We currently sponsor 33 children.
Below are some of their stories.
The very first “Milele Child”, Emmanuel, is now 28 years old. Britt Brown met him on a street in Malindi, where he was selling small bags of peanuts. His dream was to become a pilot. He now flies as a professional pilot for the United Nations, delivering food, medicine and personnel all over Africa. Polite, attentive and with a great sense of humor, Emmanuel is the role model for all the other children in our program. He is also an inspiring mentor, encouraging them to excel in and outside school.
Milele Children paid for Emmanuel’s whole education. We are very proud to have our first program beneficiary provide such a successful path for others to follow!
The next person almost ready to ‘leave the nest’ is Moses, who is studying Procurement at the KCA University in Nairobi. He graduates next year. Moses originally had dreams of becoming a doctor, but his grades were not good enough. This year he ran a successful campaign for a seat in the Student Council. His grades are all A's and B's. Moses is one of five siblings. They lost both parents within two weeks and were cared for by relatives, who themselves were overwhelmed by poverty and many kids.
Milele Children are sponsoring Moses' two younger brothers, Daniel and Paul, as well. They are boarders at Kingsway, where they are thriving.
When possible, though, a stable home environment and day education is more effective in terms of both money spent and results. Since 2016 the board is focusing on helping poor, single parents with school age children.
Milele Children are now sponsoring nine single mothers with a total of 15 girls and 4 boys. Simple things like a bed and a decent room with electricity,(rented for 30$/month and part of the scholarship) help ease a parent’s constant anxiety over how to care for his/her children. The security, strength and bond between a caring parent and child cannot be emphasized enough.
These children go to day schools.
Mama Dama was found at Lea Mwana’s orphanage two years ago. During a visit,Britt Brown saw a woman crying in the office. The director told her that the woman was a single mother. She was begging the director to take her three children, so that they may find a sponsor to pay for their education.
Milele Children decided to help. We moved the family from their dirt floor mud hut to a room with electricity and water. (Rent:35 dollars/month. Electricity: 5 dollars/month.)
We had a carpenter make a big, two story bed - - the first bed they had ever owned. We bought mattresses, sheets and mosquito nets. They all used to sleep directly on the mud floor. A table, a lamp and four chairs later, the family’s pride in their new home is palpable. Mama Dama is in her early 30’s, without formal education, but she takes great care to keep the room neat and her children are clean, polite and a joy to be with. She makes sure that the children study every night, and she is even trying to learn English herself.
Amina is the oldest girl, 13 years old. Tall and gangly, she is an extrovert, happy girl, in contrast to Rebecca, a quiet, observant 12-year-old girl. She is the family’s spokesperson. She watches out for the others and interprets for her mother. She is always trying to foresee the needs of others. Bernard is the 10-year-old son, somewhat shy. All three children have excellent grades. They live only minutes from Kingsway Junior School, where they eat both lunch and dinner, staying after school for extra studies before returning home. Sofia is the smallest little girl, not yet in school.
Lawreen, now 18, has been sponsored by Milele Children since she was 7 years old. She lived at Lea Mwana Orphanage. We were told that she was an orphan. Four years ago, Lawreen just left school one afternoon and did not return. We found out that she had gone to stay with her father and his new wife. Milele Children were sorry to lose her. But three years ago she called and asked to be taken back. She has two years left to finish high school. She lives at the Milele Children’s founder’s home when not in boarding school, having no safe place to go. She is a beautiful young girl, who could do very well in the hospitality sector.
It became evident that several of the ‘orphaned’ Milele Children had one or both parents alive; sometimes siblings and extended families as well. Eddie has a mother who sells charcoal at the bus station, as well as a sister; Zawadi’s aunt turned out to be her mother, and she has several siblings as well. Daniel has an older brother.
Milele Children’s focus has therefore shifted to helping poor, single parents with scholarships for their children, in order to keep the family unit intact.
Poor parents bring their children to orphanages in the hope that the children will be sponsored by some well-meaning foreigner. The child is then told to say that he/she is an orphan. Most sponsors think, rightly, that orphans are more exposed than others. This teaches the child duplicity from an early age, and creates later traumas -both for the child and the sponsor - when the ruse is discovered.
Manuela, 18, has just graduated from St Catherine’s Girls High School, a very good private school, and is hoping to study multimedia at the University. We are still waiting to get her final results from High School.
Zawadi, also 18, has decided that she wants to become an architect, although there is still time for her to change her mind, since she has two more years in high school. Her grades are above average, and she is extremely diligent and hardworking. She goes to a very severe secondary government school,
Eddie, 16 years, came home with several diplomas this December from Moi Kabarak High School’s first grade ; he was number one in Physics and number 2 in Chemistry. All his grades are A’s with a few B’s. His goal is to become a brain surgeon, and he certainly seems to have the brains to make this a reality.
These are only some of our talented Milele Children. Join us in following them on their educational journey towards adulthood and a meaningful life!
Khadija,Tunda,Eddie,Daniel, Emmanuel in Kingsway School Office