teach the young children dental hygiene in a fun and playful way. Keep those smiles shining!
We were able to take on 30 new little 3-year-olds this month to join the Day Care Class at the Live and Learn in Kenya Education Center Kindergarten. Knowing that these little toddlers will be growing up without the fear of where to find their next meal or if they would be able to go to school at all is such a wonderful and - yes - humbling feeling.
Over the past 21 years, I have watched so many children in Kenya grow from hungry, wide-eyed little kindergarteners into strong, self-confident, and self-sufficient young men and women. All of you reading these lines know exactly what I mean - we are all making a real difference in children's lives - children who you will most likely never meet - and will never meet you, but they KNOW what you have done for them and for their lives. Many have even graduated from universities and colleges at the top of their classes. They KNOW how that came to be. But even the children who grow up to be tailors, carpenters, mechanics, welders, etc. KNOW how they got from point A to point B - and who made it possible. We will go on giving children hope and helping them to be all that they can be and make their lives worth living. That's called HOPE!
And it's all because of YOU!
Asante Sana - thank you so much!
Formerly many youths left school - and thus the Live and Learn in Kenya International project after completing 8th grade. It was always sad to see intelligent students deciding to leave the project and go on to work, albeit much better jobs now that they are literate but still less than their potential. It was also sad to see the less intelligently blessed students leaving to work menial jobs to earn money to live on at the young age of 14 or 15. Every child has a talent for something and we consider it our responsibility to find that talent in each child and provide him or her with the necessary support to be able to bring it out and possibly make a trained job out of it - mechanic, carpenter, hairdresser, tailor, etc. But if the student and/or the parents decided differently, there was little to nothing that we could do about it.
As of this year, the Kenyan Government's Ministry of Education has made some very important changes in the educational system in Kenya. All students are now given the possibility to attend High School. Although High School fees are enormous - we have decided to send every 8th-grade graduate to high school no matter what grade averages they may have. Some kids are slower learners - some just need longer to really get started and realize the importance of what an excellent education means in their lives - their futures.
So now we are in the sensitive predicament of having to provide the very expensive High School fees - and of course college and university fees as well. It is draining, to say the least! The other Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l projects are suffering acutely from lack of funds - so we need all the help we can get!!!
Let's give every child the possibility to reach their own individual potential - Harambee - Hand in Hand we can make a change - Hand in Hand we can do it!
Asante sana - thank you so much!
When Live and Learn in Kenya International took her onto the program, Danny was a skinny little 6-year-old coming from a family of 6 children - 5 girls and one boy. Her parents sell vegetables on the streets of the Nakuru slums. Their poverty was obvious when visiting their home - but their wealth was always obvious by their cleanliness and sparkling smiles!
Danny's special talents showed from a very young age. She would sing and speak and give speeches with such confidence that it was hard to believe her origin. She always walked with her head held high. She knew that Live and Learn in Kenya International was providing her with the best possible education - and she proved herself worthy. Even as a young girl, Danny always had a smug smile on her face that told the world "I know where I'm going - and I'm going to do my best to get there"!
Danny always did her level best at school - and was rewarded with outstanding grades. After successfully graduating high school she went on to study at Maseno University and majoring in Arts and Social Science.
Last month Danny proudly graduated with a B average. Now, this lovely, strong, and intelligent young woman can stride into the future with everything that it takes to be a major success and pass her experiences on to many other young people - and to her own future children. We are proud of her!
THIS IS WHAT SPONSORSHIP IS ALL ABOUT - GIVING A NEEDY CHILD THE POSSIBILITY TO BE ALL THAT SHE/HE CAN BE!
Asante sana - thank you!
It will never cease to amaze how the small, usually frightened and cowering behind a parent or guardian little kindergarten-aged child blossoms into a strong, self-confident child. Being able to be proud of yourself, who you are, and your own roots is exactly what sponsorship at the Live and Learn in Kenya International program is all about. Education is the Key to the Future is Live and Learn in Kenya International's motto. This is because only through education can a child be released from the fangs of poverty. It doesn't matter if the child is able to go to high school, college, university, or vocational training - through education, he or she will be able to break out of the vicious circle of poverty that their parents, grandparents, and all generations before them were not able to do.
The time is now - watching these children grow over the past 20 years has been a humbling honor. Knowing that you have paved the path to a whole new future - hope that was only dreamed of by their parents - that is what sponsorship is all about.
The smiles on the faces of these children and youths warm the heart and soul.
Thank you for your donations that enable Live and Learn in Kenya International to go on watching dreams come true.
ASANTE SANA - THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Pay Bill: 891300
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser