Organized by: Shany Palant
When traveling around East Africa I saw so many children who had no hope for life, no food, no shoes or clothes to wear, many children who are being abused and others who are orphans. My heart broke in compassion for them and I decided that I will do something about it.
In 2014 we founded Hope Academy in Kenya, Africa. Hope Academy is located in Western Kenya, Bungoma County which is on a mountain bordering Uganda known as Mt. Elgon. The location is very challenging due to the distance, and the absence of water and electricity. Our children walk anywhere between 1 and 3 miles per day. Many without shoes, breakfast, lunch or proper clothing.
Their culture is very different from the culture in America. It is very common to see young girls, 5 or 6 years old, taking care of their little siblings. They carry them on their backs while they look for sticks or branches to help start the fire for dinner. They also have to carry the water. You will see young children going to the stream to fill 1 to 3 gallon jugs of water and carrying them on their heads in order to help out with the daily necessities. Life in Kenya is very challenging. Most are living day by day just to survive.
We are currently renting a mud structure where 90 children learn daily. They encounter many obstacles, like sharing a small room, walking far distances, hunger, being sick and not being able to get medicine. However, the kids love to learn. Last August, we were able to buy them books, pencils, note pads, chalk, erasers and some other necessary tools that they never had before. They didn’t know how to use a crayon or a sharpener! The teachers make an average of about $10/ month. This is below their average daily wage, but they are willing to sacrifice themselves so their children can get a better education.
Our vision is to help bring Hope to a Generation who has the potential to change a Nation. The children seem to understand that with no education they will remain in the same conditions their families are in now. We want to try to help them dream, and guide them to find their purpose, that way they will create a better future for themselves.
Ms Shany Palant