|Posted by Hope for the Child on May 26, 2020 at 3:55 PM||comments (4)|
The chatter and giggling banter grow louder as students excitedly come through the gates into Arise N Shine Community School compound every morning. The school is the only k-4 institution for miles in Kisumu township, Kenya that for the last 13 years has offered free education, uniforms, and a daily meal program to those children whom a formal education would otherwise be out of reach. As the founder and executive director for Hope for the Child Inc (HFTC), a US-based not-for-profit that fully funds and supports this school and one other in rural Kisumu, I am proud of the milestones we have reached. Since inception, we have graduated over 2000 children and supported another 500 post-graduation, in their subsequent pursuits. We have provided access to basic healthcare, sanitation, clean drinking water, built a library, promoted the arts and invested in Early Childhood Development Education for our teachers to maximize learning in the classroom. HFTC has invested in a farm that provides fresh foods from farm to table to subsidize our daily meal program and to provide economic development to improve the livelihood of all our staff across the initiatives that come together to make the enterprise work.
Despite all our successes, it never occurred to me that we would be faced with a decision to completely shut down the schools due to Covid-19. The Kenyan government shut down all the schools across the country in the recent weeks, including ours, to reduce the spread of the virus. More than 98% of our students live in abject poverty. They walk or ride an overcrowded “boda boda” (makeshift motorcycles that would horrify any US Department of Motor Vehicle official) to get to the school daily from the 2 surrounding slums in Kisumu. Wide reports of police abuse and alleged brutality from the strict curfews imposed by the government to minimize the spread of the virus, terrorizes citizens with a fear that cripples movement or the establishment of any outreach to stay connected to the students. With donations dwindling, and sparse infrastructure in Kenya to support distance learning, much less bring resources such as food into the communities, the future and survival of these and many other poor children looks very grim.
It feels like we are being prodded, like sheep to embark on an exodus, to cross a tumultuous river, except as we have heard, not all of us will make it to the other side. My hope is that those of us who do make it to the other side, will be stronger and better for it. My intention during this time is to deeply reflect and reckon with my Maker, the One who ignited the passion to make an impact in the lives of the underprivileged and to bring about social justice. I am optimistic that this experience will necessitate a reset of values for all of us, a shift in prioritization that will produce unprecedented change, superior and more profound than anything that I, we, have imagined or achieved in the past.
Akinyi Williams, Founder/ Executive Director, Hope for the Child Inc.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on February 22, 2020 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Hope for the Child on December 25, 2018 at 7:15 PM||comments (4)|
Finally, the children at Arise N Shine Community Academy have access to books, more books!
Thanks to a partnership with Destination Teach, the school in Kisumu opened its doors to a brand new library.
This milestone is a great addition to the amenities we provide for our students and will be a window to the world where the kids can have exposure to global happenings, maps, stories from foreign lands, right on their fingertips.
Thank you so much, Destination Teach for partnering with us to bring to life the children's imaginations and expansion of the mind.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on April 18, 2016 at 11:40 PM||comments (3)|
It was wonderful speaking at Ed Talks tonight and sharing this great mission of providing access education to the poor. I got to learn about all the amazing work that my peers are doing around the world, as well as ideas that are incubating right at Harvard University. I am blessed to have the opportunity to be part of it all, representing the children.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on March 9, 2016 at 1:45 PM||comments (0)|
We're SO excited to announce a few details for our 6th Annual Golf "Fore" the Child Tournament!
Who: Awesome golfers looking for a fun time and a way to "do some good"
Where: The Links at Northfork - 9333 Alpine Dr, Ramsey, MN 55303
When: Tuesday, June 14 at 11am shot gun.
Other important details:
Price - $100 per golfer (100% goes toward a child's education!)
Sponsorship - Minimum $550 per sponsor/organization:
Included with your sponsorship -
- Fee for a team of 4 players included
- Golf Cart
- Marketing and Promotion for your organization
By attending and inviting others, you will help us reach our goal of raising $15,000 this year. These funds will help pay for the children's food, healthcare needs and learning materials expenses for a whole year!
But we can't do it alone! Ways you can help:
- Join us on the course for a fun day of golf!
- Invite a friend (or two or three)
- Tell your company about sponsorship opportunities - Sponsorship brochure here
- Or send a donation (by clicking the donate button above) if you can't make it in person - we'll be sure to have a drink in your honor
And please feel free to spread the word to all your golfer (and non-golfer) friends! If this event is anything like our last five tournaments - you will most definitely have a good time, all while supporting a great cause!
|Posted by Hope for the Child on February 22, 2016 at 9:50 AM||comments (2)|
Akinyi Williams, Founder and Executive Director of Hope for the Child, has been invited to speak at The 7th Annual African Development Conference (ADC) titled “The African Renaissance" on March 4th & 5th at Harvard Kennedy School. Akinyi will be joining a panel of speakers on education, including: former Miss South Sudan Nok Nora Duany Bassey, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh President and co-founder of Global Minimum Inc. and Jonathan Starr Founder and Headmaster Emeritus of the Abaarso School. The keynote speaker for this event is Dr. Donald Kaberuka former president of the African Development Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors. "It [the conference] invites conversations on how the continent’s potential can be realized and its growth sustained over the coming years. It will reflect on how to advance human rights, promote civic participation, and increase security. The ADC will explore the challenges of building infrastructure, navigating rapid urbanization, tackling climate change, eradicating poverty, and achieving gender and income equality. It will address models of good governance, access to quality education, health, and power, and other issues central to ensuring success and prosperity across the continent" (http://harvardadc.com/about/). Akinyi will give voice to the most unheard and the most impacted by the conference's developments, Africa's poorest children. Congratulations and thank you Akinyi!
Further information re: the conference can be found at http://harvardadc.com .
|Posted by Hope for the Child on January 8, 2016 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Many students overcame adversity to emerge champions, beating thousands of others from privileged backgrounds across the country. One such student from a poor family background who demonstrated that hard work and dedication overrides one’s family background is 12-year-old Murigi Wycliffe Gakenge. Gakenge a student from The Keen School, situated within Komarock estate Phase 3B, in Nairobi garnered 425 marks emerging the top pupil in the school. Raised by a single mother, Gakenge was born and raised in the crime ridden Kayole estate – Stone City area. Owing to the fact that his mother, Hellen Murugi was unable to pay her school fees, he attended four different primary schools.
“There was a time when he was forced to stay back home for a whole term as a class five student after being chased from Calvary school in Kayole,” says Murugi, a struggling second hand clothes vendor, who revealed that her meager income is hardly enough to put a decent meal on the table, leave alone paying school fees for her only son.
But luckily for the boy, he managed to secure a place at Keen School as a class six pupil where most times his fee was catered for by the school. Despite the difficulties, a committed Gakenge who aspires to be an electrical engineer would often wake up at 5 am in the morning in order to walk to school and return home at about 8 pm. “I was not discouraged by the long distance to school. I did not let the crime prone and dirty alleys through Kayole kill my dream for an education,” said Gakenge, when we caught up with him for an interview. To fulfill his intent, the dazzling sharp boy with big dreams survived hardship to create room for a bright future for himself. His spirit was however not killed by the unfriendly environment he is staying -an aura where teenage pregnancies, alcohol and drugs are the rulers of the day and night.
“It is patience, resilience, hard work and support from teachers that have kept me going. If I get a sponsor I will work tirelessly to make it in life,” says Gakenge whose choice of high schools were Starehe and Mangu high schools.
“I do not want to end up like many young boys out there whose future have been ruined due to the fact that they did not get the chance to further their education,” the shy and seemingly reserved teenager adds. Gakenge’s school registered 19 candidates during last year’s KCPE and had a mean score of 332.36 – it’s highest ever since 2010. To illustrate the school’s good performance, the number of students who scored 300 marks and above were 12 while those who scored between 285 marks to 300 were seven. According to the head teacher, Moses Owino Otiende it has taken a successful teamwork and dedication on the part of the students and teachers to achieve the remarkable performance. “We only hope that our best student will not lose his place among the best schools due to poverty,” he said.
“I do this, particularly for students who I feel have a bright future but no one to assist them. As for Gakenge I saw the potential in him judging by his past performances and knew that he was going far hence my decision to assist him,” said his former head teacher, Moses Owino Otiende.
Raised by a single parent the boy knows he must continue to move on and embrace faith to avoid succumbing to temptations which have been part of his difficult journey.
Although he labored to be among top best performers in the country in 2015 KCPE and is sure to earn selection to join prestigious national schools this year, fears that he may miss his place among the cream of the society loom large.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on January 7, 2016 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
Congratulations, to all the students who graduated this year from the final class at Arise N Shine Community Academy. Nine boys and seven girls graduated and the caregivers proudly thronged at the school on closing day to meet with teachers and school administrators.
Thank you so much for all your hard work, teachers and students.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on March 22, 2015 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
Arise N Shine Community Academy is making plans to increase enrollment. Since its doors opened in 2007, the school has helped over 500 disadvantaged children from pre-k to 2nd grade, giving them hope for a brighter future. Today, the team on the ground is hoping to double their capacity and get more children out of the streets and into the classrooms. “We are all set to move forward and expand. There is no turning back”, says Mrs Menya, a director at the school. “We are looking to spread to Nyahera and Siaya in the coming years”. The new addition to the school include 3 classrooms, an office for staff and a dining area for the children.
There is a lot of excitement in the air, as dump trucks bring in the rocks and other raw materials. The strident sound of hammers pounding nails is unmistakable. Mrs Menya adds that she plans to start development programs at the school aimed at supporting the widows in the community. Neighbors, parents and caregivers stop by to wave and nod their support. Hope for the Child would like to give you the opportunity to help us continue to make a difference in this community. The time is now.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on March 22, 2015 at 11:30 AM||comments (0)|
Mark you calendars, folks!
Our 5th Annual Golf Fore the Child Tournament is scheduled for Tuesday June 9th, 2015.
Last year we raised over $5000 to help the children at Arise N Shine Community Academy go to school.
This year, our goal is to raise $15000! This will help pay for the children's food, healthcare needs and learning materials expenses for a whole year!
We need your help. Join us on the course or just send a donation to support this worthwhile event by clicking the Donate button to follow prompt.
Hope to see you there!!!
Event date: Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
The Links at Northfork Golf Course
9333 Alpine Drive NW
Modified Shot gun 11:30am
$100.00 per golfer
$375 per foursome