Since 2011 Light Up Hope has been providing hope to orphaned and impoverished children and young adults in Kenya
Provide healing orphan care and light a path out of poverty for orphans, impoverished children and adults in Kenya.
WHAT PROBLEM IS LIGHT UP HOPE TRYING TO SOLVE?
Though as equally talented as wealthy children, kids born into poverty are at a significant disadvantage to break the cycle of poverty,
The traditional approach of utilizing institutions (orphanages) to help impoverished children in Kenya is not effective at helping the children bridge out of poverty when they reach adulthood. The institutional approach is contributing to systemic poverty and youth disempowerment. The long term trauma that is created from being separated from one’s family causes a form of PTSD which has long term negative impact on a person’s ability to form healthy relationships and have positive self esteem.
These negative effects diminish a person’s natural ability to be successful adults and therefore have long term negative effects on their ability to hold a job, build strong families and parent. All of which are contributing factors to the cycle of poverty repeating for generations.
HOW IS LIGHT UP HOPE WORKING TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM?
At Light Up Hope we take a two pronged approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, first we work to stabilize and strenghten families. A child growing up with their nutritional and educational needs being met is important to their developmental growth, but equally important is meeting their emotional needs by providing assistance to struggling families to keep the children united with their parent(s). Secondly we provide opportunities for personal growth and development through programs which provide high quality education as well as leadership development, personalized mentorship, life skills classes, and counseling.
Our LIFT PROGRAM, which provides access to food, education and healthcare for children while also working with parents; forming community groups which support each other and teach new approaches to raising children and stabilizing families has been found to be highly effective. We are seeing mothers in our rural program work together to solve the problems in their community and our social workers are working hard with our urban families to help them find hope and opportunity in their communities.
Our HIGH SCHOOL SPONSORSHIP program provides not only school fees but also tutoring, leadership development and mentorship to help our students overcome their emotional challenges as well as academic challenges. We have also seen the high school students in our program benefit from the strong role modeling of our JOSEPH’S HOUSE PROGRAM. Students who used to never know if they would achieve their high school certificate are now more than ever believing they can reach university.
In a country where only 11% of the educated population reaches university, our Joseph’s House program is producing an incredible rate of 60-75% university attendance and 100% receiving post secondary education in either trade school or university. Additionally we are seeing our students thrive under our community model whereby the students work, live and are mentored together while learning life skills like financial management, healthy relationships, executive functioning skills and the importance of family planning to make sure they achieve their goals.
We look forward to a future where Light Up Hope will also have a network of professional Kenyan mentors in Nairobi who will both help guide these young adults as they exit from university and also provide networking opportunities for the young adults who will be competing in a highly competitive job market with an unemployment rate close to 40% for young adults.
EMPOWERMENT PHILOSOPHY : We believe in empowering Kenyan leadership in our organization. We acknowledge Kenyans know best the cultural, political and environmental background of their own country, and we believe they know the best solution to providing improvement in the lives of their community. We act as a partner who provides additional ideas, support and resources to refine Kenyan identified solutions to Kenyan identified problems.
Additionally we seek ongoing input from program beneficiaries on how to improve the program to better meet the needs of future program participants. We seek their input on what works in our programs, what needs improvement and aspects of the program that may be found ineffective, such that we can constantly learn, evolve, and better serve our beneficiaries.
Join us in lighting a path out of poverty! What Empowerment Means to Me by Lewis