Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3 part 1: Uhuru school, Uhuru farms, and Jikaze

Monday morning we headed on a journey over the Rift Valley to visit another ministry called Uhuru. 
Through connections at church and friends here in RDU we were made aware of Uhuru Child. Uhuru (which means freedom in Swahili) was developed out of a need seen. From post election violence in 2007 a tribe was burned out of their homes, forced out of their villages. They settled on some land in a place near the Rift Valley called jikaze. I believe it means hard work. These people put up tent villages and were starving and barely surviving. Uhuru came in and set up sustainable businesses for these people to regain dignity and be able to work the land and make money and be able to send their children to school. They put up greenhouses and the people there grow lettuce and tomatoes to sell in the city.
They've seen such growth over the last few years and have since started a girls high school. In Kenya primary schools are funded and provided by the government. There are many. Once the children pass primary options diminish. Government doesn't fund high schools. There are far fewer and all are private with exorbitant fees that the lower class cannot afford. The lettuce sales provide scholarships for girls of jikaze to go to high school as well as quality education that attracts girls from wealthier families in Nairobi to offset the cost for other sponsored students.
The school is run so differently than other high schools. Critical thinking, leadership training, intense spiritual discipleship. These girls are getting the best education and opportunity to make a difference in their community!

We also met a lady, whose name slips my mind, while walking through jikaze. They've now built mud homes and are no longer in tents. But this girl, maybe 19, is paralyzed from being dropped as a child. When the violence broke out in 2007 they had to literally flee running. Her mother had to carry her teenage daughter over her shoulders as they ran from their home and traveled for miles to a safe place. This girl was full of grace and joy. She was a beautiful sight.

We also visited their chicken farm, which was a kid favorite, where the people of Jikaze raise chicks for a Kenyan poultry provider and provide jobs and income for jikaze people. Reese was ready to take a few home.
Another highlight in Jikaze was meeting a shepherd boy named Joseph. We had brought two soccer balls with us and bumped into him in jikaze as he was grazing his fathers goats. We threw him one of the balls and he was so excited. He couldn't have been more than 12 walking miles to graze his families herd through the hills of the Rift Valley. His independence, responsibility, humility, joy and excitement was striking and refreshing.
As we walked off I turned to see Joseph one more time as he walked away and caught this amazing moment. 
Matthew 7:11  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

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