The pandemic situation in Kenya is starting to get worse. Most schools re-opened in January when the new school year started. Virtually all of the children and young adults lost a year of education. There is no “online learning” in Kenya. Most of the children and young adults are back where they were a year ago and working hard on their studies. What the next few months might hold is uncertain. The month of April is one of their months off school and the secondary students were able to come back to the church for the holiday. Because of the increasing Covid-19 cases there are travel restrictions throughout the country. The young adults away at school had to hunker down there for the holiday.
Prior to the pandemic a new dining hall was being built on the church property. Once the lock down hit, construction stopped and the dining hall consisted of only the floor and brick walls. That is what they have been using for almost a year. It is also where they hold church since their church building collapsed over a year ago. Construction recently re-started and there is now a roof in place. Doors, windows and lighting still needs to be installed. We anticipate that those will be finished in the near future.
Two of our promising students who graduated from secondary school just before the pandemic hit were accepted into university. One is studying engineering in Nairobi and the other studying education in Eldoret (he would like to teach in Samson’s school). The cost of sending a student to university actually costs about three times what we ask for in sponsorship fees. Not all of our children do well enough on their national exams to receive the opportunity to go to university but if they do we would very much like to be able to provide this level of education. With that in mind HCIC recently set up a separate Education Fund and will advertise our needs as they arise. For the short term we can cover costs with our General Fund.
Another young adult, David, finished secondary school and wants to start a motorcycle taxi service rather than doing vocational training. We helped him purchase a cycle and he is now living independently and doing well. Another young adult launched!
In the last few months we have made real progress in bringing financial reporting and accountability up to the standards we desire. Our liaison, Dorothy, received training from a certified accountant used by the General Church and she is now producing electronic ledger reports. This may sound like a simple task to the reader, but believe me when I tell you that this is a huge step forward.
In closing I would like to tell you about a young man who recently matriculated from our care. His name is Evans. He is a tall quiet fellow who worked very hard through an intensive three year training and internship program to become a qualified car mechanic. He now has his own place to live and can fully support himself. The first thing he did was to bring his younger sister, Pacifica, to come and live with him. He is now able to cover the cost of her care and schooling as well as his own. We were sorry to see Pacifica leave too but delight in knowing that they can be their own family once again. One by one our long term goals for these children are being met through the combined efforts of HCIC and those of the General Church Sacred Care.
Kay R. AldenHCIC Chair
Pictured: David with his new cycle