IHF has been working in Kenya since the late 90’s with the marginalized tribes in East Pokot. Our IHF Nakuru Center is a safe Children’s Home offering care to orphaned youth and children whose parents are unable to support them, due to extreme levels of poverty.

Children Awards

Mercy Chepkite

Mercy Chepkite

High school is not only about how a student performs academically but also about the activities students are involved in and relationships they build each year.  Mercy Chepkite, Student of the Month, is a role model for her peers in all three of these areas.  Not only does she do extremely well in each of her classes, but she does so while being involved in extra-curricular activities including Student Council and cheerleading.  She is very kind to all of the children she encounters throughout the day regardless of whether or not they are part of her friend group.  In class, she is always focused and attentive while being conscientious towards her work.  Going above and beyond is the norm for her, and she truly gives 110% each day. This student radiates kindness, and she is very sincere.  She is an absolute joy to have in the Kenya center.  Her work ethic and kind heart will take her far!  It is with pleasure that the Kenya center team awards Mercy Chepkite as our April Student of the Month.

Highlights

Welcome to our latest highlights of the month, with plenty of sun around to get us all up and active and enjoying the great outdoors.

Becky and Adrian

Welcome to our latest highlights of the month of April, as we prepare for May 2022. In April we’ve been receiving little rain with cold weather to get us all up and prepared for farming. Active and enjoying the great outdoors. Here in Kenya, we’ve certainly enjoyed the most of it.

This month we would like to highlight Herzel, she joined our center on the 19th of March and so far she has been the most amazing human being that every other human would like to spend their time with. Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help. Herzel possess some beauty skills like hair plaiting and she has been plaiting our girl’s hair and also teaching them the hair plaiting skills. The girls might be made fun of for how important hair is- but before we judge: which of us make or female does not pause before a mirror abs wonder how we look to others- an image we ourselves can’t see about ourselves. This first impression society cares so much about. When we were young we didn’t have mirrors where we lived. And didn’t think about it or care. But now we live where it is very important to people so find ourselves thrilled to learn hair from lasting skills. Learning all these different skills that society values, is important for our own individual strength and voice. And for each of our our tribes voice and future too. All skills giving us options which of course they may need  down the various roads life takes us on. I read this politicizing named Winston Churchill said, ” We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we do.” This quote hit me for some reason. When my brain gets tired of learning to do new things. It isn’t easy for any of us. Join us next month to find out more about our GLDs like amazing Herzel and her positive impacts on our children. See you next month. CHEERS

Sandra

May Highlights

Graduation

The candidates finished their national exams and will soon be moving to institutions of higher learning after their results have been released. Some of them will be visiting their homes in east and central Pokot where they will be staying for a while as we work around the clock to get them donors and sponsors to fund their university education. Charity, who was among the ten candidates, finished her exams earlier and has already received her results and we are pleased to inform you that the outcome was impressive. 

Also as the candidates are going to open new chapters of their lives we decided to throw a graduate’s party for them to celebrate their achievement and transition to the next level of life, the party was attended virtually by our CEO and loving mom to the children Carol Sasaki and our highly esteemed mentors who provided career guidance and counselling to the candidates.

Fundraising Needs

The month of May is arriving and April is closing. April is when our form four children have finished with their exams and visit back home, spending time with their tribe and relatives. This is very important tune to be nurtured whenever we safely can. Sadly some of our children have to stay at the center because they don’t have biological parents but they can always count on us. Right now we have nine graduate children from high school and waiting for their results. The sponsorship program has helped us as Kenya center to provide food, center supplies, educational programs and educational supplies such as book and etc. We are grateful as eight of our children to graduate from high school, the first in their family and for some even in their tribal clan. They are completing vital steps in their lives, for themselves And for the survival and health of their tribe, but they still need support to further their studies, as college or any advanced training is so important for their tribe’s future and voice in this changing world. 

During April and now entering this month of May: we start our farming project because we are approaching the rainy season. We are so thankful to have enough water at last. Dancing with joy. We are planning to plant vegetables, maize and potatoes. They can grow well in our land during this season when we have water. Please donate to seeds And the farm irrigation system we need, so that we can reduce the food cost in our budget.  Our goal is to once again provide enough food for our children and for the neighborhood children who wonder about when their single mothers must be at work. Along with the older Children’s education sponsorships, we are are seeking enough funds to have a large enough crop. We are not yet sure if we can grow enough for this, but we remember when we did in years before COVID and it is our goal. We will let you know how it is going next month. 



You can help our farm help these kids to continue their education by sponsoring them! Simply go to https://ihfonline.org/sponsor-program/ to sponsor these kids or to  general donations for a one time farm or general donation. Thank you so much.

 

Video of the Month

Volunteer of the Month
Herzel

Herzel’s Interview

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Herzel Nyangasi, an individual who is passionate about working for humanity and enjoys volunteering her time to serve the community.

How do you know about IHF?

I got to know about IHF through social media where I saw a volunteer advertisement through which I applied.

How long have you been here in IHF?

I have been at IHF for one month

What things made you interested to join IHF?

My interest was moved by the act of giving my time to work with children who are less fortunate (giving back to the community).

What is the most memorable experience you’ve ever had in IHF so far?

The most memorable experience I had was engaging with the children where they could tell us their experience in Pokot and how life is there. They were so open and free to share their experiences. They even added some humour in their story which could make us laugh hard. I also had some great time with them, especially the girls, where I had plating courses and cooking classes with them.

What is the most important thing you have learned in IHF and how does it affect your life?

I have learned to give what I have to assist those who don’t have. We all have different stories and we need to lend each other an ear to listen and to encourage each other.

Herzel

Events

Children Highlights

THE NEWSLETTER AUGUST, 2022

Imagine jumping out of a skydiving plane and discovering your parachute doesn’t work. What memories would flash before you? Now imagine the parachute opened. How differently would you act when you landed? Similarly, at the Kenya center we’ve always hoped and dreamt of a better tomorrow but as often we find our hope being washed down the drain simply because of inadequate financial support, we have gone an extra mile to lease the 10-acre piece of land that the center used for farming activities but the lessee has crushed our hope by taking down the fence and using the land without payment. In most Instances when drought struck, our children are forced to go to schools without a shower. Support the Kenya center by donating water purification system, water tanks and solar panels which can be used to trap rain water during rainy seasons. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so they say. Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose, let’s make a safe haven for our children to land on. Open a child’s parachute by donating to the center’s direct m-pesa number (0114319522)

Student of the month (Award and winning)

The Kenya center award and winning goes to our very own Charity Chembalaw. She is a hardworking and dedicated student who always enters the classroom with a positive attitude.  Charity participates in the center online lessons and activities and is always raising her hand to answer questions.  She is the first to volunteer to read aloud and asks insightful questions. Charity gets along well with peers and is always willing to lend a hand to all who need it.

Center events and activities

There is an African proverb that states, “mgeni njoo mwenyeji apone” translation: – “guest, come over so that the host may be saved”, this means that When guests have been invited, the hosts 

normally prepare a banquet, so that the host family also benefits. We were all thrilled and excited when we received the news that Eileen and her son Diego will be paying us a visit at the Kenya Center all the way from Wilmington NC. This is a moment of extreme pleasure for the Kenya center as we prepare to receive Eileen and Diego. Eileen and son will be staying at the Kenya center for a few weeks after which they’ll be flying back to Wilmington. Our member of staff is working hand in hand with the children at the center to prepare for the welcoming ceremony, this includes rehearsing traditional songs and dances, preparation of the traditional attires and the general cleaning of the compound. We wish their coming will enlighten us all and leave us blessed as time elapses. I wish to thank everyone who is making effort to see that the coming of Eileen and Diego is successful with their opinions, views and contributions. Join us again next month to find out more about Eileen and Diego and the memories we’ll have created.

We also wish to take this opportunity to celebrate and congratulate our brother John on his graduation. Congratulations John! You made it! You did it, even when you didn’t feel like studying! It’s time to celebrate all the hard work that led to this joyful occasion. The road to graduation is a long, steep climb, so take a moment at the summit to be proud of your accomplishments.

In conclusion, Kenya is heading towards the general elections on August 9th, we pray and hope for a peaceful election because a vote is like a rifle, its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.

We wish each if you wonderful moments of peace, joy and renewal. The Kenya IHF Family



THE NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER, 2022.

But how do you get started and what should you be sending to be genuine and not sleazy? Everyone knows the old saying, “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” And even though it’s a cliché, it’s true. You can communicate so much with a relevant image, first impression matters so they say and I believe so far so good because the first impression and the image that has been created by the Kenya center towards its guests and the community at large is worth a thousand words.

Staff member of the month (Award and winning)

Congratulations Savithri! We are proud to recognize you this month as the staff member ( Our Executive Manager and big boss) of the month. You have truly surpassed our expectations and I believe that your hard work, love, wisdom and dedication are great assets. Thank you for putting forth your best effort every time and for always going the extra mile with us and all our foolishness at times. I hope this award will motivate you to continue being such an amazing and great asset to the International Humanity Foundation. Thank you for being a valuable, key member of our IHF Kenya Family. It has been a pleasure and honor having you as a pivotal member of our family for the younger and grown children alike… and a vital member on our work teams both at our home and online. You are always professional and dependable; your hard work and deep caring does not go unfelt. 

Student of the month

Emmanuel is a 16-year-old boy currently in his 11th grade. He would like to pursue software engineering in college. Aside from his love for drawing; photography as a hobby now, has been a great source of comfort to Emmanuel especially when he does it on his own. The only words that best describes Emmanuel are diligent, genuine, kind, and inquisitive.  His work shows him to be a creative, inventive and perceptive thinker, as well as a conscientious and ambitious student. Emmanuel demonstrates a high level of maturity relating well to adults, as well as to his peers.  He is well mannered, quietly respectful, driven to do his best and sets a great example for other kids at the center. He is efficient and productive and always puts forth his best efforts.  Emmanuel has demonstrated high discipline over the past two months and thus we would like to congratulate him on the same. Keep up the great work, Emmanuel, we love you so much and are very proud of you!

Center events and activities

Following our previous newsletter, we received a visit from two wonderful souls Eileen and son Diego. We would like to acknowledge that their visit has really been a blessing and joy for us at the Kenya center. During their stay at the Kenya center, they visited East Pokot and bore witness to the ancient, rich culture of the East Central Pokot community. They were accompanied by Kelvin who is our new GLD at the Kenya center alongside John and Lilian. The main idea of the Pokot visit was for Eileen and Diego to experience what it’s like to be a member of this semi nomadic community and to show them some of the various proceedings happening within this region of the Pokot. Dear reader, maybe you are wondering who the Pokot community are, the Pokot are a part of the Kalenjin community who are highland Nilotes originating from southern Ethiopia. Dear reader, maybe you are wondering who the Pokot community are, the Pokot are a part of the Kalenjin community who are highland Nilotes originating from southern Ethiopia. 

They migrated southwards into Kenya as early as 2,000 years ago. They are economically divided into two groups, pastoral Pokot and Agricultural Pokot. The world thinks of pastoral as fertile green lush grass and of Agricultural as meaning farms. This is not true for the Pokot. We use these words very differently from how the world does. Our Pokot live in very arid desert land with none of the lush green grass that pastoral means. It is no where and lack of water is the main cause of illness and death. For us the word pastoral means we graze goats and cows on the desert brush as we can. Because we can’t grow crops, we rely on keeping then alive somehow. Many East Central Pokot tend to the cows of the wealthy to earn money and use the milk from the goats. Many communities have temporary homes or shelters they build depending on the season as they must travel in search of water during dry season, living nomadic in a close relationship with the land and elements to survive. The main ceremonies among the Pokot mark transitions in the social lives of individuals and communities. The notable ceremonies include the cleansing of a couple expecting their first child, the cleansing of newborn infants and their mothers, the cleansing of twins and other children who are born under unusual circumstances, male and female initiation, marriage, “sapana” (the preparation of male teenage boys for marriage), harvesting and healing ceremonies. Again, the word harvest will be very misleading to westerners in how we use it. We do not have farms with crops we harvest seasonally. We harvest from the roots and scrub trees of this desert land. This with the hunting and minerals in the soil itself provides various nutrients. Though not for all and hunger amongst many, though not all, is a constant problem second inky to the lack of clean water or any water. Many of the cultural practices of the Pokot are still embraced today, but have been influenced by the changes in society. The heritage and culture of the Pokot community, along with the more than 44 communities in Kenya, continues to fascinate and inspire. The International Humanity Foundation invites everyone who gets to read this article to celebrate the intangible cultural heritage of the Pokot community and all other communities that makes up this very special and great nation. 

 

In closing, we are pleased and thankful that the election process was peacefully and facilely accomplished and that one of our older kids (Kases, currently a GLD) had an honor to preside over the election process back in Pokot. The major role of a Presiding Officer in Kenya is but not limited to manage and oversee all aspects of the poll in the polling station that they are responsible.

 

Fundraising activities

The Kenya fundraising team alongside the International fundraising team would like to give you a heads up that we will be doing some fundraising with the help of Eileen. It’s incredible that Eileen picked to work with the Kenya center and we pray that as her company grows, so will Kenya center. The fundraising team has kicked off with renewed vigor and leadership, a roadmap to be unveiled next month so stay tuned. We wish each of you a wonderful moment of peace, joy and renewal.

-The Kenya Family

      Diego’s story by Sunita Tohan

When I was a little girl, I traveled many times to Asia with my parents from my home in the UK. I remember a lot about the new world I got to experience, but there was a lot I saw that left me somewhat uneasy. Recently these memories came flooding back as I had the privilege of speaking to a little boy who is experiencing much of the same while visiting one of our centers in Nakuru, Kenya. 

Diego Jasso is an energetic, bright ten year old who resides in North Carolina, USA.  He is in 5th grade and enjoys sports and playing video games with his friends.  He is visiting Kenya this August with his mother Eileen Stephens.  Eileen is a wonderful mother, an entrepreneur and legacy volunteer with IHF.

While he was in Kenya, Diego and I had a chance to chat about his experiences there. ‘It’s the rainy season now, but its also hot and humid just like home but there are a lot of mosquitoes’ he tells me.  It was evening time and Diego had just awaked from a nap. He spends most days playing hours of soccer outdoors with his newfound friends and it makes him tired. His friends at the center are older, high schoolers, but he made friends his age from the nearby village. He can play all day long with his friends here unlike in the US. I could see the excitement in his smile.  All the children at the center were very welcoming towards him and no one hesitated to make friends with Diego. He liked the friendly people and I wondered, isn’t that what it’s all about?

When I asked him what is different from home he instantly said his bed.  ‘My bed at home is softer, bigger and I sleep better and the toilets here are different’.  Diego opposes the squatting toilet and lack of toilet paper that we westerners are accustomed too.  When I asked him about food he didn’t seem very enthusiastic about the menu options. Everyone else finishes his or her whole meal. He introduced me to the recipe of Ugali and his dislike of kale and maze. The milk and water has to be boiled first unlike in the US and doesn’t taste good to Diego.  There is no refrigerator and no washing machine, so clothes are hand washed and the boiled milk is stored in cold water.

He showed me a beautiful hand braided bracelet he purchased from his trip to the market.  It was like a farmers market he told me, all open and there were goats and cows and chickens there too. The people here have very few possessions and so Diego doesn’t miss a lot of his things, he has learned to live without them.

He tells me that everyone in Kenya is friendly and he has learnt new greetings in Pokot and Swahili.  When he meets people on the road he is always greeted kindly and gets a lot of attention and a lot of stares too.  ‘It’s because they’re not used to seeing a white child’ he tells me in his innocent observation, ‘they get confused when they see me’.

Diego goes to soccer practice and has to travel there, he has to walk a lot and the roads are not like the US, they are dusty, bumpy and full of speed bumps and rumble strips.  He’s not fond of walking everywhere although he gets to ride a matatu, ‘It’s like a van, taxi and bus all in one because many people share the ride’.  There’s animals on the roads too, even monkeys. The cars and motorbikes hold more people than he’s used to. 

Diego goes home in a few days and he will take some special memories with him.  He was pleased to tell me that he got to pass the equator on his way from Pokot and had his picture taken there. His best friend at the center is Manu and recently Diego got to celebrate Manu’s 16th birthday with a cake. He misses Niko, his best friend in the US and he misses playing video games with him.

Just like my parents, Diego’s mother felt it was necessary to expose him to a world outside his own.  With this trip he experienced another society, gained some gratitude, a new perspective and made some lifelong friends.

         Fredah Story – by Sunita –

Being the third born is what saved Fredah Akileng from a child marriage.  As per her tribal tradition, both her elder sisters were sold into a child marriage and she was next in line when she was taken under the wing of IHF.  There is enough to be said about the detrimental effects child marriages have on girls and Fredah feels strongly about the welfare of women in her community. Women have no rights and sometimes no chance of an education. They are expected to marry at a young age, sometimes to men two or three times their age.

Fridah tells of her childhood in East Pokot, Baringo County, Kenya with both wisdom and sadness in her voice.  Her father was killed during a conflict between tribes and sub tribes.  It’s normal, she explains, war and rage between her people, and tribes fighting for the last remnants of water holes before dry in vast desert with no end. Tribes fight for survival and for goats still alive during dry season etc. Though war  is not the only cause of death among men, lack of water and starvation kills as much as war and all go hand in hand. Fredah tells her story without emotion. This is life, this is simply matter of fact and normal for all she has known growing up. Most people reading this article will find it hard to understand let alone imagine the picture that is being painted here.  

 

Her single mother raised eight children with very little. Without enough children to hunt and gather the tribe will not survive. They love their children as dearly as you or I, that is dear and near to Fredah heart and knowledge. But these parents depend on the children’s labor to keep their tribe in existence despite the numerous deaths. They live in famine in desert conditions that has an amazing beauty of its own, is a part of their being, but it is a harsh desert they are driven further and further into… where they can’t grow crops. This desert seems empty to any westerner yet is alive and throbbing for all her clan, this poverty driven and drought-stricken terrain Fredah calls home. Her mother sold charcoal for a living. The charcoal comes from burning cacti-like-scrub-trees that her people use for cooking. Unfortunately, this means of survival didn’t suffice for long and her mother resorted to selling alcohol.  She didn’t have much choice she says; this is what brought in food so we wouldn’t starve.  Alcohol made from empty corn husks, when one can’t afford the corn, is common. Alcohol numbs the organs pain when hungry and is a common problem wherever one finds starvation in deserts unable to grow crops. Alcoholism is far cheaper than food and a growing problem in ancient vanishing tribes worldwide. 

Fredah knows this from the world around her fading into it, and she is a wise, determined be on of hope to battle this problem for her tribe and for other tribes worldwide. It is killing the mothers of ancient tribes and therefore the tribes themselves. Ultimately, in Fredah’s case, excessive consumption of alcohol is what took her mother’s life.  Alcoholism is now major problem. How sad and ironic that the intoxicating substance is also what keeps people from the pain of dying of hunger.

Fredah misses her family and her home deeply, and tries to visit every few months but the trek through the barren land, together with dearth conditions sometimes make it hard.  Blocked access to the few roads available, security issues and raids make it too dangerous to travel at times.

    Fredah speaks non- emotionally eloquently, potently, on this subject and is a powerhouse of grace, energy and wisdom. Having been raised in an ancient culture fighting for survival, – she understands the importance of LISTENING to all players, male, female, young, old, to prevent war and the many hardships to survival. Fredah has a light, a glow, while speaking of love above all else, and improvement for all.

Fredah’s people don’t realize how important education really is, but Fredah pushes her younger siblings to attend school. She says that there are more schools open now, yet famine still exists and kills so many children. She wishes the entire world put children above all else, first and foremost for our future, and that children weren’t deprived of food and fed lunch at schools, instead they go hungry all day, if they can’t pay, which affects their ability to learn.

The communities now offer helpful resources, more than what the government provides. The water supply is somewhat better too and you don’t have to hike as far to fetch it anymore.  But clean, non polluted bacterial water is a huge problem.  Women have to sometimes travel for many miles and carry heavy loads just to collect clean drinking water for their families.

Fredah will be graduating in Social Work and Community Development from African Institute College in Nakuru, Kenya.  She hopes to land a job with a well-established organization.  If it wasn’t for the tribal Chief, Carol and IHF, she would not be graduating this August. She is grateful, IHF provided for her food, clothing and education.  She wants to help her community by doing social work, to make it a better place. We all want that, sustainable change for the better.

 

 

Gallery

Manual

To read the volunteer manual Click here

Newsletter

To read the newsletter Click here

Who is Who?

Kases Kakuko (GLD)

Lead Kenya Finance team and sponsor letters
kases@ihfonline.org

John Ochieng (GLD)

Co- Lead First Response team, Media Box and Lead Reference Teams and GOOT
john.ochieng@ihfonline.org

Kerryn T Muleya (Director)

Lead first response web search team-GOOT and co-lead References Teams
kerryn@ihfonline.org

Grace, Herzel & Judith K

Each are online GLD and Co–Lead of the Fundraising and Grants Team, Mentor Team and the MOU Teams
judith.kimeu@ihfonline.org

Savithri

This is the Executive manager for the Kenya center- Lead of the curriculum and education team
savithri.erikola@ihfonline.org