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. […]

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 […]

Kibingoti LIFT community, March update

8-year-old Tamasha’s family – one of our LIFT families in Kibingoti – doesn’t worry as much about her future now that her school fees are paid. Tamasha lives with her 5 older brothers and parents in rural Kahuhoini village, where they struggle to put food on the table once each day and get clean water for daily needs. As you can see from the pictures our staff took on their visit with Tamasha’s family, creeks and roads become muddy when it rains, making both travel and collection of clean water even more difficult. Tamasha’s mother supports the entire family through short-term, insecure work in more affluent towns, nearby. It is only through income from the mother’s unpredictable employment, that the family is able to eat their only meal each day. Tamasha’s father is an absentee dad. Tamasha wants to be a teacher some day, so that she can help other kids. She enjoys playing with her friends at school. Her favorite subjects are math and English. At home, she helps her mother with household chores like collecting firewood, fetching water from a nearby stream, and washing dishes. She wonders how children in America study for school. LIFT sponsors are helping families […]

Umoja LIFT community, March update

In Umoja (in urban Nairobi), LIFT sponsors are helping children like Mary Grace and Geoffrey, who were taken in by their aunt after their mother tragically passed away. Mary Grace and Geoffrey now live with their 3 cousins in a two-room home. The orphaned children sleep on the floor, due to a lack of bedding. In spite of challenging conditions, they have hope for a brighter future, especially with the support from LIFT, which is paying their school fees, this year. Geoffrey and Mary Grace see how hard their aunt works to be sure they and their cousins have breakfast and dinner, get safely to school, and do their homework, each day. They help their aunt with fetching water, washing dishes, other household chores, and caring for their youngest cousin. Mary Grace enjoys math the most at school. She wants to be a police woman someday, so that she can help maintain the peace. Her future plans include attending an all-girls’ high school. She wonders if kids in America play in the mud. Geoffrey likes playing football (soccer) with friends and enjoys studying English at school. He wants to be a soldier, like his uncle once was, and to buy […]

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 […]