Bringing light to a slum community
Poverty should never be the reason children fail their education, yet a local slum community close by to our children's home was struggling for this very reason. The small mud homes do not have electricity, making it impossible to study in the evenings. In Kenya it is dark at 7pm. Many of the children do not return from school until 6pm leaving a small amount of time to eat, carry out chores and study before the darkness creeps in. Their only source of light is a small cooking fire that puts the children at risk of being burned as they hover over the fire for light.
An amazing couple at The Kenyan Children's Project, Mark and Lucy Cavell, have been investing into this local slum community through building relationships and serving the community with a weekly outreach. Within the slum there is a school, where the admission fees are only one third of the cost of an average school, kept low for the purpose of enabling the poorer families to send their children to school (although some still cannot). Despite the incredible efforts of the community, children were still at risk of underachieving because they do not have light to study. At The Kenyan Children's Project, we decided to partner with this community to make a difference. The landlord kindly donated an empty building to be used as a homework club and KCP renovated it. A family in the UK funded the transformation of this room; we plastered the walls, concreted the floor, painted, built desks and benches, brought educational books, and finally fitted electricity! The whole community embraced this project and joined in where they could, giving their time and skills to aid the opening of this homework club.
Following the opening of the homework club, Isobella the headteacher shared this.. "I have seen so much difference in the children this week, I realised that it needed to be opened daily. My children, who usually cannot concentrate because of their life circumstances, are coming into class excited, finishing their work and then asking for extra homework, so that they can learn more in the homework club later. Children from the poorer families outside the community are coming in to seek out education and who are we to stop them?"
The people in this community have a heart to empower the children to achieve and succeed. They are sacrificing time, energy and love to ensure that the next generations have the opportunity to escape poverty. Investing into this place has been a humbling experience and we know the fruit will be lasting.
Transforming this mud hut into a homework club may seem like a small act of kindness, but this place will prevent children from running to live on the streets, it will improve the education of many, empowering them to succeed.