Child Sponsorship: A Personal Story of Akiba School
America World is partnering with the Akiba School, an institution founded in 1993 in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya. The primary goal of the school is to provide a great education to impoverished school-aged children in primary and secondary school. In 2001, The Falls Church Anglican (TFCA) began a sponsorship program to provide tuition funding for needy students to attend the school. At that time, two young men from TFCA were in Nairobi teaching at the Akiba School and volunteering at the Light and Power Center (L&P) for street children. It quickly became apparent to them that there were many kids at L&P who would love to go to school, but were unable to pay the necessary fees. And so the sponsorship program was born. As more people from TFCA visited the Akiba School, they became sponsors and returned to the States sharing stories about the many children who desired to go to school, which led many others to decide to sponsor Akiba students as well. Now, there are 80 children sponsored!
In continued partnership with TFCA, America World began administration of this sponsorship program in 2013. America World families can be part of the Akiba School and its students in a number of different ways. We have seen you give through general donations to the school and by sponsoring a child. We also have seen families become more interested in our Kenya adoption program and our upcoming ACT Missions Trip to Nairobi. We would love to have you become involved with our work in Kenya and Be A Storyteller about how you have seen the Lord work in the lives of these children in this amazing country!
“My name is Elizabeth Pelly. I live in London and have been sponsoring Cecilia Natasha and Joseph Kungu since 2011. I first learned of the Akiba School in 2004 when my sister worked there as a counselor and psychologist for the students. A few years ago I began to think seriously about charitable giving and how I could help those less fortunate. I immediately thought of the Akiba School, knowing they had a sponsorship program.
I was thrilled to receive two pictures and biographies of my students in the mail shortly after I applied to the sponsorship program. Cecilia and Joseph were quickly close to my heart. We write letters back and forth, and I send photographs and stickers or other paper items small enough to fit in my envelope, as sending packages is not possible because you run the risk of theft or fees to collect.
This year, 2014, I was traveling with my husband to Kenya for a holiday, and he suggested we arrive a day early and take a trip to Kangemi to meet my students. I thank my husband for that suggestion because it was an extremely special day me, for both of us. We arrived at Akiba a little after 9am to meet Teacher Patrick for a tour of the school, and we were able to ask questions and chat about the school – how things are running, plans for the future, how the students are doing, etc. As we were talking from the second floor of the school, I could not help by notice two students shyly smiling up at us from the doorway of a classroom down stairs. I recognized them straight away, cut the tour off a tad early and hurried down the stairs, so excited to finally meet my kids. We hugged right off the bat, though they were quite shy. As the day progressed, however, they opened up and we laughing, holding hands and felt truly connected.
That afternoon we went to visit each of their homes and meet their families, which are actually a mixture of family members, not what I consider a â€œtraditional familyâ€. Sadly neither Cecilia nor Joseph live with their birth mother or father. Each home welcomed me and my husband so graciously and offered us tea, biscuits and nuts, which we gladly and appreciatively ate knowing that they have so little to give. And what little they had, they offered to us. What a kind example. Their generosity was humbling. The whole experience was humbling but also so gratifying to see what my donation is able to do, to meet the ones whose lives I am changing, to look into their eyes and know I am making a difference. I feel so blessed to be able to help Cecilia and Joseph and to meet them was such a special and wonderful experience.”