Can you help us to give each family we support two blankets. It gets really cold at night in Yala and with 3 or 4 children sharing one blanket there is lots of tugging and pulling and they get torn very quickly; many people just wrap themselves in rags in a vain attempt to keep warm; one poor lad told us in a recent letter how he has taken to sleeping inside a maize sack.
What’s so great is that together we can actually do something about this just by adding a couple of blankets to our Christmas shopping list. Two blankets for a family costs just £12. Will anything else you give this Christmas make a child or older person as happy? Please pass this message on to your family and friends so we can reach our target of £7,200 by Christmas Day.
Do you remember how excited you were were on your 1st day of secondary school? Not so for Maureen. She spent last week waiting at the school gates watching everyone else go through and start their lessons. Her mother has 7 children and her father is dead – school fees are out of the question – even eating daily is not guaranteed. Eve, the Urafiki children’s team leader, saw her sitting with her head in her heads and sat down and talked to her. She took Maureen straight into school and recorded her story and sent it by WhatsAp. We took her on the scheme without a sponsor. The teachers bought her uniform and shoes. So tomorrow morning will be her 1st day. How excited she must be now!
Easy decision. Can you now help us find a sponsor for Maureen – ask your family, friends and anyone else you know ….
Sponsor for £20 a month
Alvin is a very bright 15 year old and came to the URAFIKI centre desperate because he wants to go to secondary school and his mother only earns £1.50 a day so its out of the question. None in his family has ever gone to secondary school. The poverty he lives in is dire with food not guaranteed each day, no running water and nothing to call his own. Without education he knows his life has no hope and he will repeat the cycle of poverty of his family. Can you help get Alvin into school for £20 a month?
Life for Whycliff is hard, more so for his mother who is bringing up three children on her own after the murder of her husband. Whycliff is in class 2 and 9 years old. Your support will help him to stay in school with fees paid, regular food and monthly soap to keep his uniform clean. Can you sponsor Wycliff for £8 a month?
Oscar’s father died in 2000 and so his family became homeless. They now live in a rented hut and finding enough food to eat is a daily struggle. Having enough money for school fees is out of the question for this family.
Oscar runs the long distance to and from school everyday with very little food to energise him, but despite this he always applies himself extremely and frequently top of his class. Nancy says ‘his positive attitude and determination radiates like a shining light, encouraging others’.
Education is this family’s only hope, so Oscar and his mother are extremely thankful for the support of a sponsor.
Rose’s father tragically died of throat cancer. Even though her mother works on people’s farm to scrape together a living, they often going hungry. Without sponsorship, Rose’s future was bleak and it was almost certain that she would be forced into an early marriage.
Thanks to her sponsor, Rose has been given the chance of a brighter future. She is now able to attend secondary school, the first girl in her family to do so. Inspite of a long and tiring walk to school, Rose works extremely hard and is top of her class. She is a great example to other girls as she encourages them to work hard and to focus on their studies.
Winifreda loves running around with the older children; she’s full of life and energy. But at 2 years old, she could neither walk nor stand. She had spent too many hours sitting in a cold room on a bare floor. Her mother, who was HIV positive and sadly also struggled with alcohol problems, died giving birth to Winifreda because there was no-one to deliver her baby safely.
With all the odds stacked against her, Winifreda’s prospects looked incredibly bleak. Babies born to mothers in these circumstances are often found to be HIV positive, and many suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome. But thankfully, not this remarkable little girl! Tests showed she had escaped both of these potential threats.
Winifreda now lives with her stepmother, and through Urafiki’s OVC scheme, receives free school dinners, and soap to keep her school uniform clean. Her future looks much brighter.
Welcome to Urafiki!
We’re delighted you’re taking time out to look at our website, and hope you’ll find what you see here inspiring.
The word ‘Urafiki’ means ‘friendship’ in Kiswahili, and this small but very special charity began with a wish to build links and friendships between our community in the UK and another in Yala, Kenya. Links that would enable the Yala leaders to tackle the extreme poverty that is part of daily life for so many. Over time, these friendships have grown very deep. We trust each other, have shared values, and can see the real, lasting difference that our projects have made.
Some of our content is unsettling, because we want to share with you the realities faced by people living in extreme poverty. But the Urafiki story is, above all, one of hope. It’s about how a small group of friends, working together, and listening to each other, can make a big difference.
We’d love you to explore our website and discover what has already been achieved in Yala, and what could still be done.