Joseph’s House is an adult transitional program sponsored by Light Up Hope that supports trade school and university students from impoverished backgrounds in the transition to higher education. Our current participants, the first group to enter the program, have been learning about personal accountability. Recently, they took some time to serve their community in a tangible way that would make an impact.
The first group chose to serve in a slum area of Nairobi called Umoja. This area is one many people call home, even though the environment around them is often dirty and littered with trash. The group decided to take some time to clean up around the area.
When asked about the experience, one of our Kenyan Staff members, Brian, shared, “When we did the service for the community. . .it began as just to complete an assignment and get it over with; but when the people were thanking us for the gesture which they highly appreciated, it was kind of an eye opener. The feeling was overwhelming, and I felt compelled to do more for someone else.”
The second group had to change course when their original plans to serve at a Children’s Home fell through. They instead decided to clean the Hope Discovery International Church, the Light Up Hope staff offices in Nairobi, and the area surrounding the church, to help prepare it for upcoming activities.
When asked about their experience, Lewis a current Joseph’s House participant who attends University had this to share: “Reflecting on our recent community service activity, I feel like it was the one of the best moments that I have shared with other members of the program. We helped clean the church and one could easily feel the happiness and satisfaction that comes with serving the community….Service is more of an expression of accountability. When we portray ourselves as accountable, we tend to be concerned with everything around us and become solution-oriented. It comes naturally, but many tend to ignore the call to serve others and are instead choked by tendencies to achieve their own particular goals. I learned a lot from the activity, and I will repeatedly be a willing agent in any community service agenda.”
In addition to providing support that helps to break the cycle of poverty, Joseph’s House exists to empower young adults to be the best they can be and emerge as leaders in their community. This service project is just one of many examples of the ways in which our Joseph’s House participants are beginning to impact the community that surrounds them.
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