As an organization committed to upholding the dignity of the people we work with, all names have been changed to protect their privacy. Their stories are shared with their consent and participation.
In His Own Words
“I am a 24 years old man from the slums of Kibera. I wish to thank SFH for the way they transformed my life. I knew about SFH when I met the director Nadia Kist who I gave my life history. At the age of 22 I was volunteering at a hospital and had no hopes of anything better since I did not have any qualifications apart from a high school diploma.
I was picked by SFH when I could not raise college fees, rent or even money for food. Many are nights when I slept hungry. SFH sponsored me to do a course in Community Health and also provided me with transport to school since I could not even raise it. After completing this course I was able to secure a job at the same hospital as a nurse aide and earn a salary.
Now am able to pay rent in a better house, pay school fees for my brother, buy drugs for my ailing dad and even sponsor my nephew who’s an orphan. My life used to be that of depending on others and begging for help all the time, actually I didn’t have hope in life after completing secondary school because I lost my mum in 1991 then my dad who lives in the rural area could not afford to educate me more than high school. Anytime I visited extended family members, they treated me so bad because they thought I was going to beg! Now I visit them with confidence and even buy sugar for them as it’s the tradition.
I thank SFH for the great work they are doing to us who once felt hopeless.”
When we first met Michael, he was living on the street at the age of 17. His mother, an alcoholic without a job, could not support or provide the care he needed. Michael went to the streets to hustle day-to-day in hopes of getting some money he could bring home to help his mother from the young age of seven years. He shared with us his daily struggle: where he would find food, the odd jobs he would do for pennies a day and in the end sleep under a bush to hide from the harsh weather, and the police. He lived in fear on the streets but felt no other alternative was at his reach, until SFH offered him one. “I want to go back to school,” Michael told us. Unafraid to be a 17-year-old in the fifth grade, and committed to finish at any cost, SFH enrolled him at the only boarding school that would take in someone with a difficult background like his.
He excelled year after year surprising his teachers and fellow classmates as being among the most disciplined and promising! We are proud to say that Michael graduated from primary school this year and scored a remarkable high of 370 on his primary school exams (out of 500) and is awaiting letters inviting him to High School. Michael’s dream? To be a doctor and a footballer. We believe he can do it, because we have seen him make it to the top against all odds! SFH will see him through the rest of his academic career.
Joanne’s family has been through some very difficult times. It felt like her family had it all until her mother passed away and her father lost his job. Her and her 2 brothers moved with their father to one of the slums in Nairobi called Kawangware.
It was their only option to survive. Joanne, the eldest and now the breadwinner, was 16-years-old when SFH first met her. She was desperate to find work so she could provide for her family. She had taken up odd jobs to earn the minimum they needed to pay rent and eat, ranging washing clothes to cleaning houses. Joanne finished high school and wanted to continue her studies so she could get a more stable job in office administration. Through the support of our contributors, SFH enrolled Joanne in a 2 year certificate program in Management with a specialization in Human Resources. She was among the top of her class with almost straight A’s every term! After finishing her course she was able to secure volunteer positions that supported her family. Today Joanne is now working as an administrative assistant with one of the NGOs that works to build the capacity of faith based organizations to mitigate HIV/AIDS!
John grew up in perhaps the roughest side of the city of Nairobi: Mathare North slums of Eastlands. The eldest boy in his family of six, John felt the pressure take care of his family. An absent father and mother battling addiction left him as the primary provider for the family. He was able to attend high school through the support of his church. He worked and saved money during school holiday’s in an effort to help his siblings and make sure his family had food on the table. After graduation, he wasn’t able to find any additional support to pursue formal employment. He secured a volunteer position at a hospital which opened a world of medical service that triggered a passion within him. In 2005 SFH stepped in and sponsored his education to become a pharmacy assistant at the diploma level. He passed well and immediately secured a job. Now John is working with an international NGO in a HIV program serving unreached communities Kenya. He is doing well planning for a future degree in psychology which he is saving money for and self-funding. He also continues to support his family, mainly by ensuring his small brothers too have access to an education.