Over the month that we have been home from Africa I’ve shared lots of stories! One story that I mostly share is what Ndoto exactly does.
We became sponsors for Ronnie when we returned home. He is a second grader that is dreaming of becoming a teacher. He is new to the Ndoto program and still learning english. Seth helped him write his sponsorship letter and we can’t wait to receive it! He almost got in a fight at the retreat because I gave him my left over chicken from lunch and another girl wanted it. Whoops!
In the fall of last year Seth and Zach started the project for Ndoto. I automatically thought Ndoto was the school. You sponsor a child from Ndoto and they teach them. Well that wasn’t the case. It all came together when we went into the slum of Obunga and I got to see the Ndoto office. The building wasn’t big enough for all the 200+ students let alone we were crammed to the max for church in that building.
So how do you go about sponsoring a student? First Ndoto.org has a website full of faces that stole my heart. Eden Creative built the website so people like us in the United States can sponsor children in Kenya. You can sponsor a student depending on their grade level and boarding school from $35 – $100 a month. But I love their thought of sponsoring a child until you see them graduate college with their Ndoto (dream). Also, Ndoto asks that you write and send pictures to your student twice a year. Let me tell you it makes their year. It filled my heart as I watched them get so excited to write to their sponsor and also receive their letters and pictures! I bet some of the students still have those letters in their pockets today. Just visit the website and read about a few of the students that catch your eye and hear about their dream.
So why sponsor? Another thing I learned that education in Kenya isn’t free. Therefore you may only be able to receive an education if your parents are wealthy or able to work to pay. Even $35 a month to us may seem like a tough commitment to some but to them, $35 US dollars is huge compared to their shillings. Once a student gains sponsorship from someone like you they are able to be placed into a school. This also pays for their tuition, uniforms, school supplies and medical care. Ndoto collects sponsorship over the website then the director, Allison, hand delivers each and every students tuition to the schools that takes up to a month. They don’t have the postal service there!
These students travel near and far to apply to the Ndoto program though. They have lots of paper work to fill out, write an essay, and even have to get previous school records if available and then keep up a certain grade average. When we were in Africa their grades had just came in and they had to go share their grades with a staff member. School in Africa is super tough!! They are in school from 7am to 6pm some days we were told. Their report cards were filled with french classes, chemistry, etc. They definitely work hard for their Ndoto.
So how will you help? Ndoto has two students currently unsponsored. I would LOVE if two of my friends or couples would be willing to sponsor these two students. If timing is an issue at the moment students are beginning to apply to Ndoto as we speak and more students will be added this fall! Last year alone they had 500 children apply and they only took 40 students. As I stated before they have to keep up a grade point average and stay out of trouble to stay in the program. They have lots of rules and encourage the students to live a life towards Christ. This is why they are required to come to the retreats that we helped with. I watched those high schoolers get filled up and pray they are still leading their lives in such ways.
What if you can’t sponsor a child? What about a one time donation or a monthly donation. What about donating an old cell phone or computer. Ndoto also gives out loans to students and staff members to start their own businesses that are then paid back. Even walking around the slums of Obunga nothing is free. Every person rents their business or rents their homes. Also, Seth and I are hoping that the US Ndoto staff can come our way and speak to our church or even if its just a big group of our friends.
I know I may sound like I am in Ndoto sales…well I’m not. Seth and I just truly have a heart for what Allison has made Ndoto over the years. Not a lot of single women in their twenties would go on their own to Kenya and start what she has started. She knows each and everyone of these students by name and knows their dreams. I am amazed by her. I wish there were more people in this world like Allison. She recognize she can’t go to Kenya and “save the world” but she can help Kenyans out of poverty by helping them gain an education.
All I can say is this journey has blessed me. I miss those sweet friends everyday and love when we can catch up on Facebook. But can you do something for me? Can you take a moment and pray for one to the Ndoto student that is battling cancer. The cancer hasn’t shrunk enough for surgery and Isaac is going through more radiation and chemo. He is completely scared and the Ndoto staff is scared. They can’t imagine having to bury a student of their own that is like a child to them. Also, some of the students are battling malaria and sickness. Pray for Jesus to heal.
So again I gain nothing from rambling on and on. But I would love to see one of you sponsor a child today or in the future! Seth and I are passionate about Ndoto. They told me Kenya would steal my heart and they were right! Hopefully someday I can even take you along with me?
Always remember God provides, sponsoring may seem though, but to them it’s everything.