The Longonot Education Center has continued to thrive since its construction (which sparked our initiative) in 2011. Over the summer the school was granted more than 60 pairs of canvas shoes by the Kenyan Red Cross (thanks to TOMS) to support many of the students who were walking to school barefoot. The need for items like shoes is vast in rural Kenya and we are grateful to work with a teacher who goes out of her way to help support her students by applying for necessary aid. One of our proudest moments this year was learning that the attendance at the school has increased by 56%, from 48 to 75 students within the last two years! The children are learning and growing bigger and smarter every day. If attendance continues to grow, who knows… we might have to build another classroom within the next couple years!
This year we also added a new team member, Sedona Keenan, to help fundraise and manage our newest project, the Ahadi Education Center. The center serves as a sort of “halfway” point between street life in the slum and returning to public school for a group of 25 teenaged boys. We are so proud to say that three of the boys are already back in school and doing a great job. One of the boys ranked number 17 out of 67 students in his class! It’s hard to believe just four months ago he was struggling with drug addiction.
At the Living Positive Daycare center, in conjunction with efforts made by Living Positive Kenya, we were able to raise $7,000 for a new classroom to combat the current problem of overcrowding and poor sanitation. The designs for the classroom are currently being reviewed by the city council and should be approved shortly – construction will begin immediately after!
After working for with Faraja Children’s Home for a year and a half we were very excited to say that the home was finally granted official CCI (Charitable Children’s Institution) status by the Kenyan Government. This means that the home is now a recognized children’s home by the government and brings many new opportunities to the home, which were not possible prior to registration.
The LEI team can easily agree that our proudest moment this year was being able to announce our 100% Donation Guarantee. Since we started LEI it has always been important to us to be able to tell our donors that every dollar donated would go directly to the children we support; crossing that off our To-Do List was an incredible feeling for everyone involved.
In 2011, when LEI began, our organization intended to help just 48 precious children. Two years later more than 250 children benefit from the projects we support, a number we never expected but are very proud of. Our team has high hopes for 2014; that we will continue to grow, and reach even more children in the coming months. This year has been such a blessing for LEI and the children of our projects. We are so grateful for all the support we have been given throughout the year. None of this could be possible without contributions from so many selfless individuals worldwide.
Thank You & Happy New Year!
-The LEI Team