Education  Kenya Project #18160

Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya

by Springs of Hope Foundation
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
Educate HIV Orphans in Kenya
A very happy, proud Susan on graduation day.
A very happy, proud Susan on graduation day.

Hi Everyone,

Meet Susan, one of our recent Kijiji Mission graduates.

Susan is the 3rd born in a family of four. She didn’t have the opportunity to meet her father, who died when she was very young. Susan was 3 years old when her mother passes away in 2001 after a short illness, forcing Susan and her siblings to live with their 80-year-old maternal grandmother in the Nyamurutu slums. Her maternal aunt and her oldest sister are the ones who supported her with school fees in high school. 

Susan achieved high grades in school, however, after completing her secondary schooling her grandmother was not in a position to pay her college fees. Susan stayed at home for two years with little prospect of following her passion for learning fashion and design. Susan was very grateful when she was offered the opportunity to join Springs of Hope Foundations, Kijiji Mission Center in Nakuru on 5th October 2020, starting her new journey of studying the design and dressmaking one year course that we offer to help our needy girls attain a skill for their future, enabling them to earn a living.

We are often approached by outside organizations, offering our students special projects. One such example is the Rotary Club of Nakuru, which asked the students to sew reusable sanitary napkins to be given to high school girls within the community. These projects are wonderful for our students on many different levels. They help improve their speed and accuracy, while also giving them a huge sense of pride and confidence as they earn enough money to pay for their own sewing machine and a little seed money upon graduation.

Last week Susan left our center after being offered a job opportunity in a town known as Olkalou, at Quito Fashions Ltd, to work on piece work to which her sewing machine, paid for with the money earned while doing small projects while living with us, will be of great help.

Earlier this week we celebrated the International Day Of The Girl. We wish Susan, who now joins our alumni of young women who have become part of our huge Kijiji Mission family of successful young women over the years all the best in the future, you have made Kijiji Mission proud.

Again, we want to thank you for all of your support over the years, to be able to provide hope and a future to so many women who couldn't have possibly dreamed of having either is truly a blessing. You have made a tremendous difference in so many women's lives, including ours!

Thank you again,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Founder/CEO

Springs of Hope Foundation

(We've changed the student's name to protect her privacy)

Susan proudly showing her new sewing machine.
Susan proudly showing her new sewing machine.
Working on the Rotary Club sanitary pad project.
Working on the Rotary Club sanitary pad project.
Computer & finance management as part of training
Computer & finance management as part of training
It's all mine! My dream come true.
It's all mine! My dream come true.

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One of our focuses in this period of COVID 19 has been to donate food hampers and face masks to as many vulnerable and needy families in the county as possible. Most of the residents in the outer lying area are casual laborers who are paid after working. With the current pandemic, the residents are unable to get employment and feed their families. Some of the families have been going to the area chief to beg for food and a lot have been foregoing meals. Our target families are the elderly, terminally ill patients, persons with disabilities, vulnerable, and child-headed households, all of these cases are identified with the assistance of the area chief together with house cluster leaders. So that we can maintain order and be assured our donations go to the neediest, we will continue to do the food distributions at the chief's camp. Some of the cases that we have recently come across that touched our hearts included;



Vulnerable families- The area chief identified a case of a woman who is approximately 80 years, a widow who is ailing from asthma, and high blood pressure. The case is vulnerable in that, the elderly woman is the sole breadwinner to her six grandchildren. With her advanced age and sickness, she has been left at the mercy of neighbors and well-wishers to stay alive. The family lives in a rented mud-walled house in Mang’u area paying rent of Kshs. 500 ( US $5.00) per month.  The elderly grandmother could not manage to come to the pick-up location to collect her food hamper. This prompted the team to visit her home. She could not hold back tears when her grandchildren brought the food hamper to her.

We urgently need your support to keep life-saving food flowing to the most vulnerable in our community.

Borders have closed and supply chains are affected in areas most at risk. Please help us ensure that hungry children, the elderly, and vulnerable do not suffer the brunt of this pandemic.

If you’re able, please make a donation to our community outreach efforts. If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
https://www.facebook.com/kijijimission/
In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible.

Stay safe and well,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom
Founder/CEO
Springs of Hope Foundation

 

An elderly recipient of our food hamper program
An elderly recipient of our food hamper program
Another grateful elderly recipient of a food hampe
Another grateful elderly recipient of a food hampe
A grandmother caring for 6 young children at home.
A grandmother caring for 6 young children at home.
Grandmothers at last weeks food distribution.
Grandmothers at last weeks food distribution.
Young moms at food distribution program last week.
Young moms at food distribution program last week.

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Destitute young mothers.
Destitute young mothers.


On March 26, the Kenyan government announced further restrictions in an attempt to stop the 3rd wave of Covid 19 sweeping across the country. 
In his address to the nation on March 26th, President Kenyatta is quoted as saying,
"Since my last address to the nation on 12th March, 7,630 Kenyans have been admitted into our hospitals for COVID-19. Yet before my address to the nation on March 12th, 4,990 Kenyans had been admitted. In 13 days only, our admission rate increased by 52%. This confirms the fact that a Third Wave of COVID-19 is at hand in Kenya. The positivity rate is at its highest since the pandemic hit us; the death rate is devastating by all measures; and the stress the pandemic is placing on our health system is unparalleled.
Based on experience, this peak will flatten only by Mid-May 2021, which is about 60 days from now.

THAT WAS ONE MONTH AGO!

The following is a report I recently received from our head teachers' husband, Ephantus Wachira, who's passion for volunteering his time and his vehicle every week to deliver our food hampers and facemasks to the most vulnerable in our county is both humbling and tremendously appreaciated.

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Dear Jennifer,

The situation in Nakuru is very tough especially for those living in the slums. Many are going without food and other essentials for days at a time. Our government has no plans to alleviate the situation and as such people have been left to survive the best way they can.

Working with the village elders and community leaders the plan going forward is to do several stops with no more than 15 beneficiaries gathering in one place to receive our food hampers as per the government directive. Since we are dealing with beneficiaries at the lowest level of the pyramid- elderly & persons with disabilities; they do not push or fight over the food hampers.

Kijiji Mission has become a reliable partner to the vulnerable communities and they have a lot of faith in our work. At every meeting we clearly state that the donations are from Kijiji Mission and also explain to them the good work that Kijiji Mission is doing with the teenage girls in need of a second chance in life.

Last week during the food hampers distribution a lady stood up in the gathering after I had explained the work being done by Kijiji Mission and confirmed to the over 90 persons gathered that indeed it is true, a destitute girl she had rescued was currently enrolled in our empowerment program at Kijiji Mission. The applause was humbling to me and made me realize that some small acts that we do can mean so much and be life changing to others.

Kijiji Mission has also been applauded by beneficiaries due to the humane treatment and dignity accorded to them in its Covid19 response intervention both in the field and during callback by community leaders seeking assistance for needy teenage girls in their areas. We shall continue to be good ambassadors and endeavor to bring lasting change to the young women coming to Kijiji Mission while also making life bearable for the community they leave behind.

Sincerely,

Ephantus Wachira

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Sixty days! This will be devastating for many Kenyan girls, who lost 9 months of school attendance last year. The additional minimum 2 months at home will mean that many girls will never return to school due mainly to lack of school fees and inability to catch up, forcing them into early marriage.
Experts worry the pandemic could roll back decades of progress on gender equality and girls' education.

Fortunately for our young women, even though we're a vocational training school, the authorities did not order us to send our young women home. Instead, they were very agreeable to us having the students make facemasks to be given out to vulnerable families who could not afford to purchase them and package our 100 plus food hampers every week. 

It simply would not be possible for us to reach so many desperately needy families without your very generous support. 

With thanks and Blessings,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom 

Recipients of our weekly food distribution program
Recipients of our weekly food distribution program
Last week we mostly focused on single moms
Last week we mostly focused on single moms
The elderly
The elderly
sick and disabled.
sick and disabled.
We also gave out free facemasks to every family.
We also gave out free facemasks to every family.

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Finally, we were can start computer classes again!
Finally, we were can start computer classes again!

On March 11th 2020 the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic—and turned all of our lives upside down. One year ago a hug went from a warm greeting to a health hazard. We were forced to separate from friends and family; tragically, some of us lost friends and family.

The first case of Covid 19 was detected in Kenya on March 13th. The government immediately sprang into action, closing all schools, small shops, open markets, factories and basically any means of employment where the wage earner was surviving on a bare minimum salary to begin with, and no backup savings. Often, if a son or daughter had a job in one of the larger cities, money was sent home to elderly parents each month to enable them to pay for the minimum essentials of food and shelter.

Being a school, we were told to close Kijiji Mission and send all of our students’ home to their overcrowded slums. Fortunately, we were able to convince the area officials to let most of our students stay with us, where they would be safe. We just weren't allowed to function as a school, meaning that Martha could no longer follow her curriculum.

Not a problem! There was an immediate need for facemasks. So, we got to work making facemasks to be given out to anyone in the community who couldn't afford to purchase one.

 With the help of local Lions Club, Rotary, Rotaract Club and local small NGO's we were able to get thousands of facemasks out to the most vulnerable in our community as quickly as possible.

Within a very short time it became obvious that women who relied on a few dollars a day to feed their children by doing washing, housework or selling in the markets had nothing to feed their families. As soon as we were out of our two-week quarantine period at the end of March, we did our first food hamper distribution program, and we've been doing them every week ever since.

Our focus is the elderly, child headed households, single female headed households and people living with disabilities. One valuable lesson that has come out of our journey through 2020 is that this segment of the population will need our assistance long after the "new normal" sets in. Martha and Ephantus have committed themselves to doing the food distribution on weekends for as long as Springs of Hope Foundation can afford to provide the food and a small petrol allowance for Ephantus' donated vehicle.

Last weekend we were able to distribute 190 food hampers to the elderly and people living with disabilities. Each hamper contains enough food to feed a family of four for two weeks.

On most food distribution occasions we are able to do more than provide much needed food. We usually come across situations where the family needs additional assistance or counseling.

Recently we met a young mother with two young boys who were both born blind. Ephantus was able to assist their mother by getting them enrolled into a school in Nakuru that caters to the special needs of blind children. Something their single mother would never have known how to go about doing.

Finally, on September 1st we were able to bring in new students. Primary and high schools were still closed, but as a vocational training school Kijiji Mission was able to begin teaching again. We'd built up a backlog of very needy young women who were eager to join our 12-month program. Most had been recommended by the area chiefs who we met when doing our food distribution program. Unfortunately, we can only bring them in one at a time, placing them in our now unused volunteer house for a two-week quarantine period. We've been admitting new students for the past six months and we still have young women on the waiting list.

At last, the students who began their 12-month training with us in January 2020 will be graduating at the end of this month. Normally graduation is a huge celebration. Families often hire a minivan to bring the many family members who want to be part of their graduation ceremony.

Sadly, like the last graduation ceremony in August 2020, only the students and staff will be able to celebrate their many accomplishments and personal sacrifices during the past 16 months.

Thank you for being part of our unexpected, unpredictable journey. During the past 12 months we've learned that we're capable of doing many things when called to serve. Such as instantly pivoting from being a vocational training school to a mass food hamper and facemask production facility. By the way, the girls loved being in a position to give back to their communities, and often worked on the facemasks through their lunch break and on weekends.

We've learned so much about the unaddressed needs of the elderly and people living with disabilities. During the past 12 months, because of your generous support we've been able to assist the most vulnerable in our community. We are committed to continuing with the food program, and hopefully seeing it grow.

But, most importantly 2020 has shown us all that, when the going gets tough, the very best in everyone comes out.  Martha, Ephantus, Beryl, and our students did an outstanding job of getting everyone through a very stressful 12 months.

My huge gratitude and thanks go out to our team in Kenya and to our generous supporters all over the world who make it all possible,

 

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

We were all so happy to be back in the classroom.
We were all so happy to be back in the classroom.
Tailoring students, busy with their assignments.
Tailoring students, busy with their assignments.
Elderly recipients of our food hamper program.
Elderly recipients of our food hamper program.
Young mother with two blind sons.
Young mother with two blind sons.

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When girls are educated and supported, their entire family & community benefits.

At the Springs of Hope Foundation, we believe that poverty shouldn’t stop a family from feeding their family or sending their children to school and that girls should not be forced to carry the burden of domestic labor.

All children deserve to go to school, follow their dreams, and pursue the career that they want. Education is at the heart of this. But for young girls who missed out on an education during their formative years, our vocational training and youth economic empowerment projects provide a second chance for young women to develop skills and knowledge that can help them find employment or inspire them to become their own boss.

We work to provide vocational training to young women and help them set up a business. We empower our young women with financial literacy training, business management, and computer literacy. 

When girls are educated, it means more jobs for everyone and a reduction in overall poverty. But outside of the economy, our vocational training and financial independence training program completely transform an individual woman’s life.

We are incredibly grateful for all the support we have received over the years and excited by the impact that this has helped us to ensure.

This Holiday Season please consider making a year-end donation to Springs of Hope Foundation.

Wishing you and your loved ones good health and happiness in 2021.

Gratefully yours,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Founder/CEO

Springs of Hope Foundation 

 

A volunteer running a class on business management
A volunteer running a class on business management

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Organization Information

Springs of Hope Foundation

Location: Big Bay, MI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Kijiji Mission
Project Leader:
Jennifer Hughes
Big Bay, MI United States
$52,248 raised of $100,000 goal
 
345 donations
$47,752 to go
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