The Coronavirus is Affecting our Program Offerings

We are writing to inform you of the ways the global pandemic is affecting our programs in Kenya.  Whenever there is widespread challenges around the world, it is the most vulnerable populations who suffer the most.  The children, young adults and families we work with are already on the edge, and depend on our assistance to meet their daily needs. 

We are proud of our staff for all they are doing to continue to support our clients to the best of our ability.  This includes finding creative solutions for food distribution for the children who depend on our feeding programs for school meals. 

You can read more below about how the pandemic is affecting each of our programs.

Just as the coronavirus outbreak is affecting small businesses around the country, local nonprofits are also being hit with a loss of revenue, and Light Up Hope is not an exception.  All of our planned “in-person” fundraising efforts have been either canceled or put on hold during this time of social distancing.  

We ask you to please consider making an online donation at this time to help ensure our programs can continue during and after the pandemic.  And please keep Light Up Hope and the families in our programs in your prayers.

In Gratitude,
Kelly Shaughnessy
Founder and President

Kenya has begun to see cases of COVID-19.  Therefore, the government has taken several measures to ensure the health and safety of the Kenyan people.   This includes closing all schools in Kenya and encouraging social distancing. Additionally, all international travel to Kenya has been restricted from countries affected by the virus, of which the United States is on the list.  

How this affects Light Up Hope’s Programs

  • High School Students
    • Have been given transport to go home and have returned to their village homes around Kenya.
    • Have been given support for their term 1 break to support the families during the shutdown.
    • We are uncertain when schools will reopen.
  • Joseph’s House University and Trade College Students
    • University and trade colleges have also been closed with an uncertain date to reopen.
    • The majority of our Joseph’s House students have been given transport to return home to their guardians in the villages around Kenya to lessen the likelihood of exposure in the highly populated Nairobi communities. However, 25% of our students who do not have family outside of Nairobi remain in their housing within the city.
    • Universities are expected to continue with new student intake in August or September, of course this is also dependent on the progress of the pandemic.
  • Primary School Programs: Teachers and Feeding Programs
    • All primary schools are closed across Kenya and no programs are allowed to operate out of the schools at this time.
    • Teacher Salaries: The Gifted Prince teachers who are funded through Light Up Hope will continue to be paid while they are on government directed leave.
    • School Feeding Programs: Gifted Prince Primary School and Waterlink Primary School (both located in the slums of Nairobi) are closed by the government with uncertainty as to a date they will reopen. Therefore, we are unable to provide school day breakfast or lunch. The staff is actively working on a plan to provide dry good food packets to the students who normally benefit from the feeding program to assist the families with food support during the school closures.  This will be our plan going forward if the schools remain closed for an extended period. The cooks are continuing to be paid salary while the schools are closed to ensure their well being. 
    • Medical Program: The medical program for Gifted Prince school is currently on hold until the primary schools reopen.
  • LIFT Families – LIFT families continue to receive their monthly food assistance program support; however this program is drastically underfunded currently and we may not have the funding to continue this program past June of this year.  LIFT student school fees and school supplies are still within the budget and the students will continue schooling when the schools are reopened.
  • Light Up Hope Church in Nairobi – Pastor Augustine and the rest of the church leaders have opted to discontinue church services during this time of social distancing.  
  • Light Up Hope Kenya Staff – All staff members continue to receive their salary and we are budgeted to be able to continue their salary through the end of 2020.  Staff members are encouraged to work from home as much as they are able.  The one major exception will be for food distribution.

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