Dear donors and friends of Hope for the Child, we hope you enjoy this update.
Mid-term exams are well underway at Arise N Shine School (ANS) as the children huddle in groups to study. The teachers at ANS have to be sure that these exams are administered at a level commensurate to the Kenyan School curriculum and the children are prepared mentally and emotionally.
The Kenyan school year has 3 terms, January to March, with a break in April; May to July, with a break in August; and September to November, with a Christmas break in December. ANS has 4 classrooms going; three Kindergarten and 1st grade. Each class has an average of 20 children with one teacher. Last week the school reported an attendance of 63 children. This is a great number as it helps keep the class sizes manageable and promotes the quality of education delivered to the children. Most of the children at ANS come from the local surrounding slums and are very grateful to have an opportunity to go to school. For the last 6 years, HFTC has fully sponsored the activities at ANS giving disadvantaged children a free education which we hope will lead to greater opportunities in the future. ANS also runs a food program that provides for a small snack in the morning and lunch. Regardless of their situations at home, the children can be assured that they will be able to get food and energy that will help them get through the day.
Thank you so much to all our donors and volunteers that make this possible and we hope that we will continue to make an impact to the communities we serve.
Following the 2007 national elections, Kenya suffered much turmoil that resulted in violence and destruction and the death of over 275 people, according to NPR.org. This forced ANS to rise to the occasion and serve a dual purpose as a humanitarian shelter for refugee families and a school. The number of people who came to seek shelter at the school grounds rose from a maximum capacity of 90 to a staggering 200 plus, as women and children fled from their home for fear of being slain. As an organization HFTC found itself having to assist in this predicament. The USA team embraced the challenge and worked to raise extra funds and awareness that helped relieve the burden of accommodating and feeding this multitude. With the help of donors and volunteers here in the USA and in Kenya, we made it through these difficult times.
As the 2013 election period approaches, the country goes into avid preparation. Kenyans go to the polls on March 4 2013 to elect their national and local leaders. The country security institutions and officials are taking bold action to tighten their processes and curb the risk of violence this year. Citizens and religious leaders go into prayers for peace and anticipation for a smooth process. As supporters, I urge all of you to join us in prayers for a peaceful election and for the right leader to take on the reigns and bring meaningful change to the beautiful nation of Kenya.
Team USA Updates
In October 2012, a group of 9 MBA students from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis travelled to Kenya for their capstone project. Their goal was to promote immersion in cultural awareness for global business enterprise and to help HFTC improve its quality and achieve growth.
The team came back and presented their recommendations to the Hope for the Child leadership team in December 2012, some of which have been adopted successfully. In addition to media and knowledge-sharing, these recommendations have already simplified and streamlined accounting and business processes in the USA and in Kenya today.
HFTC wants to thank St Mary’s University, the MBA team and their professor David K. Hirschey for taking on the arduous but very beneficial undertaking to bring back insightful information that is already helping HFTC achieve its mission.
Hope for the Child Team