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 […]

From the Sewer to the Kitchen

Before Clysa entered our program he was working a part time job cleaning up human and industrial sewage in Nairobi.  The job was a day labor job and often he would not be paid by the company after the work was finished.  Clysa initially started a small business selling clothes in the slums with a small business grant of $100 from Light Up Hope.  The business faced challenges of finding customers and at the same time harassment by the local tax collectors who would try to collect taxes even on days when he had made no sales.  After six  months of struggling he decided he wanted to return to school and was then able to apply for the Joseph’s House Program.  He is grateful for the help and is enjoying trade school this spring in food, beverage and catering. You can help support Clysa and other young adults with trade school or university education by donating today.  Monthly donations of $25 or more per month help stabilize the program and guarantee the resources are there to light a path out of poverty.  

Space for Learning, Space for Leadership, Space for Worship

High school is a demanding time for students in Kenya.  The curriculum is challenging and extra help at school is often hard to come by when a student is struggling in a particular subject.  At the end of every year students in the Light Up Hope High School Sponsorship Program leave their boarding schools to return to their guardians for Christmas break, and this year we found many of the students were struggling in the areas of math and chemistry.  During this 6 week break we are pleased to share with you that we were able to offer 5 weeks of tutoring at the new Light Up Hope Social Hall in Nairobi. A core value of our mission is to go beyond meeting basic needs and find the individual talents each of our program beneficiaries posses and give them opportunities to shine.  Ellis and Lewis are program beneficiaries in our adult transitional university program and Ellis also grew up in a children’s home alongside many of the students in our high school program.  These two young men are leading the tutoring sessions and are able to not only strengthen the students’s understanding of the high school subjects, but also mentor them and […]