How a university education changed my life!

Dear Friends, My grandparents and parents were migrant workers; they traveled between Colorado and Texas for work. My grandparents on both sides of the family have no higher than an early elementary education. While growing up, my Dad and his siblings went to school in Colorado for part of the year. When the work was done in Colorado, they went back to Texas with their family and went to school there for the other part of the year. When my Dad was in 8th grade, my grandparents decided they wanted something better for their kids. They wanted them to finish a full year of school at one location. My grandparents decided the way to achieve this goal was to move to Ohio to take factory jobs and raise their kids. For my grandparents, high school education was vital, and they pushed my father and his siblings to do great in school and achieve this goal. However, once my Dad received his high school diploma, he realized even that would not be enough and that he would need a university education to truly get ahead in life. My Dad held a full-time job, had a family, and went to night school […]

How recurring, monthly donations help Light Up Hope to do its work

Why are recurring monthly donations so important to nonprofits, and how do they help us to do our work? Have you asked the question: Why should I set-up a recurring donation? Can’t I just wait for the annual gala fundraiser or the Christmas giving campaign and make a single, lump-sum donation, then? Because we support students and their families year-round, monthly budgeting is key to effectively running our programs. Receiving donations each month allows us to better plan for both the short-term as well as for the future. If we have a significant number of recurring donations, we do not have to wait for the annual fundraiser in the spring to set goals to maintain our programs at current levels, or even, to expand and strengthen the reach and impact of our work, by: accepting and supporting new K-12 students, informing our high schoolers of available spots in our university program, initiating planned, but as of yet, unfunded, services like the community feeding component of our LIFT program. For example, in the fall, our senior high school students are taking their final term exams for graduation. These students will be waiting for word from us before planning their next steps. […]

Nellah’s family – Kibingoti LIFT community, Sept 2018

Nellah, who receives funding from our LIFT program in order to attend school, tragically lost her mother last year to lupus. After her mother’s death, Nellah’s father was unable to care any longer for his daughter and her two brothers. Their aunt fortunately took them in, and they now live with her family in rural Kibingoti. This large extended family of 7 – 3 adults and 4 children – lives in a 3-room home with mud walls and cement floors, in the countryside. They grow produce which helps to feed the family as well as to generate income, when the excess can be sold at local markets. When rains make the local dirt roads muddy, however, the produce unfortunately spoils before it can be brought to market. The gift of LIFT funds for Nellah’s school fees allows the family to send Nellah’s younger brothers to school, as well. They are very thankful for the support. Like any child, Nellah has dreams for her future. She loves studying math and English and wants to become a nurse when she is grown up. Her goal after becoming a nurse is to treat people in her own village. She also helps at home […]

Kevin’s family – Umoja LIFT community, Sept 2018

15-year-old Kevin lives with his extended family in Umoja, an urban area of Nairobi. Funds from our LIFT program help to support Kevin and his family by paying his school fees at Kariobangi South school. Kevin’s family came to live in Nairobi when his maternal grandmother migrated with his mother. Kevin and his sister, Pauline, both were born in Nairobi. After their mother sadly passed away 3 years ago from tuberculosis, Kevin and Pauline stayed on with their grandmother in the family home in urban Umoja. They now share the 3-room home with their grandmother, uncle, and cousin. They have a kitchen, sitting room, and 1 bedroom for the 5 family members. Their grandmother also is in ill health, due to diabetes and high blood pressure. The family is very grateful for support from LIFT, since they now can divert funds formerly used for school fees to cover rent and buy food for the family and medicine for Kevin’s ailing grandmother. Like most children in Kenya, Kevin helps with household chores at home such as washing dishes, house-cleaning, and fetching water for drinking and cooking. His favorite subjects at school are math and science. He wants to pursue these interests and […]

Emmanuel’s family – Umoja LIFT community, July 2018

Could you make the choice to live separately from your spouse and to parent your 3 children in a large city, all on your own, in order to provide them a better life? That’s the choice that Emmanuel’s (pictured here, with his father) parents made. Emmanuel’s father, Philip, lives with 3 of his 6 children in Nairobi, where he works for the city’s transportation department, while Emmanuel’s mother stays in a rural village in western Kenya. The 4-person family lives in a one-room rented home in Umoja, an urban neighborhood in Nairobi. Although they came to Nairobi to seek opportunities, costs – especially rent – also are high, and they have experienced great hardship. The family sometimes goes days without food. In the village, where Emmanuel’s mother, Sarah, resides, the family owns an acre of land. The land is used to produce food for the extended family. Sarah also works in the sugarcane fields. Her eldest daughter is married and no longer lives at home. Emmanuel is able to attend school for the first time, now that he receives support from our LIFT program to pay his school fees. He is attending first grade.  He says that he has good […]