Orphanage, Childcare and School
Keeping our children safe gives them a start to a bright future.
Close to 80% of Kenyan girls are abused before the age of 15. Most abuse occurs in the slums where the child is left alone while the parent (usually single) works. There was a need to provide a safe haven for slum children from birth through to secondary school.
The Church on the River, provided the grounds for the orphanage, childcare and school facility. SOSK built the school and funds it’s upkeep and development. This facility is a safe haven for the children to be cared for, educated and fed while their parents are occupied in their daily tasks. It protects the children from harm and abuse, allowing them to grow in confidence and awareness as they discover their abilities and potential.
We started with the basics, 3 bunks and bedding for the single-room orphanage. Tables and benches for the 2 class school that the congregation were building. Fifty roofing sheets to weather-proof the church building which could then double as a childcare. A gas-cooker and plenty of uji porridge, rice and dried beans. All for less than the average Australian monthly wage.
Within weeks of opening the school in 2013, Pastor Michael had to turn the less needy away.
In Kenya, primary education is free but you must provide a school uniform, shoes and funds for a desk and materials. Children from the slums or those living on the streets can’t afford these basics and miss out on education. Some of the ones that go to school are so weak they fall asleep and slip onto the concrete floor! And when they are learning, they learn from hand-drawn posters which the teacher creates from old flour sacks. A lead pencil is the only stationary used. And while they each have an exercise book, that’s it! The school did not own a single reading book!! There is of course no electricity or water. Nor glass in the windows. Yet the children are always smiling, happy to be able to attend school.
SOSK established a breakfast program and is supporting the educational program with class sets of readers, teacher manuals, workbooks, stationary and classroom resources. Chairs for the children and uniforms for those most in need.
The impact of such small measures has been huge. Absenteeism has dropped and children are visibly healthier.
Feeling safe, well fed and learning