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 […]

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. […]

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

11-year-old June lives with her Mom and Dad and 2 younger brothers in Nairobi’s Kwa Njenga slum. She is pictured above (L-R) with her younger brothers, mother, and our Head Social Worker in Kenya, Eliud Kipkorir. June’s mother and father first met at church in Nairobi. Kwa Njenga is the city’s second-largest slum. No updates (roads, utilities, etc.) have been made since it sprang up. June is able to attend the 4th grade at Gifted Prince school due to support from Light Up Hope’s LIFT program, which pays her school fees. June is a talented student, even though she struggles with epilepsy. The wages earned by her father – who is diabetic – as a security guard mostly pay for medicine for himself and his daughter, as well as for food and rent for the family. June’s mother helps out with the family’s needs by seeking day labor washing clothes for neighbors in a nearby affluent area. The gift of school fees has allowed the family to send the younger two children to school, as well, although they still struggle with finding clean water, paying their rent (which has increased), and dealing with unsanitary and difficult conditions in the slums. […]

Kwa Njenga LIFT community, March update

Sherline – who is being sponsored by LIFT (our family unification program) – makes her home in Kwa Njenga with her grandmother, 2 siblings, and 2 members of the extended family. This 6-person family lives in a one-room shelter made of corrugated metal. Sherline’s youngest sister, Winfer, is disabled and must attend a special school. Kwa Njenga is a sprawling slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. Here, many families live on the edge of dissolution, in extreme poverty. The main housing material is corrugated metal. Most families live in very cramped conditions, with trash littering, and raw sewage running, in the alleyways between residences. Families must purchase water and carry it back to their residence for household use – drinking, cooking, and cleaning; in other words, in addition to a lack of sewage and garbage service, there is no running water. Schools in Kwa Njenga are either underfunded or beyond the means of many families (who cannot afford school fees). We are sponsoring several families in Kwa Njenga through our LIFT program, where the need for help with food, education, and health care, is especially great. Through the gift of LIFT funds for Sherline’s school fees, the family now can pay for […]