missions of hope international
Driving through the Muthare slums in Nairobi, Kenya, I’m reminded of the streets of Cap Haitien, Haiti. Dust, dirt, shanties, street-side pop-up markets and young children playing mere feet from the speeding traffic, most of them shoeless.
This is my first time in Africa, and it’s far different than I imagined it would be. The depth of the poverty and the primitive sheet-metal homes I see along the road are juxtaposed with tall buildings and a seemingly well-built infrastructure of highways filled with tourists and traffic. I came expecting The Lion King, and instead we’re navigating our way through the concrete jungle.
We’re in Nairobi visiting one of our partners, Missions of Hope International. The organization, run by true Orphan’s Promise heroes, Wallace & Mary Kamau, is in 21 different slums throughout Kenya and is impacting over 14,800 children through their community outreach programs.
do not despise humble beginnings
What began as a single pre-school with just 50 children in one slum area has now grown into a complete community transformation project. Children attending Missions of Hope International receive a first-class education, and so much more. For many children living in the slums, education is a luxury they cannot afford. Unfortunately, education is not the only thing beyond the reach of families living in poverty. Many of the children attending MOHI cannot rely on receiving a nutritious meal at home, so the school supplies two warm meals a day, ensuring that children can focus on learning.
In addition to education and nutrition, children receive medical care at the school’s clinic and dental office. They receive Biblical training, genuine love and care. The stability that they lack at home, they find at Missions of Hope.
a hand up, not a handout
Orphan’s Promise exists to see at-risk children and families find stability and hope through the transforming power of God’s love. When we partner with an organization, we have to be sure that they are capable of actually making a difference in the circumstances of the children they serve. When we saw MOHI’s model, we knew instantly that they were exactly the kind of partner we pray for. They just get it. They understand that the care provided to children and their families must be a hand up, not a handout. They seek to empower families to help themselves.
Providing scholarships for children to attend schools may seem like a small thing, but for many parents in the Kenyan slums, when children cannot attend school, parents cannot work. They have to stay home and take care of the children, which only further reduces the chance that they’ll be able to make ends meet. MOHI alleviates the need for parents to cover school fees through child sponsorship programs, allowing parents to work outside the home and provide for their families. In addition to caring for the children, Missions of Hope provides skills training for parents in areas like cosmetology and hairdressing, as well as computer skills, and carpentry to name a few.
When parents can begin to provide for their families, they experience a sense of pride that must be seen to be understood. Whenever possible, parents begin contributing small amounts ($.50-$2.00) towards their children’s school fees. We’ve found that when parents have ‘skin in the game,’ they take a more active role in their children’s education and the children experience much higher success rates.
make a difference. today!
You’ve seen their faces. You know their struggles. Now you can make a difference for children in the slums of Kenya today. Your monthly gift of $40 ensures that one child will receive hope, love, education, and nutrition. The problem of poverty cannot ever be overcome by individuals, but, together, we can win and we’d be honored to have you join us in the fight.