For more than two decades, thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, we have been able to provide grant funding to the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya, ensuring that over the years hundreds, if not thousands, of orphaned and abandoned children and youth have had a safe and loving place to call their home.
Our international spokesperson, Phyllis Keino, began fostering and taking care of destitute children in the early 1970s and a “children’s home” was established and grew over the years, eventually becoming in 2003 the Lewa Children’s Home. (Lewa is an Africa name of Kenyan origin that means “Beautiful.”)
In the years since, Phyllis has become the “mother” of many who not only survived whatever tragic event brought them to Lewa, but thrived under her care where they were first provided with everything to meet their immediate needs including food, shelter and medical care.
Next came preparing them for life into a successful adulthood through education, preschool for the youngest, primary school for those a bit older who may or may not have ever attended school in the lives, and secondary school for the youth looking forward to graduating and embarking on a life full of hope and promise.
The early education and primary school-going children progress to KipKeino Nursery/Primary School, while secondary school education is secured within and around the neighboring communities.
Then, depending on their academic abilities and desires, graduating youth have the opportunity to proceed on to higher education including college, university or vocational training where they can earn a diploma or certificate enabling them to build a career that will support them – and their own families – for their entire lifetimes.
“The caregivers and support staff strive to ensure that every single child makes it through early childhood development, primary school, secondary school and have the opportunity attend university to pursue a future, free from the limitations they faced from being orphaned or abandoned in their early years,” says Phyllis.
“A large number of children have grown up at the home, and most all have become independent members of society.”
And just as in the United States and around the world, students need to have bookbags for their daily use at school to carry the required books and supplies necessary to succeed in the classroom and do their homework after school, an added expense that Lewa simply does not have the funds to budget for.
So, when Phyllis informed us that “The children’s home is in dire need of quality bookbags and supplies for the school-going children, but due to financial constraints we are unable to purchase them at the present time,” we at Bread and Water for Africa® knew we had to step up and help out by turning to our generous supporters across the United States.
“If we are able to purchase quality bookbags, it will help the children in the long run because they will be durable and long lasting, and help to reduce the cost of repairing textbooks which are currently in use, but are not in the best of shape,” she said.
We understand and agree, and right now are working to meet the need for bookbags and school supplies to not only all the children living at the Lewa Children Home, but also the many others sponsored by Lewa living in foster care or extended family situations, especially now with as costs continue to escalate due to rising inflation in the country.