Posted by: David Omondi
March 2014 has been a great month for us at the Akili Prep School and Library. We were honored to have 3 of our friends and supporters, Dineke Halmingh, Jon and Jennifer Milfs travel from Holland and Arizona, USA respectively to come and volunteer at our school.
It was a wonderful experience for all of us and we thank God for leading our friends by faith to come to our school. Having met on Facebook as Erick and I searched for volunteers and sponsors for our girls, we finally met Dineke and the Milfs after being friends on Facebook for close to a year now. In a world full of con-men posing as pastors and unscrupulous individuals claiming to support children, orphanages and schools in Africa, it was difficult for our friends to believe that we were genuine and serving our community with the integrity we claimed to have. God is faithful and we are grateful to Him for connecting us with special people who, despite all of the scary stories about Africa, believed in us and gave us the chance to develop a relationship with them that finally culminated in their visiting our school and seeing firsthand what we do to transform the lives of children and women in our community.
Dineke has been working with our teachers through what, in her words, she calls the “Akili Experience” for 3 weeks now and is staying longer. She has also set her eyes on working on a bigger project, getting together and coordinating all volunteers working with different projects in Kisumu through the “Abila Kisumo” initiative with the help of her partner Steve and also working with Special Education Needs teachers and children in Kisumu. We look forward to working with her and tapping into her expertise in education to improve our school and network with like-minded individuals and organisations in Kisumu and beyond.
The Milfs left last week having enjoyed working with our teachers and girls. They attended our classes and assisted the teachers in drawing with the kids, decorating classrooms with charts, advising teachers on child-centered approaches to learning and also shared the gospel in our church. Jon also had fun playing soccer with the girls as Jennifer gave the girls bracelets her class made and showed the girls how to make air bubbles.
They also enjoyed a brief safari to Ruma National Park and Kisumu Impala Sanctuary where they saw some of our wild animals and also got a rear opportunity to pet a cheetah. Overall, it was a wonderful experience for our friends who came to help us love and transform the lives of the girls living in poverty in Obunga slum and ended up transforming their lives as well. It is our hope that they were touched by the warm hearts and kindness of the Kenyan people, and, through this volunteer experience, they got a chance to give back to the world in a meaningful way.
We take this chance to thank the Milfs for sacrificing part of their income to sponsor one student, Sheila Atieno, $25 monthly after seeing her struggles in the classroom and visiting her home to see the difficult conditions she and her single teenage mother lives in. May God bless you for your giving which ensures that Sheila gets an education that will emancipate her from the vicious cycle of poverty in the Obunga slum. We thank all our friends for believing in us and joining us on this journey to transform our community from the inside. The friendship we have made in you on this trip will surely last us a life time.
If you are also looking to make a difference in the world, help out a needy child through education, change your life as you change the lives of others, and make some great memories, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riley Orton Foundation
Riley Orton Foundation (ROF) provides holistic education and promotes gender equality in STEM education to ensure girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential