Tumaini Children's Ministry-April 2018 Update
Vulnerable children's ministries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have developed out of the desire to care for children either left as orphans following their parent’s death or due to abuse or neglect, in most cases dictated by extreme poverty. The Outreach Foundation's Projects Coordinator Ebralie Mwizerwa, Africa Mission Specialist Frank Dimmock and former Outreach trustee Rev. Dr. Eve Tolley recently traveled to Kenya to visit children’s ministries partners at the Riamukurwe Parish. On March 5-6, they met with the board of Tumaini Children's Ministry and worked on important recommendations for the children’s benefits. In this update, Ebralie gives a report of the trip and issues an invitation for the next trip, tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2019.
Upon our arrival at Nyeri, we were well-received at Tumaini and shared a delicious meal with Rev. Nicholas Miriti, parish pastor; Eunice Kago, Tumaini home manager; Peter Mucheru, session clerk; Virginia Munyiri, board secretary, and Fred Magua, Tumaini board chair.
The first full day (Saturday), we had a good conversation with board members Anne Muindi and Eunice Kago. We discussed the welfare of the Tumaini and Huruma children. Over the course of the next few days, we studied ways to continue the vision of the late Very Rev. Bernard Muindi, who started this ministry to vulnerable children. We also hoped to compose a final draft on a strategic plan for the next several years. On Sunday, we enjoyed a worship service in English led by the Tumaini children. It was wonderful! We were also able to participate in interesting discussions with the children. Frank and I met with the form three (juniors) and form four (seniors) students in different groups, girls separate from the boys. We listened to their concerns, some of which were addressed, and recommendations made and accepted.
A typical morning in the life of Tumaini Children’s Home
School mornings begin very early at Tumaini Children’s Home. The secondary school students (44 of them, ages 14 to 19) must leave for school at 6 a.m. Before that they must clean their room, make their beds, bathe, dress and eat a porridge breakfast. It is especially difficult when there is no water readily available. The primary students (81 of them, some as young as four) must follow the same procedure for a 7 a.m. departure. There are two matrons at the home responsible for making sure that this process moves smoothly and efficiently.
The Outreach Foundation and other partners have been supporting Tumaini for more than 15 years. The home is one of many children’s homes that are affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. The institution serves children selected from vulnerable families in the region. The government primary and secondary schools are nearby, making boarding convenient for the children. Some of the children are orphaned, come from broken or abusive home situations or are impoverished. They stay at the home for eight years on average. While they receive some local support, mostly in-kind, about 80% of their expenses are met by international donors. In the current global economy, sustaining the required support is becoming increasingly difficult.
We met with the full board on March 5 to work on issues of great importance to the children’s care and to finalize documents which will help determine the best strategy going forward to care for the Tumaini/Huruma children. The meeting was well-attended (12 of 14 members) and lasted seven hours. During that time the strategic plans for Tumaini Children’s Home and the Sugarbaker Clinic were reviewed and amended. Assignments were given to complete missing information. The Vocational Training Center building construction has progressed, and it is now roofed. Work will soon begin to enclose the ground and first floors.
Transforming Child Care Seminar, PCEA Milele Conference Center, Nairobi, Kenya
Over 55 children's homes, including Tumaini/Huruma Children’s Homes, gathered at Milele Hotel Nairobi on March 7-8 for the Transforming Child Care Seminar sponsored by Hope and Homes for Children, a UK Organization, the PCEA Church in Kenya and The Outreach Foundation. The emphasis of the seminar was on the need for children to grow up in families and communities. Participants were given information from Kenya government officials including information on policies in regards to deinstitutionalizing the children. This process will ensure that the children are cared for in homes and communities. That improved care should start right now. This plan for alternative care for children was an eye opener to most caregivers and orphanage home owners. Three Tumaini staff members (Eunice Njoki Kago, home manager, Catherine Wangari Karugu, matron, and Anne Wandimi, computer teacher) participated and are grateful to The Outreach Foundation for giving them a chance to be part of this important meeting at the national level. They were informed of the direction the government is taking. “When you know better, do better.” Participants were inspired by real examples of nations like Rwanda who have replaced orphanages with alternative care for children. Rwanda embarked on transforming child care some years ago, and their experience is encouraging. Rwandan families have come forward in big numbers and became foster parents to kids beginning with orphanage care givers. And now Uganda is following the lead of their neighbor, Rwanda.
As always, we promise to keep you updated and our partners also promise to keep up the good work. We appreciate your generosity that helps the children in Nyeri stay on course with their education, helps the staff remain encouraged, and helps the ministry stay engaged in the community and in the nation.
Please consider joining us when we visit partners in East Africa again, which will probably be in the fall of 2019.
Remain blessed in Christ,
Ebralie Mwizerwa, Outreach Projects Coordinator
Read more about Tumaini Children's Ministry HERE.
$360 per year supports a primary school child, $500 per year supports a secondary student. We are seeking to raise $80,000 a year for operations which feeds, houses, clothes, educates and cares for these children; $2,200 per scholarship for e-learning and an additional $20,000 for the vocational training center.