Kenya 2016 – Updates on Projects We Support

SOCKS is pleased to be supporting the feeding program provided by Feed the Children Kenya as well as donating books.
Last year, we arrived to see construction under way for a brand new school right next to the corrugated tin rooms of the old school. This year, we were so excited to see the completed new school. There is an actual library to house the books donated by SOCKS for both students and teachers. Also, real classrooms with windows, indoor plumbing and kitchen and teacher areas.
The next goal for Caretakers is to begin a chicken business to generate funds to pay teacher salaries. They wish to be self- sufficient so that they may hire teachers in order to enroll more children in the brand new facility. The final dream is to fill each classroom and share the gift of education with as many children as possible.
SOCKS provides feminine hygiene products for the girls at Joyland School. As we arrived, you would think we had given them the world. The girls ran up to us with open arms and there were many hugs. A lovely presentation – in Kenya there is always a song and dance, and a wonderful poem recited, created on the spot and presented by a gifted student Karen, was our gift of thanks.
Every month the girls are provided with 3 panties and sanitary pads. Head teacher told us that over the last year, not one girl has missed a class since they are confident they will be properly protected during their monthly period.
Who knew such excitement could be generated over pads! We were told that the boys are a little jealous. We will have to think of something for them as well!
We arrived at the 70 acre compound to find the children all outside for sport. They all continue to be healthy and happy. Because of the devastating financial difficulties and stresses that we learned on our last visit, Ivan (dad and manager) has had to cut back on the little luxuries. No more cake for every child’s birthday to the heartbreaking task of sending the oldest children who had any family members at all, back to situations which were in many cases, risky.
Ivan, and his crew do everything they can to become more self-sufficient by renting out accommodation ‘huts’ to volunteers and Airbnb, providing safari tours with a gourmet lunch at the onsite restaurant, growing crops, tending a huge garden and much more. He is incredibly active on Facebook fostering positive relationships between the children on site and their international sponsors by sharing daily activities and special news and occasions.
Even with all of these efforts, Ivan must still rely on donations to keep everything going. SOCKS sends funds regularly to help with food, shelter and clothing but so much more is needed to support the almost 100 children with just the bare essentials. Worries even arose over the last year about whether there would be food for the next meal. We left an extra donation which would feed the children for the next 2 months.
As if this isn’t enough, Ivan continues to support vulnerable families in the surrounding community whenever possible. He feels called to serve and help whomever and however he can in this little corner of Kenya. His kids however, are always his highest priority.
SOCKS continues to support 7 students at HOG by paying their school fees. Many are nearing the completion of their high school studies. Home of Grace has now been in their new building for over a year. They are growing corn on the property and have painted their front gates.
They are trying to begin projects to become more self-sufficient and continue to search for family members of their children to foster as close a relationship as they can between children and their natural families.