Monthly Archives

June 2022


By Project Stories

Simpler ways to water access.

Getting a glass of water to drink is simple. Grab a clean glass from the cupboard, take about three steps over to the sink (or maybe even to the fridge with its filtered water dispenser), turn on the faucet, and wait a few seconds for the glass to fill up. Voilà! A refreshing, clean glass of cold water. So simple.

But what if it wasn’t simple? It certainly isn’t for Wycliffe and his family in Oletukat, Kenya. They have no water in their home. They have to walk four kilometers (that’s roughly 5,400 steps!) to the nearest water source, and sometimes up to eight kilometers – just to get some water. This isn’t just a small inconvenience either – this means no water for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes, showering, flushing toilets, and no water for animals or plants either. Wycliffe and his family spend so much time walking to a water source each day, and the water available to them isn’t even clean. Plus, they use containers to collect water that are used both by humans and animals, which contaminates the water even more. This leads to many water borne diseases which are constantly infecting the family, like cholera, dysentery, and amebiasis. Then, due to the nature of these diseases, the family has to make more frequent trips to the toilet. However, without access to a toilet, Wycliffe’s family often has to resort to using the bushes nearby for this purpose. Then the waste just sits there, and others can be exposed to it when they go to use the bushes, and the spread of disease multiplies. As a result, everyone in the family gets sick and they have to make frequent trips to the doctor to get medications and care, which gets very costly.

Wycliffe faces these water and sanitation issues daily, and has to try to lead his family through it. He is a husband and a father to six kids. Three kids are in elementary school, two are in preschool, and one is too young for school. Wycliffe also serves his parents by caring for them on top of caring for his own family. To earn some income and get some food for his family, Wycliffe tries to do some small scale farming. The farming operations do alright, but drought often plagues the community too.

Wycliffe was trying to serve his family well, but all these water issues couldn’t be solved by Wycliffe on his own. What a daunting task! However, Wycliffe and his family were able to take part in a project with The Hope Venture, through a connection with our partner, Nasha Ministries, Wycliffe and his family were able to move towards some solutions. Through the project with The Hope Venture, a water source has been brought nearer to their community in Oletukat. Wycliffe and his family were able to get a toilet. They also got sanitation training. The combination of these things led to diseases being far less common in their household, which also meant fewer trips to the doctor and fewer expenses because of doctor bills. The family has much more time for other things, since they don’t have to spend so much time walking to and from the water source. And now, when they collect water, they can have access to cleaner, more sanitary water.

The benefits of this project haven’t just stayed within Wycliffe’s family. They open their home and toilet to many people in their community, so they also can have a safe and sanitary experience. Not only do they open up their resources to others, but they are constantly educating others in their community about sanitation practices.

Now so many people in the community want to get toilets installed for their homes too. Overall, with more and more toilets and sanitation education happening in the community, there is less disease occurring in the community as a whole, and people are healthier. People have a lot more time on their hands too, since the water is closer to them. Kids can go to school since they don’t have to worry about fetching water each day. Wycliffe’s family, and the community as a whole, hope for continued improvements, including more toilets and more sanitation, which leads to healthier communities.

To impact more families like Wycliffe’s, donate to our Kenya Water Project today!



By Project Stories

Jovial… Yeah. That’s her!!

I don’t know about you, but for me, “jovial” is not a word that is commonly used in the vocabulary of people around me. If someone asked me for the definition of jovial, I would probably have to tell them that I didn’t know. I could try to make a guess of what it means if someone used it in a sentence for me. But, basically, I’m telling you that I wouldn’t know what jovial means. But then I came across the word when reading information sent to us from our partner, Fanuel, who helps direct our student sponsorship program in Mathare, one of the poorest regions in the world, home to a collection of slums in Nairobi, Kenya. This information was about a girl in the region named Abigael.

I was reading Abigael’s bio. From the instant I read that “Abigael is a jovial girl,” I became intrigued with this word and what it meant about Abigael. I knew the word must mean something positive about her, but I didn’t know exactly what. So I did some digging. I took a visit to dictionary.com, where jovial was defined as “endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship.” Synonyms for jovial include cheery, jolly, pleasant, delightful, companionable, lighthearted, and good-natured.

This was striking to me. Jovial was the only word used to directly describe Abigael’s demeanor. Abigael, being described as jovial – cheery, pleasant and joyous – even when I knew that Abigael came from one of the most disadvantaged situations in the world was astonishing. In Mathare, where she lives, the living conditions are horrible. The sewage system is poor, with waste flowing down the streets, there’s garbage everywhere, and families live crammed into shanty houses, which are built from materials like wood and mud. Not many kids who grow up in the slums are able to get an education, because their families don’t have money to pay for school fees. This means they can’t get a good job later on in life, and they will likely also have to raise their own kids in the slums.

Abigael grew up in a family of five with a single mother taking care of all of them. Her mother had a small business selling tea, which brought in some income for the family, but not a lot. It was hard to pay for food, and especially for school fees. Her mom would often have to go borrow food from a nearby shop just so they could survive.

These circumstances are the reality of Abigael’s life.

And yet, she is still described as jovial. Jolly. Delightful. Lighthearted.

Abigael aspires to become a surgeon. She wants to save lives, especially the lives of those in her community. She hopes that VineYard, a hospital in Kenya, will start a branch location of the hospital in Mathare, so that she can work there. She wants to inspire her community and transform it through her work as a surgeon and through all she is able to accomplish. She doesn’t want her community to stay as it is. She wants improvement.

Abigael’s aspirations and her jovial personality were inspiring in and of themselves. But yet again, we are brought back to the circumstances of her life. Abigael wasn’t able to attend school because of the financial circumstances of her family. This meant there would be no way for her to even have the opportunity to work towards her goals. Without a high school education, there is no college education, and no medical school.

However, Abigael connected with our partner, Fanuel, who was able to help her get a student sponsorship. This sponsorship paid for all her school fees, and now, Abigael has access to an education. She is able to go to high school, which opens up opportunities for her to work towards going on to college, medical school, and becoming a surgeon.

After learning all of this about Abigael, I can see that “jovial” is a perfect word to describe her. I can see it in her desire to transform her community, in her incredible work ethic, and in her heart for caring for others as a surgeon someday. I can see that her hope comes from within her, rooted in her relationship with Jesus, so that not even her circumstances in life can take away her joy.

To impact more students like Abigael, sponsor a student today!