|Posted by Hope for the Child on January 1, 2022 at 8:50 PM||comments (2)|
2021, indeed, was a difficult year for us at Hope for the Child, especially because we lost our visionary and my mother, Mary Menya. With my father, Jason Menya, at her side, we began Arise N Shine Community schools in 2007, working towards a simple mission of bringing education access and hope to the most vulnerable children in the community. We started with 7 children in baby class in one of Mary's bedrooms in her home and today we have grown to build 2 schools in Kisumu, serving over 350 children. These schools provide education and nutritional needs daily, with classes running from Pre-K to 5th grade in Kisumu town and Pre-K to 2nd grade in the rural location.
Mary's own upbringing in poverty and the desire to give a better future for needy children is what has propelled her through the years to love children by first feeding them and then investing in their education.
15 years ago, with love, purpose, and pure grit from a strong woman, Mary Menya, this mission started. With love we press on into the future and carry the torch to bring the vision to pass.
We love you Mama. You are greatly missed, everyday.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on November 29, 2020 at 12:55 AM||comments (305)|
Harvard Graduate School of Education wanted to highlight how educators had to shift paradigms and forge forward in pursuit of educational goals, despite COVID 19 set backs.
Our founder and Executive Director, Akinyi Williams was featured in the "Pivot" issue.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on August 16, 2020 at 12:40 AM||comments (221)|
Ausust 15th 2020
The schoolhouse in Rachuonyo, Siaya District, Nyamila Kisumu is now complete. This building will house the second school for Arise N Shine Community Academies in Kenya.
The construction project which began October 2019 marked a great milestone. It expanded our reach in providing access to education to the last mile.
When the president shut down all the schools in Kenya from March 2019 till January 2021 due to Covid-19, we got busy with all our capital projects.
Before, Arise N Shine Community Academy in Nyamila was serving 90 students daily with basic education, 2 meals a day, basic health and nutrition. Up until now, we had been using the local church sanctuary as a the schoolhouse in January 2019.During the down time, HFTC mobilized resources to accelerate the schoolhouse construction while providing employment to the local talent and youth.
This school will serve as a life line for all the students who look up to the institution for daily sustenance and the teachers and staff who are able to feed their own children as a direct benefit of their employment and engagement with the school.
When schools open up in January 2021, we will be ready. We thank our donors for making this possible.
|Posted by Hope for the Child on May 26, 2020 at 3:55 PM||comments (491)|
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 (74)|
ST. PAUL February 8, 2020 -- Hope for the Child Inc has been selected for the 2020 Best of St. Paul Award in the Child Care Services category by the St. Paul Award Program.
Each year, the St. Paul Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the St. Paul area a great place to live, work and play. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2020 St. Paul Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the St. Paul Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About St. Paul Award Program The St. Paul Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the St. Paul area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value. The St. Paul Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy. SOURCE: St. Paul Award Program CONTACT: St. Paul Award Program Email: PublicRelations@bestofannouncement.com URL: http://www.bestofannouncement.com
|Posted by Hope for the Child on December 25, 2018 at 7:15 PM||comments (171)|
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 (75)|
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 (3)|
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 (41)|
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 (194)|
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.