26 July 2013

It's my privilege to sponsor children in school

In the almost 12 years I've lived in Kenya, I have come to realize that many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school.

The parents may fully understand the benefit of an education and the children may desperately want to attend school... but all too often the funds just aren't in the family's meager budget.

Many people in Kenya live one day at a time. As they eke out a living, they never know for sure where they'll get their next meal. Because of this reality, coming up with enough to pay for school fees is next to impossible.

Even though many adults in this country never finished primary school, they highly value the concept of getting ones education.

Most believe education is the key to eradicating poverty in their family's life and jump at the opportunity if it comes their way.

Duane and Tony pose with their mom, Agnes (far left), three of their teachers, and the headmaster of their primary school.

Over the past eight years, I've been involved (along with a few other people) in helping to pay the school fees and other costs for six young people in Kenya. Two of them were refugees from South Sudan. Each one of them has successfully -- and proudly -- finished high school!

If you're new to my blog or my friends, you can click on any of these names to see a sampling of past blog posts about them: Collins and Masudi; Rose and Sammy; Deng and Mawien.

Exactly one year ago, I took on the additional responsibility of ensuring that the five sons -- Tony, Pope, Adu, Duane, and Zach -- of my friend, Agnes, would also have that same chance to learn.

All of these children and young people are friends whom I've known for years. We've eaten many meals together, played games, and laughed a lot. I've also been there when they've gone through hard times and have shed a tear or two along with them.

Whenever I get involved in helping to pay a child's school fees, I do much more than deposit the money in the school's bank account. I also take them shopping for school supplies and books. I visit them at school and meet their teachers and principals. I attend 'parents days' when I can and I talk to the counselors about their grades.

My work in Kenya is all about up-close and personal relationships... and I love it!

          Tony                         Pope                       Adu                         Duane                      Zach

Tony is in his second year of high school and is a boarding student. Pope, Adu, and Duane are in grade school, and Zach attends preschool. 

No comments:

Post a Comment