Project #6163

Send Orphaned Teens from Kenya to High School

by Fabulous African Fabrics


Congratulations for donating $2950 for this school term! Sometimes it seems as if FAF is climbing Mt. Kenya. Today we are at the top and looking down with wonder. This is the most you have donated in one term to Good Samaritan Children’s Home’s school expenses since we have been a part of Globalgiving. Thanks to all of you. Bonus days really work to increase our ability to support the orphanage.

Of the funds above, $1950 went to tuition, and $1000 to buy school shoes. Despite this, the home is short $4000 for the fall term, and some teens may have to stay home. In the summer term, tuition funds were short, and several teens stayed at the orphanage. The method the home uses to choose who must stay back is purely first come, first served. Therefore the seniors, junior and sophomores (in Kenya Third Form, Fourth Form, etc) go on with their studies, while the students who have just finished the 8th grade will be kept at the orphanage. There they repeat the 8th grade so they will not forget what they learned and will be able to pass their tests so they may enter high school. Only those students who do well in their tests will be accepted into the private schools our students attend. There are no public high schools in Kenya.

There is good news. Here are several opportunities to make sure that all of the GSCH students who qualify for secondary school in the winter term, will be able to go. Some of these events are on Globalgiving, and some are not. Remember on bonus days, you can make your donation grow.

               September 11 & 12: Garage Sale 8:30 A.M., 3090 Locke St. Grandville, MI

               September 15: Globalgiving Bonus Day. Donations start at 9:01 A.M.

                    Grow your donation by 30%

               October 7: Youth Spark Bonus Day, on Globalgiving 12:00 P.M.-11:59 P.M.

                     Bonus shared by all donors

               November: Jubilee Sale, Spokane, WA, Date to be announced.

               December: Anthony Salazar Fund Drive, all month

E-mail me for details on how to make donations to the Salazar Fund.  

The watercolor above of Mt. Kenya stands for the heights to which our teens aspire. It was created by one of the youths living at the Good Samaritan Children’s Home.

Boys Romp
Boys Romp

On our minds now:  Raising funds for Fall High School Tuition due August 15.  In a big garage sale Laura Salazar, co-founder of FAF, who is preparing to make a big move to Lakewood, CA raised $672.90.  She is very thankful not to have to haul all that stuff over the mountains.  The $1270.50 raised through Global Giving this quarter brings our total to $1942.40, only a drop in the bucket for what is needed to send 120 high school students to their next term at school at $1000 each.

On Global Giving's Bonus Day July 15, we have a goal of twice that.  We will be sending information out about that soon so you can join us on meeting the goal.

In the meantime, following the fire at the Goood Samaritan Children's Home, the orphanage is in a reassesment period.  We await further news on that development and how it will affect the lives of the children at the home.  As we wait, we point you to You Tube where there are 2 postings on life at the orphanage, showing donors giving mattresses and clothing to the children after the January 1st fire.  See link below.





               Crisis seems to be the name of the game at the Good Samaritan Children’s Home in Mathare

 Slum, Nairobi, Kenya.  We are now wondering if the bill for tuition for the summer term can be raised.

If not, high schools students will be required to stay home for the term, again.  It seems that just

yesterday we were worrying about the 78 girls who lost their possession and sleeping rooms in the

January 1st fire which kept them out of school because they didn’t have proper uniforms.  Getting an

education in Kenya costs not just tuition, but uniforms, shoes, sports clothes, book bags and sweaters.

Fabulous African Fabrics was able to come to the rescue with $2600 raised through our annual

 emergency fund and a birthday party celebrating Founder Laura Salazar’s 80th year.

For our small organization, this means that taking care of the fire victims sacrificed our usual

collections of monies for next term’s tuition.

               But Microsoft Youth Spark Bonus Day on April 14 provides an opportunity for you to help us

solve this problem.   Your donation to project 6163 will be matched at 50% providing that you donate

through GlobalGiving early on the 14th , starting at 9:00 Eastern Daylight Time until  the $100,000 set

aside for matching runs out. 

               Our goal is to raise one half of the required tuition money, or $6500.  Together we can do this

through encouraging your friends and relatives to join you in supporting this worthy cause.  Encourage

them to donate a small amount—even $10.00—because prizes will be awarded to the project that

attracts the most new donors!

               Keep our teens in school! 

Here are our plucky girls squeezed into a narrow room where they sleep when not at boarding school.


Laura has a file to share with you on OneDrive. To view it, click the link below.
Smart and cute but are they ready for first grade?
Smart and cute but are they ready for first grade?


Fabulous African Fabrics is in contact with the Good Samaritan Children’s Home on a regular basis.   Weekly, Project Director Kris Wetah informs us about what is happening, what is going well, and where help is needed.

Right now the big need is for in-home pre-school teachers.  Pre-schoolers who live in the orphanage have not proved to be ready for first grade at age seven.   With two official languages in the country, and numerous regional languages, spoken, children need to be fluent speakers in the official languages.  They may come to the home only speaking their regional language or need special tutoring in English or Swahili.   The children need to be familiar with numbers and letters, to be able to sit still during story time and follow directions, and all those other things we learned in kindergarten.  

Private schools offer pre-school, but that is too expensive for the orphanage.  A solution would be to hire one or two certified pre-school teachers to teach the classes at the orphanage.  We know that such a project is too expensive for our small organization to provide, but we would like to find some partner organization that would help us address this problem. 

On a happier note, the older children are home for their holiday, happy and well fed and preparing for the first quarter of the new school year, which you have made possible with your donations of tuition and shoes. 


FAF Hats for Sale at Art Market
FAF Hats for Sale at Art Market


Fabrics is our middle name.  Well, sort of.  We are Fabulous African Fabrics, founded in 1999 to make and sell items made from imported African textiles, raising funds for widows and orphans in Kenya. We were crafters and artists enthusiastic about African textiles and how we could make beautiful items out of them.  Proceeds went to a Kenyan Orphanage, The Good Samaritan Children’s Home.   By 2010 the passion for fabrics was ripping our foundation apart.

Selling at art markets, bazaars, and craft fairs was no longer viable.  After the Twin Towers came down, exotic textiles became suspect.   Crowds looked, but no one bought.   Enter the recession when fancy linens, jewelry and clothing were luxuries for the cash-strapped middle class.  Textile prices rose.  How many times did we hear “Your work is beautiful,” as people hurried past our booth, afraid to stop where they might feel the temptation to buy? 

Our work was so closely tied to the street fairs--our interest in surface design, and the crowds of people whom we met and talked to about our mission--it was hard to give up.  Earnings fell and fell until 2013 when our sales broke even with our costs.  I learned from reading Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits (Bray) that no fundraiser should cost more than 7% of the profits.  That was it. This summer we called it quits.  FAF still sells hats and silk scarves when contacted, and participates in a large craft fair in Spokane each year; but our long days at the craft fair and sewing machine are done.  No matter how much you love an idea, it pays to be flexible.

In 2010 we joined GlobalGiving, filling the hole in our budget. We enjoy exchanges with other non-profits and NGO’s on line, and being a part of a worldwide group through membership in GlobalGiving UK.  The boys and girls of the Good Samaritan Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya remain in good hands.

Hats for Sale, Hats for Sale!
Hats for Sale, Hats for Sale!


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Organization Information

Fabulous African Fabrics

Location: Grand Rapids, MI - USA
Project Leader:
Laura Salazar
Ph. D., Executive Director
Grand Rapids, MI United States