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Summer 2024 newsletter

 

Rich Tarro, Kenya

Iveta's family

From left, Matthias, grandmother, Agatha and Iveta in the family’s home

Even after living in Kenya for almost six years, I still let inconveniences that Kenyans simply brush off bug me. Over the past few months, we have had to deal with power outage after power outage, some lasting up to 16 hours, and multiple instances of several weeks without running water.

Maybe things bother me so much because I grew up in an environment where these types of infrastructure issues were an exception, not the norm. To many Kenyans, this is just the way things are. Perhaps they are just used to it.

Despite all my griping, for me, these types of issues are just a temporary annoyance. For most of my students and their families, this is daily life. They live in structures without electricity and running water. They have to “fetch” water daily to bathe, wash, cook and drink. We give out solar lamps to all the families of our students. Except for the light produced by these solar lanterns, they are literally in the dark once the sun goes down.

In addition to providing for the educational needs of our students, my ministry, the HOPE Project, also strives to improve the living conditions of our students and their families. We distribute food every month and repair crumbling homes. In addition to solar lamps, we give out beds, mattresses and cooking units.

Later this year, we will be giving out water tanks for water storage. Next year, we hope to install solar panels in many of our students’ homes.

Iveta is a 50-year-old single mother with four children. Tragically, as is the case with a number of our students, Iveta is a single parent — not because her husband passed away, but because the father abandoned the family. (However, it’s not always the father who is the one to abandon the family; we also have several students whose mothers left them.)

A number of years ago, Iveta was seriously ill and diagnosed with heart disease. Her husband left her to marry another woman while she was still in the hospital struggling to get better. In addition to Iveta, he left all his children behind.

Two of Iveta’s children are now young adults. Unfortunately, as Iveta could not afford to pay for them to go to school, they never finished their educations. Without the job skills that an education provides, they are relegated to casual, low-paying work. (This is why we give all our students the opportunity to go to vocational school or college.)

Agatha and Matthias

Agatha and Matthias

Fortunately, we are able to help Iveta’s two younger, school-age children — Matthias and Agatha. When we became aware of Iveta, Matthias was out of school. He had finished primary school, but Iveta could not afford to send him to high school. Matthias expressed a desire to study motor vehicle mechanics, so we paid for him to go to vocational school. Matthias finished a two-year course, did well on his exams and graduated in May. We are hoping that he can now find a job.

Agatha, who is a very good-natured girl, is 13 years old and in seventh grade. We are supporting her in school. Unfortunately, Agatha is not in good health and is often sick. The HOPE Project pays for her medical expenses.

After her husband abandoned the family, Iveta and her children moved in with her mother. The mother had a stroke four years ago and is still slowly recovering.

Iveta, her mother, and her kids rely on the generosity of others to survive. Neither Iveta nor her mother can work because of their health conditions. Without good jobs, Iveta’s two older children don’t earn much money. The HOPE Project also helps the family by giving them food every month.

The house that they live in is in bad shape. Some walls are broken, and the structure is not totally enclosed.

The family had no beds and were sleeping on the ground. Fortunately, the area where the family sleeps is covered and dry. This allowed us to give them two beds, mattresses, sheets, and pillows so that they at least have a decent place to sleep.

Iveta and her family are so grateful for all that the HOPE Project does for them. We are only able to help families like Iveta’s because of the generous support of our donors. 

God is good,
Rich


Please consider donating so that we can continue to change the lives of children like Matthias and Agatha, and their families. You can make a donation through the link below.

I invite you to walk with me as a “COMPANION IN MISSION.” Companions in Mission are friends and generous donors who give financial gifts on a regular (usually monthly) basis. For more information, visit Become a Companion in MissionThank you so much for your generosity! 

 

Rich Tarro
Rich Tarro is the director of HOPE (Helping Orphans Pursue Education) Project in Mombasa, Kenya.