An Update from St Clare Regarding COVID-19
We have received an update from St. Clare's Administrator Mr. Bernard about the precautions they are taking to ensure the children are not affected and not exposed to the virus.
Your Support is Transforming Lives
Naoki, Wanja and Kendi are three students whose lives have been forever transformed - thanks to surgeries YOU MADE POSSIBLE.
Naoki, the star and captain of the St. Clare soccer team had a tumor growing on her foot and was severely hobbled. After a successful surgery Naoki is again on the field leading the St. Clare team.
Wanja suffered with crossed eyes which caused impaired vision, decreased depth perception, poor academic achievement and shame. After surgery she is now excelling in school and is the life her class, ready with a quick comment.
From childhood Kendi had been walking with one foot flat on the ground and the other on her tip toe because her ankle would not bend. After corrective foot/ankle surgery, she can now walk and run like all the other girls. These transformations are true miracles for these girls.
Physical Building Transformations
While St. Clare continues to be our primary focus, your donations have provided critical improvements to three other orphanages caring for orphaned, abused, and abandoned children. It’s difficult to imagine not having a dry, safe place to sleep, access to water, or wanting to learn so badly that you would sit under a tree for your classes. But these are normal experiences for so many children in Kenya.
St. Charles gives refuge, meals and education to children who lost their families and homes in tribal wars fought over scarce water and grasslands. In 2019 two classrooms were completed, replacing make-shift sheet metal structures which collapsed around the students. St. Charles is located in a part of Kenya severely impacted by the long drought and food is scarce. Your donations made it possible to purchase emergency grain to feed the children at St. Charles through the end of the year. THANK YOU!
Our Lady of Grace is a home and school for 200 abused girls. As more girls sought safety at Our Lady of Grace, the population grew but the facilities did not. The children were in desperate need of toilets to replace the open pits dug on the edge of the property. Your generosity made it possible to build sanitary toilets. Now, the children enjoy using a brand-new restroom. THANK YOU.
New Hope – AINA is a home and school for children infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. The old roof had deteriorated and water leaked down on the children in class and when they slept at night. Your compassionate heart provided a new roof. Now, the children can better focus on learning and healing.
Higher Education Transformations
Since its inception FOKO’s higher education initiative has graduated 17 young women from Kenyan colleges and polytechnical institutions as teachers, nurses, business women, IT specialists and culinary/ tourism workers. WOW! These young, abandoned and orphaned little girls who arrived at St. Clare often without shoes or clothing have developed into competent, young professionals. A huge success story which is not over.
Damaris and Anne, two of 25 current students in FOKO's higher education initiative, are studying in Nairobi and are continuing to write this incredible story.
Damaris is in her second year at Railway Training Institute pursing a diploma in accountancy. A strong student but also a formidable leader, Damaris has served as secretary and vice chair of the Kenyan Christian Students Organization for the Nairobi Archdiocese and has received awards for her music ability. Damaris came to St. Clare as a young girl from the northern desert area of Kenya to escape female genital mutilation and an early arranged marriage. Damaris says, “I am humbled by the assistance FOKO has given me.”
Anne graduated in November from Multimedia University with a diploma in journalism. Anne is a gifted writer and active in school activities. She served as secretary of the Youth Prayer Group within the Nairobi Archdiocese and is an officer of St Clare’s Alumni group. Anne was born in a Nairobi slum where families live crowded in one small room, where poor sanitation, violence, and rape are daily challenges. Anne shared, “the slum is the place where a star is born but dreams are quickly shattered.” Anne tells FOKO, however, as her studies are completed, “Receiving a diploma in print media is my biggest dream fulfilled."
Damaris and Anne’s stories are only a sample of the many success stories of St. Clare students in the higher education initiative. Most notably: these students are educated for a fraction of the cost of a US education.
The Situation in Kenya
Imagine a life spent living on the streets, no guarantee of food or shelter, constantly threatened with physical and sexual abuse, and no access to education. Now imagine you are 10 years old.
This is the unfortunate reality for thousands of orphaned, abandoned and abused girls in Kenya today. Young girls (6-12 years old) are often forced to marry older men and must work as their slaves, laboring intensively, caring for livestock, carrying wood and water, and doing their husband's bidding.
Others are orphaned at a young age by HIV and tribal conflict or forced to run away from abusive homes and female genital mutilation – a practice that is still popular in some areas of the country. These children are targeted and sexually abused by both their older husbands and strangers who take advantage of their situation.
Unlike the government funded programs in other developed nations, there are very few, if any, places these girls can turn to for help in Kenya. Without the fundamentals to survive and the struggles and threats of everyday living, many live in a constant state of stress and fear. Their situation is dire.
Organizations like Friends of Kenyan Orphans provide the means for them to have a chance at a childhood, a life. We've experienced firsthand the impact a helping, loving hand has on the life of these girls. The laughter, singing and fun of being a young girl returns once they feel safe, cared for and are given a chance at a future.
These girls are strong and brave, but they can't realize their dreams without your help! You can provide support through a general donation or by sponsoring a child.