What we have done so far:
Funding for the building, materials, and staff for about 20 students to attend high school.
Funding for a full-time nurse and small medical clinic
Funded new uniforms and books
Funded the construction of 3 classrooms
Funded the installation of piped water! (Just the 2nd instance in the village)
Check out the current status of the build
These and other students use to travel 4 hours round trip for High School. They are the Stars that got to attend the school first, so much closer to their homes - for many, that's the Star of Hope Children's Centre.
Why support a high school & vocational
training program for the Star of Hope graduates?
This is the question we posed to Leonard Muyelele, who coordinated with Star of Hope, USA and oversaw the construction of an orphanage and primary school in a rural village near his home. The hard work they do continues to provide care, shelter and education to children in Chebukuyi.
Leonard explains below why helping these young adults continue their education gives an entire community a brighter tomorrow.
The Chebukuyi village is located in a far-flung part of western Kenya with limited or no basic connectivity to essential supplies such as clean water and medical services and is the least served part of the county where poverty levels stand at 53%. The Chebukuyi community constitutes a population of upwards of 3000 people, most of which are peasant farmers.
A majority of the community members live on small portions of highly subdivided, arable land parcels, tilling the small portions of land to grow crops for basic sustainability. The success of each harvest of crops depends squarely on favorable weather. In times of hardships and prolonged drought, the village is always a victim of acute food shortages and in threat of starvation.
Unemployment is the order of the day with only a few privileged community members earning a government subsidized salary. With challenging economic times and the land shrinking daily under pressure of over-exploitation, basic trades such as brick-making, carpentry, sewing, cooking and farming remain the main sources of survival. There are no local factories or big companies located in the village to absorb the unemployed.
Formal education and vocational training thus remain the only means of escape from poverty and village vagrancy. Though the government-run programs offer access to formal education, uniform and supply fees keeps education unaffordable to the vast majority who live and support their families on less than 2 dollars a day!
The Star of Hope primary school remains the only non-governmental organization operating in the community that provides an intervention first and foremost to the orphaned and vulnerable children in the community. And by extension, offers direct and indirect employment for the desperate community members and their children.
Students in the dining room at Star of Hope Children's Centre
However, with limited or no options for secondary school, many of the local children never grow beyond their 8th grade education. This lack of expanded education often limits their chances of rising out of the cycle of poverty that is pervasive in the region.
We believe a high school education that includes vocational training is the best approach to securing the future of the poor and vulnerable children of the community. Supporting the construction of a high school that will include a vocational training program in the curriculum will be a huge step towards changing the entire future of the Chebukuyi community.
Director, Star of Hope Centre
Leonard with his co-director and wife, Gladwell