It’s time to write your sponsored child! We will take mail to the children during the June trip. All letters and gifts must fit in a manilla envelope and must be turned in by June 1st. THANK YOU!
Beside a busy road in Kenya, two children were found this December. The little baby is probably around 10 months old, and her big brother is just over two, we think. It’s a wonder they weren’t hit by a car or wandered away from each other.
This year, 44 infants and toddlers like these two were placed at the Neema House. They are cared for and loved by house mums who each take several babies to be their own for a little while. We are so proud of our house moms, who have worked with us for many years and love these sweet ones well.
Our social workers and staff work hard to find each child’s biological family. And once found, overcome the challenges facing those families. We strive to walk aside families to provide food, shelter, education, job training, and basic needs until they can care for their children. This year, 23 children were reunited with their families including a two sibling sets like this.
But when families can not be found or choose not to care for their children, we work with state and local agencies so they can place our children in loving adoptive homes. We celebrate each of these adoptive families and love to see these children thrive with a permanent mom and dad. This year, 18 babies were adopted into Kenyan families.
The Christmas holiday is a time to rest and enjoy family. Every year, our house mums bring “their” babies home to extended family to enjoy the traditions and celebration of Christmas. For these sweet babies, Christmas is a wonderful time. They enjoy the attention, the lovely smells, the presents, the lights, and the fun. Is there anything as lovely as seeing Christmas come alive in the eyes of little ones? Their sense of wonder reminds us all of the miracle of Jesus, the King in the manager.
Neema House is quiet with just our year round staff, but still expectant, because we know at any moment we may get a call. And for every baby who comes home to the Neema House, we pray for them to quickly find a forever home with a mom and a dad, to have Christmas traditions and celebrations forever.
Earlier this year, Shem received terrible news. His final exams were not high enough to enter college. He didn’t even apply and instead moved as far away from his shame as he could go. His uncle worked out near Lake Victoria- a day’s journey west. Shem packed a small bag and hitched a ride to become a manual laborer.
His longtime sponsors were coming to Kenya in March and desperately the staff sent several messages to Shem. Please come home. Please come visit. Your sponsors want to see you. Until then, Shem had not responded to any messages, but he surprised everyone by coming home to visit with his sponsors in March. They were delighted to see him! They had met him on a few other trips and knew of his low test scores, and so the three of them sat together for many hours talking and planning. When it was time to go, they hugged him hard and told him how proud they were of the young man he was becoming. They told him not to give up.
Shem came home, but he still didn’t know what to do. He had told his sponsors of his love for music, but how was that going to provide him a career? In June, another team came. This time carrying a pastor from Alabama. The pastor had brought a guitar. Worship was a sweet time for Shem that summer. He wondered if God could use him this same way- to draw people to God through worship. He stayed as close as he could to the pastor throughout the trip. On the very last day, as the van was loaded up, the pastor held out the guitar. “God told me to bring this on the trip. God told me that I would leave it here with someone, but I didn’t know who needed it. I want you to have this Shem. I brought it from Alabama for you.”
Shem told the fall team that he was overwhelmed with joy and filled with a sense of responsibility. He told the story of the guitar every time he stood up and lead worship in the small church in Molo, where he is now the Sunday worship leader every week. Shem also leads worship on Saturdays for the community at the House of Hope.
It’s been an incredible year for Shem. If his grades were better, as we all thought they would be. If he didn’t come back to meet his sponsors, as they spoke encouragement over him. If the pastor hadn’t listened to the Holy Spirit and the guitar stayed home. God used everything this year to turn Shem’s plans to God’s own plans for Shem.
As children, Charles and David both lived in poverty. Charles is one of four children, and, although he lives with both parents, his mother is the only one who is able to work. David has 6 siblings, and his mother is unable to work. They slept on the streets often as children and their families could not afford clothing or new shoes, let alone school fees.
In Kenya, children must complete end of year exams in November. These exams determine placement for schools, high school admission, or college admission. Neither Charles nor David scored high enough to secure entry to a high school. But without an education or trade, they would be unable to earn a living wage. At Project 82 Kenya, we are a family and support for these children until they are able to be independent, self sustaining adults. It was of the utmost importance that we encourage Charles and David not to stop their education but find a trade they are passionate about and which will provide them a living.
Earlier this year, Charles and David joined a trade school to learn Metal Work. They eagerly accepted their spots and began to learn. Today we are happy to inform you of the tremendous strides of progress by two of our young adults, David and Charles. When we visited them at school, they showed up their latest projects- learning spot welding and continuous welding.
It is incredible to see how far curiosity and passion is driving them closer to their destiny. Believing in a child means walking with him or her to find their passion, and to be willing to find the best fit for him or her- college or trade school. We are proud of Charles and David for the hard work they have accomplished this year. And we are proud of the young men they are becoming. With the love, support and encouragement that is being directed towards them by the P82 family, they will go further.
Read the beginning: https://project82kenya.com/trade-school
Caleb is a happy, sunny boy who has lived at the Neema House since he was 18 months old. We adore him. But this November, after 6 years with us, he returns to live full time with his family, a loving family who is now able to care for him and themselves.
We believe that loving children well means loving their whole family. No family should feel that abandoning their children is the only hope to escape poverty, homelessness, or violence. We want to walk with these families to help them become safe, stable, and self-sufficient.
This #GivingTuesday, our focus is on families like Caleb’s. Every gift you give today with go towards the needs of families reunifying- helping them overcome burdens like unemployment, lack of education, poverty, and homelessness. We believe every child has the right to be raised in a family and we pray for all our children to have loving permanent families. Join us today in celebrating what God has done- he has redeemed lives and healed a broken family. We praise God for his goodness and faithfulness.
Read more stories about Caleb’s time at the Neema House:
#GivingTuesday Facebook Fundraisers to Support Christmas in Kenya
November 27, 2018
WHAT: #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement in the US and internationally. Following Thanksgiving, many stores offer Christmas deals for Black Friday, then #SmallBusinessSaturday encourages consumers to support local business. #CyberMonday is a similar sale day because many people back at work from the Thanksgiving Break shop online on Monday. A few years ago, #GivingTuesday was started to continue kicking off the Christmas season, but this time to give back.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT:
- Facebook and Paypal will match up to $7 million dollars on #GivingTuesday, up to $20,000 per individual donor, and up to $250,000 to a registered nonprofit (like P82).
- Facebook will waive all processing fees for donations made on #GivingTuesday to fundraisers on Facebook.
- #GivingTuesday kicks off the end of year giving. Traditionally all end-of-year giving benefits the children’s education needs. This year, due to the success of last year’s #GivingTuesday, we are creating a special fund to empower foster families to have sustainable food sources from cows and goats. For foster families and reunified families, we hear over and over again that they need help providing school fees and food for their children. #GivingTuesday will help fund the food portion of those needs, and Christmas in Kenya will provide new uniforms, school books, shoes, and supplies. From now until the end of 2018, join us to #keepfamiliestogether.
Join us on facebook
Join us on Georgia Gives Day
Give online through our donations page.
We have been walking with our guardians in our transformational and empowerment journey. Our goal has been to see these women and men become empowered with skills that will by and large propel them to become successful microbusiness and small business owners, renowned entrepreneurs in their communities, bread winners in their homes and consquently an inspiration to those around them.
Clement, popularly known as “Oloo” is one of the transformational leaders in Molo. His empowerment journey started with first joining our knitting program. After perfecting his skills, he started getting orders for school sweaters in Molo. He used the profit he got from the sale to build a small temporal chicken coop since he could not afford to build a permanent one. He bought a few chickens and started his poultry farming that later became successful because of his consistent hard work and determination.
As they say; “Rome was not built in one day” the journey of building healthy families and communities takes many years of resilience and sheer hard work by our guardians and constant support from our donors and partners. The guardians were able to be empowered with an array of skills, for instance: knitting, basketry, farming, sewing and among others. These skills have proved to be strong foundations for building healthy families and communities in Molo that are free from the threat of abject poverty.
A few years back, we brought health experts to speak to our guardians; this sparked an interest for Clement and Penninah, who is also a guardian, in community health. We ensured that we enrolled them in trainings around Molo and they became an important vessel of sharing and training our guardians during the monthly guardian meetings. This has greatly helped in building healthy families in Molo.
Clement has been diligent in his work. He manages his business well, transforming the life of his family and helping to build a healthy community in Molo. He is one of the key pillars in our guardianship program, as he always brings on board exemplary and transformational leadership. He recently got a job at Molo district Hospital and when our staff in Molo visited him, he was euphoric to share news with us that he had just been promoted to a higher office. But still, when he walks to work he carries with him a basket full of eggs and sells them along the way.
While talking to him, he told our staff, “Success does not come when you dream of success, it comes from diligence and sweat.” Clement Oloo is indeed destined for greatness. We thank everyone that has supported us in our journey of building healthy communities.
In Kenya, the school terms are divided into three. In each term, we have decided to reward the best students in our program in terms of most improved, most disciplined and those with the best grades in their classes. This is geared towards motivating them to always aim to be the best in whatever they do. This is also used as a wake-up call for those who missed out on the reward, to also try their level best!
This term during the school holiday in August, our staff in Kenya took our children and young adults in our program in Molo for an amazing swimming experience at Tumaini Retreat Centre. The fun day acted as a reward scheme for our students who exhibited exemplary performance and good conduct.
They were later treated with a delicious sumptuous meal. It was a great first-time experience for most of them; they could not contain their excitement and smiled with joy!
Like the late Nelson Mandela, we have strongly believed that education is the most powerful tool that students in our program in Kenya can use to transform their community and the world. This is why we have decided to encourage them to keep aiming high and be what they always dream to be.
We also wish to express our deepest gratitude to our donors, partners and sponsors who have never relented in the cause of defending the future of our children by meeting their educational needs and also after an exemplary great performance; ensuring that they get a deserving rewarding experience.
The next term ends in November, with National Exams. The number one prayer request from our students is to pray for them to do well on their exams. Will you keep them covered as the school year ends?
I recently had the opportunity to watch the President of the United States present military’s highest honor, The Congressional Medal of Honor to Ronald Shurer, a former United States Army special forces staff Sargent and medic, honoring his actions while caring for our military wounded in Afghanistan. While participating in a joint US-Afghan raid his team suffered many casualties and was pinned down on a mountainside. Shurer ran through enemy fire and scaled a mountain side in order to get to a number of his team that had been wounded. In the process he was under severe enemy fire and was able to reach several wounded soldiers and treat them for their injuries. He helped to evacuate the wounded down a mountainside under heavy enemy fire to waiting Medic helicopters. His story of bravery was just monumental. He disregarded his own safety in order to scale the mountain and provide aid to so many that were under heavy enemy fire. Many of these wounded soldiers would have bled- out if they had not been rescued.
I could not believe how this bravery moved me so immensely. Is this something any of us would do? Could I do this? But after attending a Mt.Bethel dinner recognizing the mission that Mt. Bethel partners with Project 82 Kenya, I realized that many of our own Mt. Bethel members are doing not quite the same exact thing that Ronald Shurer did, but they are following God’s direction and lead to help those in need. They are not scaling mountains of rock and dirt and dodging gun fire but they are scaling mountains of pain, death and disease and hunger and homelessness that the people of Kenya are experiencing. In 2009, after making several mission trips to Kenya a small group of four ordinary people began sensing a call from God on their hearts. They began to feel that God was calling them to walk deeper in responding to the needs they had witnessed. To put simply, “doing nothing was not an option.”
At our Project 82 Kenya dinner we had the opportunity to hear first hand accounts of the suffering and pain that many of the children and adults, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are experiencing. We learned of the wonderful partnership of Mt.Bethel along with the P82 Kenya project to help fulfill God’s command to help widows and orphans.
Since the very beginning when the members of Mt. Bethel heard God’s call that “doing nothing is not an option” there has been so many inspirational stories of help and improvements in people’s lives in Kenya. However, there is still more children that need to receive the proper education at all levels and there are still children being abandoned and families that are still being torn apart. So the Project 82 Kenya work will and needs to continue. The improvements have been many, but the needs are still many and God is reaching out to all of us that have so much to help His children in need.
So we need to be as brave as Ronald Shurer. God certainly does not require us to scale a mountainside of Afghanistan with a rifle, but He does expect us to have a willing and giving spirit and to open our eyes and our ears to the call for need from our brothers and sisters. And God does expect us to put ourselves in the position of those less fortunate and He does demand that we help in any way we can, to Unlock the Door to your heart and hear the voices of those in need.
My husband and I were both very moved at the dinner to see the beautiful partnership that Mt. Bethel has with the Project 82 Kenya, and the hand of God that has touched all of those that give of their time and efforts to help so many in need.
Christmas is a time to spend together with loved ones celebrating the good news of Jesus’ birth. On the first Saturday of December, our children, guardians, caregivers and staff gather for a Christmas Celebration! Each child will receive a package containing his or her new school uniform, and gifts from sponsors. New back packs and school supplies are always needed to start the new school year in January. We will have a party together to celebrate the Good News of Great Joy that is Christmas. Will you help us provide a wonderful Christmas celebration?
$38 for a Stocking
- School uniform for one child
$100 Christmas for a Child
- School uniform
- Pair of shoes
- Backpack and school supplies
- Additional set of clothing and shoes
- Christmas Celebration
$500 for Santa’s Sleigh
Christmas celebration for a Family
- School uniforms for three children
- Pair of shoes for each child
- Backpack and school supplies for each child
- Additional set of clothing and shoes for each child
- Gifts for children and guardian
- Christmas Celebration for a family
- Food for guardian’s family for the holidays
This Christmas, you are giving more than school clothes and shoes. School clothes, shoes, school fees, food, and backpacks- these are the vehicle that we use to change our children’s lives for the better. They are touchable and tangible. But that’s not the true gifts you are giving our precious children this Christmas. Each week, we are highlighting the gifts our children have received this year, because someone like you cared, gave, and changed a life.