Poverty is not a lack of money but a lack of options. Furaha Community Foundation (FCF) is providing quality education for hundreds of children – the option needed to escape poverty.
Our School charity this year is When I Grow Up (UK), who specifically raise money and support for this one incredible school in Nairobi.
Led by Kenyan leaders and staff, the Furaha Community Foundation (FCF) is a community of hope. From its start as a tutoring group for a handful of children, FCF has grown to be a vibrant Primary School of 500 children grades pre-Kindergarten to Class 8, and a boarding High School of 150 students - on its way to reaching its capacity of 200 students. Of the children, 80% are orphans and at least 50% of them are HIV positive. The school receives no government funding but with the help of incredible volunteers from within the community, they are running a school that brings hope and a future.
In the middle of the second largest slum in Nairobi called Huruma (350,000 est. pop) is the Furaha Community Foundation (Furaha is Swahili for ‘joy’). Four young Kenyans lead this center – Chris, Dan, David & Kerry. Each of these young men grew up in the slum and with the high school education they managed to obtain, along with the college work they are currently doing, they could have left the slum life. But they had a stirring vision to see the orphans of the slum given hope and a future. So they have all stayed to bring such hope. It is young leaders like these that are the heroes of Africa.
FCF has also grown to be multifaceted in its operation. The children are taught by a team of committed and talented teachers. A team of cooks serve a daily nourishing meal to every child who normally might only eat every other day; the High School students live on campus as boarders and receive three meals a day. Good nourishment has improved the children’s health and concentration in school. Eighty percent of the children are orphaned relying on others to care for them. In the event that a child has no guardian or is at risk in his or her living environment, care is provided in a girls and boys safe house.
Each day every child receives vital friendship, education, physical and spiritual care. Alongside the school, a team of dedicated social workers visit the children and their guardians to bring support as well as helping them fight for justice. Microloans help fund small businesses run by guardians so they can better provide for themselves and the children entrusted to them. A Health Program brings support and health education to those affected with HIV/AIDS (children or their guardian) as well as helping the children remain healthy. The Furaha Community Foundation works under an NGO status within Kenya.
The Gnu Foundation has come alongside the FCF establishing a microloan program. Any guardian of a student attending the school is eligible to participate in the Gnu/FCF microcredit program. To date, many new businesses have sprung up and existing ones strengthened in retail food service, clothing, tailoring, fish mongering, barbering, embroidery, soap making and even an ice cream vendor — all providing solid income for hundreds of family members.
In this grey, intimidating, desperate slum where poverty and disease stand alongside crime, addiction, and hopelessness, the Furaha Community Foundation brings light and life.