We've had so much fun with our school kids this term! It began in January, when Strathallan School in Scotland sent money for uniforms and lunch. The kids all had tailor made uniforms and looked great and the teachers reported that attendance and concentration had increased noticeably since all the children were getting a proper meal at lunch time.
In February the fun continued when Stuart and Glenys came to visit. They managed to sneak 6 pots of powdered paint through customs as well as a load of other goodies for the kids. The children have been loving them and whenever we carry them down (we're taking it there bit by bit), they go wild! It's a great opportunity for them to be creative too, an opportunity that many children who grow up in poverty don't get.
The cherry on the cake was last Thursday when we got to take them on an end of term trip to a big Arboretum. We packed donuts, beans and chapatis; squeezed the kids into a minibus and went on our way. We had so much fun! They sang, played football, went on an adventure walk and we finished the day with a picnic/meal.
Thanks to all who have supported us so far this year. Some of you have given us the finances to make it possible, others have donated toys and books and still others have come to volunteer; we appreciate you all!
Sorry it's been a while since my last blog; but fear not, things have been going well and I'll begin by updating you about Blessed Academy...
Only a few weeks ago did we start our feeding program to give our 30 pupils a decent lunch each school day. It's been going great and the teachers have told us that the kids are performing much better in school since getting a proper lunch. We've continued with the porridge too, which they now take in the morning. The kids are so keen to have their porridge in the morning that some of them come to school half an hour before opening time, just to make sure that they won't miss out!
As if that wasn't exciting enough, we were also able to get uniforms for all of our school kids. The kids were full of excitement as their measurements were taken and two weeks later there was even more excitement as each one tried on their new, tailor made uniforms! A few of them needed tweaking here and there and Glenys got right to work with her thread and needle to get one or two dresses into shape.
We send out a big thank you to Strathallan School who raised the money for the lunches and uniforms; you've touched the lives of these children and all the fund-raising you've done is much appreciated by us, our pupils and our teachers!
On top of that, we had a nice couple of weeks with Glenys and Stuart who came to visit us from my UK Church, Towy Community Church. They came loaded with paints, fleeces, and other things towards our work here. We give the both of you a big thank you too, and watch out for the next blog where there will be pics of us putting these fab gifts into use!
Today a prayer was answered as we did something which we haven't been able to do until now: provide our school children with a proper meal for lunch! With a HUGE THANKS to Strathallan School who have provided us with enough money to give the pupils lunch for the whole year, we were able to give them a meal with the confidence that it won't just been for 1 day or 1 week, but that this will last the whole year.
As I sat there and watched them eat I felt my eyes tearing up, knowing the difference this will make to some of these children. However, I managed to keep the tears back as I wondered about how to explain to a 4 year old why I'm crying while their getting food, hehe! It was so great to see this day.
But the crazy thing is, when I sat down and calculated around how much it should cost each week, it came to around KSH3,000 (less than 25 pounds). That's not just for 1 child, that's how much it costs to feed all 30 pupils and the staff a decent meal each day for the whole week (well Monday-Friday). I don't really know where I'm going with this, but I guess the point is, if you want to make a difference in someone's life, you can do it. It only takes a little sacrifice to go a long way.
Food for thought! Be blessed ><>
last week was 'back to school' week here in Kenya and the beginning of a new school year. we opened our pre-school alongside the others and we were happy to welcome our kids back for another school year.
to our surprise, when lox checked in on registry day he found all the children from last year who were supposed to go on to primary school!! we managed to get them registered at a nearby school where we'll be able to keep a watch on their progress and where they'll be in class together.
however, the little ones for pre- school also came and we registered 22 kids for this year. we were also able to give some Muslim children the opportunity to be in our pre-school. they are often rejected from schools because of their religion, but we see it as an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus and to be a witness to their families.
there's a few things we'd like to do this year:
let us know your thoughts!
God bless ><>
One day, when i was still fresh and new to Kenya, we planned to go to a primary school to teach some of the girls about sexual health and purity. We went into Kibera and on our way to the school, dark clouds started forming in the sky. The Kenyans looked at them nervously and started to say something about them in Kiswahili (I didn't know much of the language back then). We kept going until we reached the school. Our team leader went to the office, and 2 minutes later returned to say that the school was closing now, we'll need to come back another day. On our way back, I managed to butt into the fast-flowing Swahili conversation and ask why the kids were being sent home. "Rain" came the simple response.
In Kibera, there's mud everywhere, mud roads, mud houses, kids playing in mud... and when it rains, it becomes one big mud bath. And so, to prevent the kids getting hurt in the slippery chaos, they send them home early. And in the morning, if there's been a lot of rain, the kids will wait a few hours for the roads to dry out before they go to school. Of course, this can reduce the amount of hours our children are getting taught, especially during the rainy season. So, we asked 'what can we do so that our kids can still come to school and go home after school when there's rain?' And I was met with another simple reply: wellies.
When Nienka and Becky, friends from Holland, asked what they can do to help the school, Lox mentioned the rain and wellies idea and they (with support from their friends back in Holland) kindly raised money so that our school pupils can wear wellies when it rains. Another problem solved!
This month we started 'project porridge' at our pre-school in Kibera slum, Nairobi. Today I went to see the project in action and it was great to see it all running smoothly! Some of our kids come to school in the morning without having taken breakfast and without something to eat during the day, and so they get by with just 1 meal in the evening to sustain them. This not only affects their well-being, but their education too because they struggle to concentrate on their school work. Our teachers informed the parents of this issue and that we were planning to give the children porridge in the mornings. On hearing this, the parents said that if we could give the children porridge at lunch time instead, they'll also work hard on giving them something to take in the mornings; so it turned out to be a win-win situation!
Most of the children are now getting 3 meals a day, and I look forward to seeing how this will affect their performance at school. Another high-five to all of you who make ideas like this a reality!
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.