08 Aug Mid – Year Impact | It Takes a Village
How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.
2 Samuel 7:22
As we move past the halfway point of 2019, we are feeling gratitude for all of the support from our family around the globe.
These past few months have brought us numerous blessings including new babies, graduations, plenty of activities for personal development and infrastructure updates, to name a few. We thank the Lord for all the love as we pursue our mission of nurturing the minds, bodies and souls of our precious children.
Learning Outside of the Classroom
It is of paramount importance to us to ensure our kids attend the best schools in the area. Aside from empowering them with the highest quality education, we believe in nourishing their minds and bodies with extracurricular activities outside of the classroom to honor their varied interests. Thanks to your support, these are some of the extracurriculars our kids have been able to enjoy this year.
Word of Life Soccer Camp
Thanks to the Word of Life group as well as various Nairobi churches including the Parklands Baptist Church, we’ve been able to enroll some of our kids in soccer camp at a discounted rate. At camp, our kids have the opportunity to compete and improve their soccer skills from volunteer coaches selected by the local churches. Currently, nine of our Kikuyu boys are enrolled (Baraka, Tonny, Issa, Peter, Dennis Maina, Dennis Mwangi, Jacob, Griffin and George). Margaret, has been talking about wanting to join the camp and we are hoping that with her leadership, other girls will want to join as well. Through this camp, our kids get to work physically, but they also get the chance to connect with other kids and share the word of God.
In 2017, Patrick, an uncle that worked with us for three months in our Kikuyu home, taught our kids how to play chess. Since then, they have been teaching each other how to play. It’s really fun watching their focus and attention as they glue their eyes on the board when playing. Taking into consideration our kids have different abilities and interests, we are looking into enrolling some of them in a local chess camp in the near future for them to continue developing their strategic mindsets and stimulate their creativity. In the meantime, Griffin, Peter, Francis, Mary and Grace play against each other in the homes and are inclusive of other kids who want to learn.
Arts & Crafts
When it comes to creativity and expression, we have a few kids who let their imagination flow freely. Deus, Kevin (Kitalale) as well as Dennis, Tony and Mercy (Kikuyu) have an incredible eye for detail and astonish the aunties and uncles with some of the wonderful art they produce. Whenever we purchase supplies to hold arts and crafts sessions in our homes, these are the first kids to sit down and start their creations. They are also the kids who will take their pieces to the next level. Mercy recently decorated her Crocs with leftover materials from an art project we had at home. All of the Aunties and Uncles were amazed by her creativity when they saw the final product.
If you love music and don’t already follow our Facebook page, this is your chance to do so. We constantly post videos of our kids’ angelic voices and this is something you don’t want to miss out on. Recently, Faith and Lavenda were accepted to a regional competition because of their great talent and superb voices. Both of these girls attend boarding school and thanks to your support, they have been able to take extra time and lessons in the evenings to prepare for the competitions. Getting selected for these regional competitions is a very big deal and only the best get selected to compete against other schools. When the girls are home from school, they enjoy performing and teaching the new songs they learned to the other kids.
Through the scouts, Faith, Sarah and Naomi (from our Kitalale home) and Grace (from our Kikuyu home) have been able to get out of their comfort zone and learn life skills through this disciplined environment. It’s exciting to see that after every meeting, our kids come home and share with others what they’ve learned in the day. Some of the most valuable lessons have been first aid skills, teamwork and extreme condition survival skills.
Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds
Thanks to your contributions, we have been able to provide the best medical treatment and opportunity to some of our kids who need it the most. Earlier this year, Isaac, one of our most affectionate kids who was born with cerebral palsy, had a doctor check-up to help improve his mobility since his left leg is shorter than his right leg. To help mitigate this difference, the doctor recommended that Isaac gets fitted with a new brace on his right leg and a two-inch lift in the sole of his left shoe. The improvement was immediate and we couldn’t be happier!
Josephine’s strength and resilience is a reminder of the hope and outlook we can choose to have in our lives. We are really looking forward to her new prosthetic.
When Josephine joined our home in 2013, she had been born without her tibia in both of her lower legs. After a surgical attempt to restore function and mobility, there was no other option than to amputate both her legs. Since then, Josephine has had a positive outlook on her situation and has used her prosthetics to gain mobility. In the coming weeks, we’ll be providing her with a better set of prosthetics that have a ‘knee-bend’ for her to move with more confidence and agility. Josephine is incredibly strong and as she gets older, this new set of prosthetics will help increase her self-esteem around other kids.
Infrastructure and Design
In 2013, we acquired our Kikuyu home and were given the opportunity to expand to two homes. In these past six years, we’ve been working hard on remodeling the space to make it more accessible and create larger gathering areas for our kids. Just recently, we’ve completed the new basketball court, new gathering spaces, kitchen renovation and accessibility ramps.
As part of our 2019 Gala, we are looking to raise funds for the construction of a new boy’s cottage at our Kitalale Home. In line with our mission of staying in tune with the local culture and community around us, boys over the age of 12 live in a separate house within the same family compound. We currently have a temporary boys cottage which can accommodate six and is in great need of an overhaul. By the end of 2020, we’ll have 10 more boys in need of this separate accommodation.
Surprise and Delight
In these past 10 months, we’ve been blessed with the addition of six beautiful newborns in our Kikuyu home. Each of these babies was welcomed into our homes with lots of love songs, dance and other traditional rituals. Despite the higher costs of raising newborns, we are incredibly lucky to have Natasha, Jesse, Elaine, Joshua, Jonathan and Stacey as part of our family. We are grateful for the support and blessings we get from you to be able to purchase formula, diapers and take the kids for medical check-ups.
It’s thanks to your generous love and support that we’ve been able to take a moment and celebrate all of these incredible blessings that have impacted our children’s minds, bodies and souls. Looking to the future, we’re eager to see blessings and opportunities the rest of this year will bring for us and our kids.
If you’re interested in helping us by supporting our gala, we’re looking for individuals and businesses to sponsor a table and invites their friends to attend and learn more about Children of Hope. To be part of this movement, please take a look at our sponsorship opportunities package below or contact Emily, our Director of Donor Relations to get started.