Monday, March 30, 2009

Galilee Primary Girls Singing..............

Hi Everyone,

Hope you like this video from a sponsors visit to the school in 2008.

This is of group of Galilee Primary School girls sharing what they have learned in preparation for the big Kenyan schools music competition. This is such a big event for our students. For many this will be their first time leaving the slums. Participation in music competition allows them to gain so many skills. It teaches them how to work together and how to interact with students from other schools. Participating and competing gives them a sense of pride and self confidence that will help them escape the severe poverty they live in.

Please help our students go again this year by donating a few dollars, all you have to do is click on the button below.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congratulations to Lorna Waddington High Class of 2008

Exciting news from our director, Mr. Fanuel Okwaro ………………..

Earlier this month he sent the letter below to share the exciting news about Waddington High Schools first graduating class. They all passed the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), which is taken at the completion of twelve years of schooling. This exam is a very important part of a graduating student's life. A high enough score will get government assistance into university, any passing score will help get better jobs. The test covers a minimum of 7 subject areas which are taken over multiple days. Kenya's Kids In Need sponsors are very proud of the accomplishments of our first graduating class…………. Help us celebrate by leaving a comment for us to share with the graduates, teachers and families who helped make this possible.

If you would like to become one of Kenya's Kids In Need – very special sponsors helping other WHS students achieve this same milestone, visit our web page for more information, or email our sponsorship coordinator Holly at, only through our sponsorship program can we continue to change the life of one child at a time.

Tami Folks,

Kenya's Kids In Need, Director


Dear Friends,
I hope everybody is fine and that your families are doing well too. Thank you so
very much for your kindness and continued support for our schools

Today was our happiest day ever, we just don't have words to describe our joy.
Thank you so very much all of you for the big efforts you have put into helping
our schools, the fruit for your effort can now be seen. Your efforts and
sacrifice has made a big difference in many children's lives, these are kids who
had no hope but now they have it in abundant. Our vision of having a center of
academic excellence is getting shape.

Today like any other day we were not sure what to expect,, we were all nervous
being that the KCSE exam results were to be released by the Education Minister.
Immediately after the minister finished his speech, news started coming in one
by one as many parents, former students and teachers made frantic efforts to
find out how our school performed. By mid day the school was in a carnival mood
former students, parents , people from the community and all the kids both WHS
and GPS were out singing and dancing, we are champions!! We are champions
rendered the air.

Being our first attempt we did our best but we never thought the results will be
this good , we must thank you again for making us what we are today, your
efforts of equipping our school, has made this possible , your kindness by
sponsoring a child in our school has made this possible, your effort at writing
letters, purchasing items for your sponsored child has made this happen and
finally your prayers for us has made this happen,
As you continue doing all these we look forward to having even better results in
the future National exams.

This performance is just a start of things to come.

It is our greatest wish that we continue churning the best results in Kenya a
few challenges are standing in our way. This term we did a very good recruitment
form ones , we were able to admit 38 students who scored between 300- 431
marks in the KCPE and more than 40 who scored between 246 – 299 in total this
year we have admitted about 85 students.

As the out going form four class we have recruited very good form one students
who we think if taken good care of we shall have another big celebration in
four years to come.

About those who did KCSE last year and passed with grades of C+ and above they
all qualified to go to the university here and even a broad but due to the
limited finances usually the Government give loans to those with grade B and
above. Those with C+ and B- can still join under self sponsored (parallel)

Those to go to university will wait for almost two years before joining

Thank you
God bless

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2009 Exam Fee Update- just a little more money needed…………


…all but five members of the Class of 2009 ARE registered for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education AND, it's NOT too late to register the remaining students!

The community was so excited about how well the Class of 2008 did that the parents and other community members hit the sidewalks asking local businesses and family members for donations. Little by little, shilling by shilling, they raised the funds.

All that remains is to raise enough money to register the last five students.

Knowing this group I have NO doubt we can raise the needed $745 [ $109 + $40 (late fee) x 5]. The only question I have is how fast it will get doneJ I'm betting this is one of our shortest drives ever!

Without realizing it we've accomplished TWO incredible things as a result of this drive. We are giving a lot of kids a chance at a better life AND we've empowered parents to become more involved in their child's school. The thought of raising the full amount, even for just their child, was overwhelming but only having to raise a little and working together with other parents they not only helped their child but helped their neighbors child as well.

Way to go sponsors AND parents and good luck to the Class of 2009!

Waddington High School Bagdana Dance...

Hi Again.......

Thought you might enjoy more of Natasha's clips from her visit in 2008.....

Here are our high school students doing the Bagdanan Dance....

If you would like to help our kids continue to grow and develop their musical skills please considering donating below.....


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Update: A gift of books.........

Last fall Galilee had two very unexpected but welcome visitors! Steve Viglione, Founder and CEO and Dr. Marilyn Powers, Co-Founder and Vice-President, of the I AM FOUNDATION toured Galilee and brought with them copies of their book, "I AM" for all our primary students. Their marvelous Kiswahili/English book with its colorful pages and self affirming messages was an excellent first book for children who aren't used to having books of their own. The children were thrilled to have Steve and Marilyn visit and will cherish the books they received and the message it imparts for a long time.

Steve and Marilyn have now put together a short video of their visit to Kenya which they've posted on for all to enjoy. We were excited to see it! The short promotional clip shows our school, Galilee Primary in Kenya.

Thanks again to the I AM FOUNDATION for giving this wonderful gift to our kids........


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Insights Into Poverty - A Search for Knowledge!

My efforts on behalf of children in need (Kenya, Peru, Thailand, South Dakota, The Philippines...) have resulted in my desire to know as much as I can about poverty, the causes, the cures, the culture. So I read and read some more, talk to people and visit places, all in an attempt to increase my awareness, deepen my understanding and ultimately provide me with direction so I can better understand my role and responsibilities when interacting with and intervening on behalf of children living in poverty.

In my search for knowledge and understanding I came across an excellent blog featuring stories related to poverty around the world. The header on Poverty News Blog says "News and links about the struggles of the poor around the world. Half the world -- nearly three billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day." The Poverty News Blog is an excellent one stop source for current information on poverty related issues.

Take a look and let me know what you think!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Teaching About Kenya: Part 2: Food

Jambo ma rafiki!

I am having so much fun developing my course on Kenya for the children at our local elementary school. I hope you've had a chance to check out the resources I shared in the first part of this series and are learning right along with me about Kenya, the country and the people.

One can't do justice to the study of a a country without spending some time talking about and tasting the local foods. While there are several foods/dishes that are popular in Kenya I've chosen to focus on one. I picked this one because it is a favorite of young and old alike and is eaten, in abundance, by all Kenyans rich and poor. Do you know what food I'm talking about? It's called ugali!

The folks at have this to say about ugali and even have directions for preparing it! "Ugali (pronounced oo-ga-ly) is a staple starch component of many African meals, especially in southern and east Africa. It is generally made from maize flour (or ground maize) and water, and varies in consistency from porridge to a dough-like substance. When ugali is made from another starch, it is usually given a specific regional name."

I used Good Search to learn more about ugali and found there are MANY online videos showing how to make it and even one that shows how to eat it. I think I'm going to use this one as it shows how it's made in a simple home, without electricity, similar to how it's prepared by our Kenyan kids! This is another great video showing how native Kenyans, studying in the US, improvise to make ugali using ingredients found in the US.

Read up on ugali and let me know if you decide to make some... and if you do, let me know how it came out and if you liked it!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Speaking of garage sales...

A while ago I received an email from a gentleman asking how he might go about making a donation of goods to the children of Galilee. As I always do, I wrote back thanking him for his interest. I asked him how he'd heard of us and just what he had in mind. Here is the rest of the story...!

"Hi Holly,

Thank you for your reply! My wife and I read our 4-year-old daughter a book called "Mama Panya's Pancakes," which gave us an opportunity to talk to her about how much we have in our country and how little others have in other places. She was so inspired to help, that she ran around the house collecting all of the things she had that she thought she could part with so that we could send those things to children in Kenya. Of course, we realize that, due to shipping costs, it is far better to send money, but since we have a window of opportunity with her to educate her on giving we thought we would try to see if we could send her things. Giving things instead of money seems like a more concrete lesson for her age.

Anyway, we started searching for organizations on the web that specialize in aid to African children (especially Kenya ;-) ), and we ran across your website, We simply liked what we saw in terms of a mission and an opportunity for our daughter to see the people she was helping.

Since then, we have had a talk with her about having a garage sale and selling her things and then sending the money from that sale, along with a contribution from mom and dad and money from friends and neighbors that we raise together. She seems receptive to that idea, so I was wondering if you have any kinds of promotional materials that we might use to make this seem legit to those whom we are asking for donations?"

We, at KKIN, provided them with the facts, figures and photos they needed to publicize the event. Thanks to Esja's kind heart, the help of her friend Avonlea and Esja's VERY supportive Mom and Dad three hundred dollars was raised for Galilee.

Thank you Esja!


Friday, March 6, 2009

Wycliffe FOUND a sponsor!!!

Wycliffe FOUND a sponsor!!!

A heartfelt thanks to those of you who enquired about sponsoring Wycliffe. I am happy to report he has found a sponsor! A letter will soon be on it's way to him telling him the good news...but there are still many more children waiting to be sponsored. They are waiting to hear words of encouragement and to know that someone somewhere cares about them.

Are you ready to reach out to a child in need? If so go to for a glimpse at some of our waiting children or email Holly at ... Sponsoring a child may not change the world but it will change the world for that one child. Wouldn't you like to be a part of such a wonderous transformation?


The Power of a Kind Word

You have seen it in the faces of children in your own families and circle of friends -- that look of pride when someone tells them that they did something well. There's a little smile, a look of satisfaction. They stand up straighter with the birth of an "I can do it" attitude. What about when a child is hurt or tired or sick? A peace comes over his face when he hears the words, "I love you. It will be all right."
In the slums of Nairobi many children go without hearing those words. Some are fortunate enough to have loving mamas watching over them, but many are orphans, living in child-headed homes, or with siblings or relatives who can hardly eek out a meal every couple of days. They need encouragement, to know someone cares, to know they can succeed in their every day lives. We know how much our words matter to them by the letters we receive from our sponsored children in return. They say they are "as happy as a king" to receive our letters, and they carry our letters around in their pockets or tattered backpacks.
Mother Theresa said, "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." One of the best gifts we can give our sponsored children, and the children in our everyday lives, is the power of kind words. Would you like to sponsor a child and make a difference in his or her world? If so, email .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

KKIN Florida Yard Sale

Holly and I survived our 2nd yard sale for KKIN this past weekend........

Thank you to everyone who came by and shopped........and friends and family who donated items.......

We raised $310 for Galilee.

Saturday the weather was great and we had a steady stream of customers. Sunday we
no sooner set up then we had to pack up, between the wind and the
rain it was not a doable thing....... we decided from the last one
yard sales in July in Florida are not a doable thing either, unless we want
to call 911........... it was just too hot to drag it all out and put
it away at night, but we did do well.......

We were amazed at how easy it was this time and did not even have to
do a deep clean in our houses to get enough stuff (but my house could use one), we will post
pictures this week....... about 2 weeks before we put word out to our
friends and family and everyone donated a bag or two.. ( and I only
brought a few items home :-)) - and posted on different yard sale
boards.... and made a sign on poster board announcing all profits
went to KKIN, it cut down on the "can I have it for less"

We decided to use a technique a friend of mine uses so we did not have
to mark every thing, the night before. We sorted everything in 4 piles,

1. stuff that was next to worthless but not worthless enough for trash
2. dollar items
3. stuff we wanted more than a dollar for
4. clothes

The stuff in group 1 was put on a tarp and anything people could put
in a gallon ziplock bag went for a dollar - I was totally amazed how much
of this stuff sold.........

Group 2 was put on another tarp with a sign $1 each - I think some of
this eventually was moved to group 1 :-)

Group 3 people held it up and we gave a price, depending on how tired we
were items started at $5 or 10 and we usually got half :-)

Group 4th the clothes was anything they could put in the bag for $5 (
next time I would put all the linens in this pile too)

This made the yard sale doable, if we had to price everything individually we never
would have pulled this off.......

The goal was to get rid of as much as possible while still making money for KKIN/GAL.... wish the weather
would have held for a second day....

And we had enough stuff left over to give the Girl Scouts a van and trailer full for their yard sale next week. So actually it will be the yard sale that keeps on giving, maybe they will find a group who needs stuff for their yard sale and by the time we are ready to do it again it will come back to us. I'm told this is the key to a successful yard sale, to have made arrangements for someone to pick up the leftovers the day you finish.

And we have started planning the next fundraiser a dinner at Sweet Tomatoes.......

Have a great week....


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Waddington High School Singers

2008 was an exciting year for many of our students. They participated in and won several music awards at the local and national levels. Our students competed with schools who have more resources then we will ever dream of having. But they were able to hold their own. This since of accomplishment and pride will give them another experience to pull from as they work hard to pull themselves out of poverty and begin to make a better life for themselves and eventually their children.

Please consider donating funds to help the students at Waddington High School participate again this year in the competitions. You can donate by clicking on the button below........

Thank you for taking time to watch the video, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.....