They dug trenches and laid pipes, but they never saw clean water. After several such experiences, it’s no wonder that our our neighbors met our clean water project with suspicion and resistance. But by following through on our word, and by God’s grace, hearts and minds are being opened to hope!
In the fall of 2017, our borehole struck clean water.
Now here in the beginning of 2018, we’ve finished the trenches that will carry the water to five different locations around the community and laid pipes in them. We tested our water flow through the pipes made that test-run water available to all community members for free, so they could experience it for themselves. Some of the biggest doubters of the project came running and couldn’t believe their eyes.
Clean water right next to their houses has been a pipe dream for them, something that could never happen.
Now the same people who had been resistant are offering their help and are actively supporting the project! Praise God!
The next step is building the treatment house so that we can begin to actively pump water each day and make it clean. Work on the water treatment house is underway. We hope for it to be done by the end of February, but snags tend to come up. Keep our progress in your prayers!
Recently our 8th graders finished their exams, meaning that they are done with 8th grade and will move onto high school in January. We are spotlighting these students, who are the highest performing class we’ve had yet!
In Kenya, even public high school has a tuition. The better high schools tend to have higher tuitions, and students are placed in a high school by their exam scores. These students are bright and promising. Read about them below. High school classes are the most in need of sponsorship because their education is more expensive. If you’d like to sponsor their class during their high school years visit the Sponsor Students page.
I have been at LightHouse Academy for six years. I like being a student at LightHouse Academy because of the good performance. I like playing football [soccer] and singing. When I reach college, I would like the course of a nurse. When I grow up I would like to help our community by building more schools and helping the orphans.
-Sime Willyster Akoth, 14 years old
I have been at LightHouse Academy for two years…and by God’s grace – wishing it to be the last year. [Because he will graduate.] As a student at LightHouse, I really like much about my school: my good friends, our beloved “Mums” here for us, our studies, our teachers, only to mention a few. My hobbies are reading magazines, drumming and playing music. About courses, I would like to take “journalism”, if possible! For my community, I would first find a way on how to help them live a deep life in a way of not spending a lot of money on buying things that “we can make ourselves”. For example, the planting of trees as a result of using them in building up schools; we must create an awareness on the importance of replacing a traditional way of making charcoal by not cutting or bringing down the trees. By all these, this will leave my community not having to live a life of losing just to have.
-Teddy Joshua Alando, 17 years old
I have been at LightHouse Academy for four years. I liked becoming a student at LightHouse because the performance was good and students were disciplined. My hobby is playing soccer. I would like the course of piloting in college. I am planning to help the community by building schools for the orphans and starting some projects which could help the community to grow economically.
-Opere James Oahiambo, 14 years old
I have been in LightHouse Academy for four years. Being a student at LightHouse has made me benefit much in my primary education and it has made me and other pupils to have good performance. I like swimming in the river during my free time. I would like to take of journalism in my college level. I am about to start a Youth Group in the community that can help them to earn their living standard.
-Scholar Achieng, 16 years old
I like being a student at LightHouse because of the good meals they provide, the good performance they have and the quality teachers they have. I like swimming as my hobby and I would like to take journalism courses in college. After completing college, I would build hospitals and start some projects that would help my community.
– Effie Adhiambo, 15 years old
I have been at LightHouse Academy for four years. I like being a student at LightHouse Academy for the better and good teachers who are employed. I am a boy talented in football [soccer] and dancing. I plan to have a course of becoming a doctor when I grow up. I plan to help the community after my education by building more schools for the orphans and health services for those who are sick.
-Tonny Austine, 14 years old
I have been at LightHouse for ten years. In LightHouse, what I like is how we are being aught and how we do play during physical education. My hobby is playing in football [soccer] matches. I like it very much. When I finish my secondary education, I would like to be a doctor in the future. If I finish college, I would like to help my community by building a hospital for them to have better treatment.
-Odera Linda Akoth, 13 years old
I like dancing and reading storybooks. I’ve been at LightHouse Academy for four years. I like being at LightHouse Academy because of the good performance in the school. I would like to train in nursing in college. When I grow up, I would like to help my community by planting trees and building hospitals.
-Siwo Abigael Aluoch, age 15
I have been at LightHouse Academy for 8 years; I like being at LightHouse because of good performance and proper hygiene. My hobby is reading storybooks, dancing and playing volleyball. If I finish college, I want to be a lawyer in the future. After finishing all that, I would like to help my community by building schools for orphans and needy people.
– Anna Adhiambo, 13 years old
I have been at LightHouse for 6 years. I like better teaching and good performance at LightHouse. I like playing soccer and I would like to be a pilot in the future. I would like to build schools for the orphans and provide basic needs for the widows in my community.
-Lovintronner Akoth, 14 years old
I have been in LightHouse for 9 years. What I like in LightHouse is proper hygiene, proper teaching, and a balanced diet. My hobby is listening to music and reading storybooks. I would like to be an actress. I would like to help the community by distributing basic needs to the needy and the poor, and organizing an orphanage school and children’s home.
-Mary Patience Akinyi, age 14
I am Ogutu Ann Akinyi. I am a Kenyan aged 17 years old. I have been at lighthouse for 6 years. I like the good performance of Lighthouse and how the cooks are humble to me. During my leisure time, I like visiting the needy and playing football [soccer]. When I grow up, I would like to be a teacher. I plan to help my community by building schools for them.
-Ann Ogutu, 17 years old
I have been at LightHouse for 7 years. I like my teachers and pupils. Ialso like our cooks and workers for they are obedient and gave me advice when I got onto a wrong path. My hobby is playing soccer and reading storybooks. I would like to do the course of piloting in college. I am planning to help the community by respecting my elders and therefore showing a good example.
-Kevin Onyango, age 14
I have been at LightHouse for four years. I like our teachers, our school, our breakfast, our lunch, the school manager, our performance and all the subjects that we’re being taught. My hobby is playing football [soccer]. I would like to do a doctor course in college. I plan to help the community by respecting the elders and doing things that may lead to development in my community.
-James Onyango, age 14
I’ve been at LightHouse for 10 years.I like the performance of students of LightHouse and the teaching of their teachers. I like playing football [soccer] as my hobby and I would like to do a course for a game warden. When I finish my course I will build an orphanage at my community and some project that could help the community to grow economically.
-Collins Odukah, age 17
I have been at LightHouse Academy for four years. I like how they teach, also how they cook. We always eat a balanced diet at school daily. My hobby is playing football [soccer] and reading novels. I always spend my leisure time playing football [soccer] and reading storybooks. If I finish my school, I will help the community by helping the needy, contributing food to the orphans and building the nation. I would like to be a pilot. I will go to Aviation College.
-Jacklyne Akinyi, age 15
I have been at LightHouse for 6 years. What I like about being a student at LightHouse, is how the teachers are teaching and the pupils are performing. My hobby is playing football [soccer] and farming. The course I would like in college is nursing. I plan to help the community by building a school for orphans and helping the needy.
-Esther Akoth, age 17
I have been in LightHouse for 9 years. I like being a student at LightHouse Academy because of the good performance in the school. I like reading novels. I would like to be a banker in the future. I am planning to help my community by building a school and a hospital in the community.
-Irene Opudo, age 14
I have been at LightHouse Academy for 4 years and I like the teaching and good performance of LightHouse. I like singing as my hobby. I would like to do nursing as my course and I am planning to help the community by building water projects for the people to have clean water for drinking
-Mercy Achieng, age 17
In her eloquent and timely TED talk, Susan Stall discusses gender equality. How does gender equality in health, education and work improve economic development, promote peace and improve the performance of companies and governments? Susan Stall has answers for us.
We recognize what these girls have to give to their families, communities, their country and the world. We know what we miss out on when we disenfranchise them. Help us empower the next generation of world women.
My name is Wendy Teresa Adhiambo, aged 23 years old. I am a Kenyan by birth.
Rafiki has taught me a lot and I have achieved some skills through Rafiki, like library skills; in 2013 I was a librarian for LightHouse Academy. I’ve also gained teaching skills. I was teaching the lower primary (Grades 1-3) at LightHouse Academy which helped me acquire skills in handling small children. I also helped with mentoring the high school students for a time.
Through Rafiki I have managed to achieve my certificate in the course of Diploma in Land Surveying at Kenya Institute of Surveying and Mapping in Nairobi. Rafiki has provided me with the necessary equipment, like school fees and upkeep fees. This enabled me to study in college very well and I also did my final exams with no problem.
What I am doing now
Now I am on my first job at the Civicon East Africa Company in Mombasa. Civicon East Africa is an engineering company that deals with civil engineering work and mechnical work. For now, we are doing construction at the port in which I am gaining different skills in land surveying, like leveling, setting out and calculation of volume of earth works.
What I want to accomplish in a few years
I am planning to go for my further studies, that is, a degree in Geomatics and Geospatrial Information (GIS) because diploma alone is not enough course; the world has become so competitive in the education section. I also hope to give a helping hand to the needy children, supporting them through their education, and to get a well paying job in the future.
Every year they saw me promoted to the next grade. When I completed my 8th grade, they started a rumor that Rafiki had abandoned me and would not help me with high school education. When I graduated from 12th grade, they started a rumor that I was going to get married. I joined college in the city and they thought that it was true that I was married. Now I’ve graduated from college, and everyone is coming to my mom for advice on how they can enroll their daughters in Rafiki’s education program. Every year I learnt about Jesus at school and my life changed. I no longer participated in the things other girls and my relatives did. they laughed at me questioning my faith and waited to see if this God I was learning about at school would help me in my education.”
Clearly, this Rafiki student faced many challenges with her relatives and community during her education in the Rafiki program.
Over the last 16-18 years many community members have doubted if Rafiki would realize its goals and mission of education that focuses on girls and the most vulnerable. But despite their doubts, God is faithful. He has shown His love and completed the work He began at LightHouse Academy. More and more, girls are leading and staying in school to complete their education through college.
This student’s story is one of many girls in the Rafiki education program. She is not the only one who has faced challenges. We trust that God will continue to help us reach more vulnerable girls. Rafiki has now completed the first circle of educating and caring for students from kindergarten to career. It’s exciting and humbling to help focused, bold girls and boys to fulfill their God given potential and make their dreams become a reality.
Through your prayers, support, and generosity, the dreams of these students become a reality and Rafiki reaches the most vulnerable girls and boys.
The following letter was written by Calvince Otieno, who was sponsored by Rafiki Africa starting in the second grade. He wrote a letter of thanks to Rafiki Africa for the organization’s involvement in his and his family’s life. We edited the writing lightly, for comprehension.
My name is Calvince Otieno, one of the Rafiki beneficiaries. I come from a very humble family in Alendu, Kenya. I was born and raised in a family of six siblings. Four of my siblings died at tender ages due to malnutrition and easily preventable and curable diseases. My parents could not take them to the hospital due to inadequate funds and knowledge of their curable condition. I also lost my mother when I was only 8 years old. We were left in the hands of my dad, who was also affected psychologically by the sudden death of my mother.
Thanks to Rafiki, which came to our rescue. There are really no words to express my gratitude for all you have done for me.
You shaped my mind and future and have made a huge difference in my life. You have gone above the call of duty for me. Thank you for your patience, thank you for giving me courage and making me a better person.
My desire is to further my education and make it the world standard to have better opportunities to touch and change the lives of others. I went to India: it was a great experience and good exposure. I pray to achieve more and am certain Rafiki will help me realize my dream once again. Rafiki ni rafiki kweli. (Rafiki is truly a friend).
A Note from Dorothy & Roger
Since January I (Roger) have been teaching Rafiki’s new class of women. Every day I get to hear about their troubles — abusive spouses, lack of food for their family, illness and deaths in the family, and much more. These women are very brave to step out of their cultural norm and look for a way to improve their lives.
He had everything but gave it all up so we could experience life in abundance. He gave this life to all tribes and all nations, all mankind, including these women in my class. We need to confront social injustice, disease and other evils of our lifetime. But the most important is to confront spiritual poverty – the right to experience life in abundance and eternally through Jesus.
We have the opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’ love to everyone we encounter. To a grandmother with 11 orphans to care for; to a young woman abused by her spouse daily; and to the child down the street without a meal. They are all precious in his eyes.
What a privilege and a challenge! God’s grace has been sufficient daily. We are grateful for each one of you who is partnering in this mission. Together we can end physical and spiritual poverty to one child and one family at a time.
Rafiki Africa Foundation strongly believes in the empowerment and potential of women & girls. If the women in Kenya are trained in skills that will help them find a job or start a business, they will be able to provide for their families.
On the other hand, if women or girls do not possess skills to provide for their families, they become vulnerable to all kinds of injustices. Domestic violence, sex trafficking, death from preventable disease, starvation and early marriage are real daily dangers for girls and women in Kenya.
Currently, skills training is provided to a small group under the tree. The new building will provide a permanent place to house supplies and classrooms, and keep equipment safe. The center will enhance learning experiences and help Rafiki reach more women.
If you would like to travel to help launch this program or help with the construction of the building, please contact us.
UPDATE: see article [link]