The outcome each time we are able to sponsor a child is very different. We cannot guarentee that the child you sponsor, because of your help, will go on to University, to a well paid job, and will be able to turn round the fortunes or him or herself, and his or her family. We have had some fantastic examples of how this can happen, with three children now, having gone through the sponsorship scheme, being accepted into university, some years after having been living or working on the streets, or having been in an extremely vulnerable position in their families. We are so proud of the hard work they have put in, but equally grateful to the sponsors who have enabled them to seize that chance, just allowing them to go to school.
Francis joined the sponsorship scheme in 2007 and was notified to AfCiC through his brother with whom AfCiC had been working for some time. Francis is one of 6 children, and his mother died when very young, whilst hiss father worked as a night guard, barely making enough money for food for all the children. Upon working with Francis, AfCiC saw potential in him straight away, and helped Francis with school books and uniform to ensure he could continue to stay in primary school when he was on the verge of leaving for the streets. AfCiC found a sponsor for Francis after he completed his standard 8 exams, as without intervention, Francis would not have been able to afford to attend secondary school. His father died in 2009 leaving Francis an orphan, but he continued to stay in school until the end of his secondary school period, when he acheived very good grades and had the chance to go to University. Without Francis’ sponsor agreeing to pay the first year university fees, again, Francis would not have had the opportunity to go to University, and Francis’ letter shows just how much the generosity of sponsors means both to us, and the child involved.
In a similar way, Kennedy joined the scheme at the same time, having spent time on the streets. His father is a boda boda (bicycle taxi) driver, and struggles with alcoholism, and his mother is a casual worker, both of which bring in very little money. Including a previous marriage, Kennedy is one of 11 children, and this lack of financial security and provision of basic needs meant Kennedy spent a considerable time at our outreach centre and on the streets, being supported in going back to primary school. He made it through to standard 8, and his potential was discovered by one of AfCiC’s dedicated volunteers in a debating competion. On seeing his potential to go further, that same volunteer decided to sponsor Kennedy through secondary school, and four years later, through many ups and downs, he made it through to the end and was, like Francis, offered a place at a local university, with the first-year fees again being supported by the volunteer. Kennedy has now been at University studying Computer Science for just over a year, and would not be there without the support of Child Sponsors.
But not all children have this same success, or at least success as our culture measures it. But at least they can be given a chance to learn, a chance to grab hold of that ‘universal right to education’ that one of the the UN’s Millenium Development Goals is striving for. All we can provide them with is an opportunity. As above, whilst we cannot provide detailed backgrounds of specific children, below are some typical examples of the real children who are either awaiting sponsors, or have been sponsored in the past. The specifics of their situations vary, but their are some common threads, such as alchohol or substance abuse and family break-ups, that run through them all. Feel free to contact us if you would like to hear more.
Clare is 8, and comes from the Kilamambogo area of Thika. She is the younger sister of Jack, one of the boys currently going through the programme at the Interim Care Centre, and we came to find out about Clare through one of the outreach centres in Makongeni. Clare has been in and out of school for the past two years, with her mother’s prominent drinking problem one of the major causes of her unrest. There is often little or no food, morning, day or night, no money for school uniform or shoes, and her mother is both unable and unwilling to pay her school fees. Read more about Clare…
Rebecca is 11, and has 3 siblings. Her life started like many other children in Kenya, in a rural village, but having contracted Malaria when she was just past her first birthday, things began to change for her. Rebecca was admitted to hospital, and have been put on medication, her health deteriorated further, not being able to stand on her own feet, or even talk. Read more about Rebecca…
Timothy was discovered by our Outreach staff in Makongeni and was referred to our Interim Care Centre where he has begun rehabilitation in September. Prior to that, he had been on the streets for 9 months after dropping out of school in class 6, seemingly as a result of his parents’ separation. He continued to live with his mother, but after remarrying, the new step-father would not accept him. Read more about Timothy…