I have been home a week and had plenty of time to process my visit to Kenya. Things are not good there at this point in time. There is a severe drought, which has led to a severe famine. I saw many men like the one pictured here peddling water on the streets and I have never seen that in Nairobi before (click on any picture to get a better look). This makes our work with The Sophia Fund even more important, and I had a chance to visit one of the orphanages supported by The Sophia Fund to verify the importance of your giving at this time.
I visited the Each One Touch One Orphanage, located close to the Nairobi International Airport. This orphanage was founded by Alice Kwendo and a group of widows who wanted to do something to help their people. They started their home for children and have paid for everything out of their own pockets and have done what they could to get started. The Sophia Fund has been giving them $250 per month to feed the children and as you can see from the photo the children look bright and well-fed. During my visit, they showed me their complete financial statement for the home, the children's school report cards and other documents to let me know they were doing what they could to bless and care for the children. I was very happy with what I saw.
Without any hesitation, I authorized that my friends at the SARAH Network, who oversee The Sophia Fund monies in Kenya on our behalf, to continue the monthly support and to increase it as the number of orphans increases at the home. There are also two other programs The Sophia Fund is supporting at this time and both of them are fulfilling our request to put our money into nothing but food for widows and orphans.
Now for the next step. Effective immediately, I am launching a Christmas promotion to begin what I am calling The Deborah Foundation that will help establish learning centers at this orphanage and two others in Kenya -- those two being in Tenwek and Bushianala-Shisende. These learning centers will have one purpose: Instill a love for books and learning in the minds of these young orphans.
So what can you do to help? You can do a lot.
When you do your Christmas shopping this year, I am asking that you buy an educational toy or book for the kids in Kenya, ages 8 and under. I am asking that you be creative, so don't be limited by my list below, but here are some ideas of what you can send to me and we will figure out how to get it over to the Kenya in February on my next trip (no baby dolls, please):
- Balls - soccer or small rubber
- Wall hangings of any kind that will decorate or educate
- Kid's books of any kind (in English)
- Children's Bibles
- Shoes of any size, boys or girls
- Jump ropes
- Coloring books
- Chalk, white or colored
And do you know what else they asked me for, and I'm not even sure they make them any more? The founders asked me for an abacus to help teach the children how to count! You can send used toys and books but please don't send junk!
Of course, we will also need cash for The Deborah Foundation and ongoing monies for The Sophia Fund to feed the children and widows. You can give to PurposeQuest either through my website via PayPal or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 91099, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. Just let me know to which of the two projects, Sophia or Deborah, you are giving and I will make sure it is used for that purpose. You can send all donations of toys and books to my attention at 12 Morningtide Court, Monroeville, PA 15146, USA.
Kenya needs our help now more than ever and the orphan problem isn't getting any easier with the impending famine and drought. Please remember the orphans and widows this Christmas and write me if you have any suggestions or questions. I thank you in advance for your help.
You can see more pictures of my recent visit here.