Grandma Lucy and the Umoja 3 LIFT Community

Grandma Lucy’s Story What would it feel like to live in a one-room apartment with 11 other people? That’s the reality for Pauline, who came to live with her grandmother when her mom tragically died, a year ago. Light Up Hope has sponsored Pauline through our new LIFT program, for 2018. Pauline received books and a new uniform and had her school fees paid, when we visited her family in Nairobi’s Umoja 3 urban slum, in January. Listen in as Lucy – Pauline’s grandmother – talks about their daily life. The constant refrain in her story is, “Life is hard.” But she has faith that life can get better. Even though she and her extended family have very little, she is grateful. How many more children like Pauline, can we help? How many more families, like hers, desperately need support in order to stay united? Without support, families like Pauline’s often must relinquish children to orphanages. Let’s make their hope for a better life, reality. You can sponsor a family for just $35 per month through our LIFT program, which connects families to the resources they need – food, education, and health care – to stay united and strong. When […]

Mama Brian and the Kwa Njenga LIFT Community

Mama Brian’s Story Have you ever woken up to the certainty of having no food until lunchtime? That is the routine every day for Brian’s family, who lives in Nairobi’s Kwa Njenga urban slum. “They have never thought of breakfast,” says his mother. Maybe, if they are lucky, there will be something for lunch. And if not, for dinner. If they even do not have food at night, then they pray, drink water, and go to sleep. Brian, who is 12 years old and in the 5th grade, has been sponsored for our new LIFT program, meaning he has started the year with a new uniform, shoes, books, and paid school fees. Like any child, anywhere, he has big dreams. He wants to be a pilot someday, so that he “can fly up into the sky,” and also, so he can help his mother. His first thought is to buy her food and clothes some day, once he is grown. Will you help Brian, and children like him, to achieve his dreams of helping his family? Your gift also can prevent children like him from growing up in orphanages, which is often the pathway families in extreme poverty are forced […]

To all the moms of spoiled rotten children out there, I have an idea!

Let’s be honest, the biggest challenge I have feeding my children is they don’t want to eat what I cook.  And not because I’m a bad cook. In fact (you may not know this about me), but I attended culinary school and worked as a personal chef for some time; so really my kids are just completely spoiled rotten and ungrateful. But I love them more than life itself. And I still wake up every day and think of what I want to cook and what they will want to eat; then I make sure it is a balanced meal with vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. I think about variety and hope at least 2 out of 3 children won’t complain that they don’t like rice, or that it’s too spicy, or why isn’t it macaroni and cheese?  I stress about how I will find time in my busy schedule between dropping one kid at soccer, answering emails, picking up another kid from band practice, and answering the phone call from my poor mom who just wants five minutes of my time, to actually have the time in my kitchen to prepare the planned meal.  Then I work my magic and start cooking…dreading […]

LIFT Family Unification – What is it?

LIGHT UP HOPE’S MISSION IS TO PROVIDE HEALING ORPHAN CARE AND LIGHT A PATH OUT OF POVERTY. We accomplish this goal through programs which are intentional about providing emotional and spiritual care, as well as, physical care; educational opportunities; mentorship; and life skills training; to orphans, other vulnerable children, and young adults in impoverished communities in Kenya. Our LIFT program is a community-based orphan care model that aims to accomplish our mission in the communities where we work to minimize the need for orphans and vulnerable children to be placed into institutional care (an orphanage or children’s home) and to thereby support family unification; we hope to consequently eliminate the negative effects (1)  of long-term institutional care on children in these communities. The primary cause of children being placed into institutional care in Kenya is poverty – defined by their parent’s inability to provide food security, education, and health care. The LIFT program addresses this root cause of institutionalization by identifying orphans and vulnerable children in impoverished areas where children are at risk of institutionalization due to poverty and/or parental death and lending support to help the family provide for the child’s needs while retaining the child within their family. […]

Diana Prepares for Kenya Trip

It’s now only 12 more days until my next visit to Kenya! I’m so beyond excited! Two years ago, I went to Kenya for my first time and was so anxious. I had been on a mission trip when I was sixteen (I won’t comment on how many years ago that was!) and had traveled to Mexico and Canada, but that was the extent of my travel outside the US. I remember that at this time two years ago, I had packed and unpacked my bag at least 5 times to make sure everything would fit. I had researched on Pinterest things to pack for Kenya, what to wear on a mission trip in Africa, what medicines to take, etc. I wanted to be prepared and had no idea what to expect. I had been working with Light Up Hope for 4 years already but had not yet been to Kenya to see first-hand what we were doing. When we landed in Kenya it was dark; I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. The next morning, we toured Nairobi. Everywhere I looked there was litter; cows roamed freely on the dirt road; the mud I was walking in formed […]