Brian’s family – Kwa Njenga LIFT community, July 2018

Have you ever considered living apart from your family in order to support them? That’s the choice Brian’s father, Geoffrey, made in order to try to build a better life for his family. He and Brian (pictured above) – who is supported by our LIFT program – live in Nairobi, while Brian’s mother and 4 siblings remain in a rural village. Brian and his father, Geoffrey, live together in a 1-room home in Kwa Njenga, one of Nairobi’s sprawling urban slums. Geoffrey works as a security guard at a hotel while Brian attends school. Geoffrey feels that life in the slum would be too hard for the entire family. In the village, Brian’s enterprising mother, Rose, manages affairs at home and sells porridge at a nearby shopping center, when she can. The family also owns a 1/2-acre of land in the village, but it is shared among the extended family. The children who have remained at home with Rose attend school in the village. Rose and Geoffrey have seen their lives improve substantially since receiving LIFT funding to support Geoffrey, since they now can divert funds to pay school fees and purchase clothing for their other children. They hope for […]

Vivian’s family – Kibingoti LIFT community, July 2018

Imagine that you are faced with supporting your 4 children with what you can grow on a ½ acre of land or earn from short-term labor. And the land is shared with your extended family. This is the challenge that Vivian’s (pictured above) parents face each day in rural Kibingoti, one of the 3 focus communities for our LIFT program. LIFT funds pay Vivian’s school fees at Kahuhoini Primary school. She attends the 6th grade. Before receiving this funding, Vivian often was sent home from school due to lack of payment. She is very grateful that “she now can study” like her classmates from more economically fortunate families. 3 of the family’s 7 children live together with their parents in a 2-room home with dirt floors. Their father recently became ill and cannot farm or seek work, so their mother has started looking for casual (short-term) labor in order to buy food for the family. They face additional challenges from dirt roads that become impassable in the rainy season, a shortage of health care providers and clinics, and a lack of clean water for drinking and use at home. Demand for clean water and better health care both are very […]

Maureen’s family – Kwa Njenga LIFT community, June update

What would it feel like to go without food for days and to also see your children going hungry? Maureen’s (pictured above, with her mother) family, who are supported by our LIFT program, deal with hunger every day in Kwa Njenga, a large urban slum in Nairobi. Sometimes, Maureen and her sister borrow food from the neighbors in order to have just one meal per day. The family also confronts a lack of clean water, the threat of theft (which is widespread in the slum), and poor dirt roads that become muddy in the rainy season. Maureen’s parents struggle to provide income for the family through causal (short-term) labor. Maureen’s mother has tried to improve the family’s situation by selling bread and porridge in the slum when she can. Her enterprising spirit helps to keep the family afloat and together. The family is grateful for LIFT funds, which have allowed them to send Maureen’s younger sister, Esther, to school and to purchase school uniforms for the girls. Education is one worry that they can cross off their long list. They still have a need for: food security, better health care, and funds for the mother to start a small business. […]

Mary’s family – Kibingoti LIFT community, June update

Mary (pictured above with her father), who is supported by our LIFT program, lives on a tiny, half-acre farm in Kibingoti. Mary and her 2 older siblings are cared for by their single father. He started supporting the family on his own when their mother tragically passed away. Their father farms crops on their land, but he was recently injured. Mary and her siblings now must rely on their aunt for food and clothing. Residents of this rural area in central Kenya face many challenges including a lack of clean water, poorly maintained dirt roads, and limited or no access to electricity, to name a few. Alcoholism is also a widespread social problem in this area; the consumption of illicit liquor brewed at home prevents parents from properly caring for their families and also leads to many divorces. Reliable employment is another challenge. Adults find it difficult to obtain even casual (short-term) work. This work itself is unpredictable and far from adequate for supporting a family. Mary reports that she is staying with her aunt while attending the fourth grade in Kahuho-ini Primary School. She loves math and wants to be a teacher when she grows up! “In America,” she […]

Eugene’s family – Umoja LIFT community update, June

What would it be like to grow up with your brothers living in a one-room home? That’s what Eugene (pictured above, at left, outside the family home with his mother and younger brother), who receives support from our LIFT program, experiences every day in the urban area of Umoja, in Nairobi. The uncertainty of this boy’s life has led him to want to be a police officer one day, so that he can help “care for his nation.” Eugene’s older brother attends high school, and his younger brother is just 8 months old. His father works doing odd jobs at a school in Nairobi; the father’s wages are the sole support for the family. Eugene’s father and mother are from western Kenya; they migrated to Nairobi. The family’s main challenges are obtaining drinking water – since their tap water is too salty to drink – and finding long-term employment. Competition for stable jobs in Nairobi is very high. They also would like to improve their housing situation. Since receiving LIFT funds, the family now can divert resources to pay the eldest son’s fees for high school and to meet the family’s medical needs. They are grateful for the support. Eugene […]