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 […]

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 […]

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 […]