Children are happy and safe, because of YOU! Happy New Year!
We have good news from Gilbert Ochieng, Operations Director - Star of Hope Kenya...
Schools resumed for all our children on the 4th of January 2021. On the first day of school, we reported a 98% turnout of our pupils across our three school projects. This happened while many public and private schools across the country were recording as low as 45% pupil turnout in the first week of schools reopening. The Ministry of Education in the country attributed the low turnout to high levels of school dropouts brought about by teenage pregnancies, depression, and drug abuse.
Dear friends, our children reporting back to school in large numbers is not a coincidence. These are the results of your dedication to supporting the Pastoral Care Program to help our children deal with their spiritual, mental, and physical needs.
We had four pastoral care meetings in November and December with our children being facilitated by our counselor, Mrs. Lydia Ngigi. We spent time with our children and followed up on the main issues highlighted in their personal journals. These issues included;
1. Handling abusive parents- Mrs. Lydia called upon all the boys and demonstrated to them how to handle abusive parents using positive energy and response to their parents 'abusive behavior. The boys were more than happy to get this eye-opening knowledge from the counselor.
2. Drug Abuse- Mrs. Lydia guides our children on how to respond to peer pressure to indulge in drug abuse. During the Christmas Party of 2020, an ex-student named Duncan was invited to talk to the children. He motivated them with his personal experience. “I decided to join a gang of teenage boys from my slum village. We got ourselves involved in drug abuse, sexual activities, and robbing civilians. It wasn’t long before I was arrested and put in prison for three years. Thank God for Pastor Gilbert who gave spiritual guidance during my time in prison which really helped me reform. I am now a free boy and really look forward to helping others. I, therefore, advise you to talk to your elders about your mental issues so that you can be helped and not find yourself in the same situation I was in."
3. Self- worth- With the knowledge that our children come from very destitute backgrounds, Mrs. Lydia continues to build on the area of self-worth in our children. Some feel insubstantial because of their backgrounds. The counselor reminds them how much God and the Star of Hope family loves and cares for them.
MOVING FORWARD INTO 2021 Since all schools' operations have officially resumed in 2021, we have planned 2 meetings every month for the pastoral care program in Mikindani and Jimba. We look forward to continuing to provide guidance and self-care packages to our children. This program has become a vital part of our children's well-being during this pandemic. We thank you so much for your awesome support in this program.
God Bless you. - Gilbert Ochieng, Operations Director - Star of Hope Kenya That is great news from Kenya! Please continue to support our work. We can all see that it really does make a difference!
Thank you and God Bless, Mark Presson CEO Star of Hope - 620-564-3355