Children  Kenya Project #17797

Sponsor a Kenyan Child's Education

by Action Two Africa Vetted since 2014 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
Godfrey teaching his 2nd/3rd grade class
Godfrey teaching his 2nd/3rd grade class

Tears streamed down Godfrey’s cheeks as he explained how, one day, he wanted to become a teacher. His eyes averted, he struggled to summon the words to explain just how passionate he was about arming the next generation with the most powerful weapon of all: education.

It’s been over two years since Godfrey and his mother first came into our offices at Action Two Africa to ask for assistance with paying his school fees. Humphrey already knew his family. Godfrey was the eldest of three children. His mother sold vegetables at a roadside stand, and his father was a casual laborer. But even between the two of them, they didn’t make enough to keep all three children in school, so they reached out to Action Two Africa for help.

Two years later, Godfrey is a recent graduate from St. Patrick’s Secondary School in Nairobi. He was also recently accepted to the university, where he plans to pursue his degree in education. But in the meantime, as he waits to report for the first day of classes, Godfrey has chosen to spend his days doing something that embodies the mission of Action Two Africa: give back to his local community.

Godfrey is currently volunteering as a teacher in a local school in Kiambiu, teaching 2nd and 3rd graders. He is excited and determined to bring change to his community. As he told Humphrey during a recent conversation, “Not even the sky is the limit for what I plan to achieve."

We here at Action Two Africa (A2A) are saddened to let you know that our office in Kiambiu, Kenya, is now closed due to a lack of funding. Over the last few years, we have not been receiving adequate donations to support the office space that Humphrey previously worked out of, and where children could come after school to study, write to their sponsors, and have a safe place to meet with their peers. 

However unfortunate this set back though, this doesn't deter our mission or change our vision for Kiambiu. A2A will continue to provide educational sponsorships and mentoring to children in our Child Sponsorship Program. 

While we will no longer have a centralized office location, we are working on ways to continue to be a presence in the community and work with children and leaders in Kiambiu. We will do this by going back to meeting with families in their homes and finding an alternative location to host monthly board meetings.

Additionally, we have been searching for ways to increase our funding over the last year. Since the inception of A2A, our primary source of funding has been from generous donors such as yourselves, but, we are looking to increase our scope of donors to include people and organizations in Kenya. In March, Humphrey went to a GlobalGiving meeting held in Nairobi, in order to network with like-minded organizations and individuals. He was able to get information and resources from GlobalGiving and other participants on how to find funding within Kenya. Much like the United States, Kenya has organizations and grants designed to provide funding and resources to organizations like A2A. Humphrey has been diligently pursuing local and regional funding opportunities, and we look forward to the prospect of partnering with these organizations and individuals in Kenya, and continuing to grow and learn. 

We will keep you updated on the progress of our efforts, and if you have any suggestions or ways to improve our funding, please contact me at: christina@action2africa.org

 

Thank you all for your continued support! 

 

As many of you know, last year I (Christina) hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT). It was one of my dreams to complete the entire trail. The AT is a 2,190 mile trail that passes through 14 states. I endured unbearably cold weather, hot weather, poisonous snakes, bears, injuries, and the occasional lack of food and water. While the trail was tough, and I often thought about quitting, there was always one thing that gave me the courage to continue: the children in our Child Sponsorship Program.

On those difficult days out in the woods, I thought about the struggles that the children living in Kiambiu, Kenya encounter on a daily basis. I reflected on the conversations I had with children before they were a part of Action Two Africa, and how many of them talked about how they longed to go to school so that they could get an education, get a job, and hopefully, one day, be able to support their families.

I also thought about the daily struggles they encounter like not having enough food to eat and how difficult that made it to concentrate in school, or how on occasion they would get sick from drinking contaminated water, or how there were nights they couldn’t do their homework because they had no electricity, or how there were days young girls had to skip school because they didn't have something as simple as a tampon, or how there were times when they had to endure the embarrassment of being told to leave school because their family didn’t have enough money to pay their school fees.

I thought about all of these things, and about how much strength and courage the kids in our program have. How they have to fight every day for something as simple as an education. And while my struggles on trail pale in comparison to what the children in Kenya are experiencing on a daily basis, thinking of them gave me courage to keep walking, and, in some way, I hope they give you courage to pursue your dreams too.

Ultimately, what I realized out there in the woods was that while dreams are universal, opportunities, unfortunately, are not. Let’s continue to encourage and empower children in our Child Sponsorship Program by helping to provide them with the resources and tools they need to help make their dreams come true.

Living in the slums outside Nairobi presents residents with a unique set of challenges. Crime, poverty, and drug abuse, even by children, continue to rise in these communities. These are in many ways, inevitable challenges that come with living in an insecure environment such as this. One challenge that we shouldn’t have to expect though, is insecurity brought about by government officials.

As many of you are aware, 2017 was an election year for us. The initial election was in August, yet disputes and accusations continue to drag the process out. Violence has once again marked this election, and many of those who have suffered this violence have been residents of these especially vulnerable slum communities.

Many of the children here had to take their siblings “upcountry,” back to the rural communities where their parents are from, in order to ensure their safety. These are not challenges that school-aged children should be having to face while trying to make a better life for themselves.

Please join with us as we continue to hope and pray for peace and stability in Kenya. Our children’s futures depend on it.

“Why don't we, for once, instead of arriving in the community to tell people what to do, why don't, for once, listen to them?” -Ernesto Sirolli

Action Two Africa is a partnership built on listening to local passion. Christina and I met Humphrey when we were living in Kenya, and after sitting with him in his home and hearing him talk about his passion to help the people of Kiambiu, Action Two Africa was born.

Christina and I are Americans. We have no idea what the issues are in Kenya that have left thousands of children homeless and out of school. We can’t offer solutions, because we don’t understand the problems. That is why our partnership is so important.

Humphrey is a local. He has grown up in this community, and has served the people here for decades. We need his invaluable perspective, because he is the only one who can offer it. He has the local passion, and so through Action Two Africa, Christina and I have dedicated ourselves to serving that passion.

We are available to offer ideas and feedback, but ultimately, the direction and execution of programs (such as our Child Sponsorship & Scholarship Program and our Microloan & Economic Empowerment Programs) are driven by the needs that Humphrey sees within the community, and the solutions that he knows will work based on the culture in Kiambiu.

As a supporter of Action Two Africa, you may hear from Christina and I more (we’re often the ones posting photos and writing updates), but it is the passion of a local social worker, on the ground in Kenya, who is taking those photos and giving us the information we need to write those updates.

What we ask of you, as supporters and sponsors, is not to ask Christina and I what the solutions are to the issues in Kenya, but to ask us about the passion of the locals, and find out how that passion is driving the empowerment and transformation that Action Two Africa offers in the lives of the Kenyan people.

Thank you for everything you do. This is a partnership built on listening, and so our ears are wide open.

 

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Organization Information

Action Two Africa

Location: Nairobi, Rift Valley - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​action2africa.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Christina Carlson
Nairobi, Rift Valley Kenya
$8,611 raised of $10,000 goal
 
113 donations
$1,389 to go
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