Emmanuel’s family – Umoja LIFT community, July 2018

Could you make the choice to live separately from your spouse and to parent your 3 children in a large city, all on your own, in order to provide them a better life? That’s the choice that Emmanuel’s (pictured here, with his father) parents made. Emmanuel’s father, Philip, lives with 3 of his 6 children in Nairobi, where he works for the city’s transportation department, while Emmanuel’s mother stays in a rural village in western Kenya. The 4-person family lives in a one-room rented home in Umoja, an urban neighborhood in Nairobi. Although they came to Nairobi to seek opportunities, costs – especially rent – also are high, and they have experienced great hardship. The family sometimes goes days without food. In the village, where Emmanuel’s mother, Sarah, resides, the family owns an acre of land. The land is used to produce food for the extended family. Sarah also works in the sugarcane fields. Her eldest daughter is married and no longer lives at home. Emmanuel is able to attend school for the first time, now that he receives support from our LIFT program to pay his school fees. He is attending first grade.  He says that he has good […]

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 […]

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. […]

Stanley’s family – Umoja LIFT community, April update

We are LIFTing up a single Mom – Lilia – to 5 (4 children and her grandchild) in Umoja, an urban neighborhood in Nairobi. Lilia is the sole provider for this large extended family. The family fled an unstable situation for Nairobi’s slums, where Lilia started a small business selling vegetables. They fortunately escaped the slums, as well, though at the cost of the older children dropping out of school to help support the family. Now the family is supported by Lilia’s kiosk, connected to their home in Umoja. In addition to running her small business, Lilia must attend to all household chores and care for her youngest child, 3-year-old Edwin, while the older children are in school or look for day labor in Nairobi. 14-year-old son Stanley, the middle child, receives LIFT funds to pay his school fees. Lilia reports that this assistance has been their “joy,” since scarce funds now can be diverted to cover rent and food for her large family. Stanley’s favorite subjects in school are Kiswahili and English. He enjoys school, but not when it rains, because the playground becomes too muddy to go outside. When he grows up, he wants to be a motorcars engineer. […]

Emmanuel’s family – Kibingoti LIFT community update, April update

10-year-old Emmanuel (pictured above, with our Kenyan staff) and his family live on a small farm in Kahuhoini Village in Kibingoti. Emmanuel’s school fees are paid through our LIFT program. With support for Emmanuel’s school fees, not only can he stay in school, but also, his 15-year-old sister can attend, as well – since the family now diverts funds that formerly went to Emmanuel’s education, to his sister’s schooling. The family is fortunate to be able to produce their own food on their small plot of land. They grow corn, beans, fruit, and a variety of vegetables, and keep chickens and cows (for milk). Their needs still are not met, however, due to the small size of the plot, unpredictable rains, and a lack of clean water as well as of the ability to irrigate. In spite of the often heavy rain, they have difficulty finding enough clean water for use in the home and on the farm. They also struggle with transportation when run-off from the rains washes out the mud roads and makes bridges impassable. In order to better meet the family’s needs, both Emmanuel’s mother and father seek day labor on nearby coffee farms, work that they […]