Every Penny Counts

When I see a child whose pants don’t cover thin legs & ankles, whose toes have worn through their shoes, or whose skin is chapped and dry from the cold, my heart aches. My mind turns towards a way to help.

There are many charitable organizations to which a person can donate. A good question to ask is “How much of my donation goes to administrative costs?”  It is said less than 25% spent on administrative costs is a good goal.

How much of your dollar donated to St. Barnabas Orphanage & Education Center goes towards providing for the need of a child?

Director, Father Methodius Kariuki, assures his donors that more than 94 percent of every dollar raised fully benefits the child.

  • 94% – Food, clothing, educational resourcess and salaries for caretakers
  • 6% – PayPal & Bank transaction fees

As much as they are able, local community services help with maintenance or construction needs.  Their local neighbors help where they can, sharing food stuffs, fuel, wood, etc.

Father Methodios assures every donor, “We do not have any irrelevant costs. We have no hidden agenda. We are Orthodox Christians and are fully Pro-Life.” Transparency and honesty are of utmost importance. This builds trust in our relationship with, not only our donors, but with our caretakers and teachers. It models the Christian virtues for our children.

What more can a donor ask for in an age that does not value these things? Donate now to St. Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center. Every penny really does count.

A Letter From A Student At Saint Innocents Academy 08/05/2017

This month, Orthodox Africa is proud to present a look at Saint Innocent’s Academy written by one of the primary school students that directly benefits from your continual support. Now with very little grammatical editing we present to you….. Note: All Edits will appear in (brackets)

A Letter From A Student:

St Innocents Chajo Academy 08/05/2017

I love st innocent so much. Because our teachers teach us very good. Then we do their work that teachers gives us and we do in hardworking and we are very displeen (disciplined)

In st innocent the environment is very clean and there is a small field that pupils go to play there games. The school chajo was start in 2011. In 2011 the school was very far because you cross a small stream. We learn that school up to 2012 we came to house of our director: That house was two rooms only. The old director build one room only then the school has three classes it was baby, middle and pre-unit.

After one year our director built standard one then pupils work very hard. Then in end of term one we do zonal (finals). Then our results came we were number four out of twenty-six schools. Then after one year director built standard two then a visitor from America came to our school he bring us pictures of Jesus. I thank Father Johna (Jonah) because he brought has frome small school to big school of hardworking pupils and improve as frome one room to many rooms that is more than five rooms. I thank my teacher who is called Miss Nelly. She is a good teacher. Because she teaches me from top class to standard four. I love that teacher very  much. We shall never forget her. Another teacher teache as from standard two up to now. He is a games teacher because he teach as then we go up to Serem. Our pupils run from Chepkuny to Serem. They fail in Serem. We love our school because (our) teachers teach us very good and in our classes everybody sit very comfortable and every class have blackboard and desks.

In teaching teachers teach pupils very hardwork and when it is zonals (finals) we are number four and lazy pupils in school teaches us to pull up our socks. I thank our teachers because they call our neighbor to cook some food at school. I want to say one idea it about breakfast. My school wants breakfast in ten oclock we want to drink tea and bread everyday. I want to tell father silvanoes (Father Silouan) to give us some money to buy milk, sugar and bread.

You can help us make this child’s wish come true, with your help we can buy some milk sugar and bread so that the kids do not have to go hungry during their school day. By going to this page www.orthodoxafrica.org /st-innocent-academy/ you will learn more about Saint Innocents Academy and will be able to make a donation that will got directly to nurturing these children both physically and spiritually.

Robinson Cheruiyot , is a 10 year old Orphan and is exceedingly bright in academics.

4 Chains, 12 Bells – What Is It?

Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza are working towards St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center being self-reliant and self-sustaining; all with the purpose of following Jesus’ command in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, where He said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.  Orphaned and poor children are vulnerable to the evils in the world.  The first step of introducing these children to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is to feed and clothe them, provide them with clean drinking water and warmth, not just of body but of soul.

 

Education is one of the most important ways to raise a person out of poverty and hunger.  St. Irene Mission Center provides a well-rounded education to these vulnerable children infected and affected by HIV/AIDs who are under their care.  Raising them to be strong in the Lord gives the children the tools to be strong in their lives, no matter what happens to them.  In the following video, Fr. Constantinos teaches the children about the censer; its purpose and its symbolism.  Do you know what the four chains symbolize?  Listen and learn with the students.

Being strong in body is just as important as being strong in mind and heart.  In the following video, the children learn song and dance.  Join them in their physical education!

His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya, visited the orphanage and education center.  The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all.  In his message he spoke about the lack of rain and the food shortage in the area being a great concern of the Director, Father Constantinos.  Further, he commended the good work being done in educating the children not only with regular classes but, more so, with the spiritual teachings and food given by the Grace of God.  His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share in the work by speaking with friends and neighbors and continuing with their regular donations.

His Eminence took time to speak to all of the children about God and His Love for them.

Consider being a partner with Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza, helping them achieve the goals of St. Irene Mission Center by being a regular monthly donor?  Donate Now!

To subscribe to Orthodox Africa’s monthly newsletter, go here!

 

Student Body Grows; Another Classroom Needed

Mr. Julius Kiprotich

This week’s feature post is a short interview with Julius Kiprotich, one of the teachers at Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen. The school is located in Nandi county, Aldai region, Mugen Zone in Mugen Village. It is ten kilometers from the main road of Kisumu –Eldoret.

We understand that Bishop Athanasius Secondary School needs another classroom. Would you please tell our readers why there is that need?

By the Grace of God, the school has been a conducive environment for learning. There is an increase enrollment of students due to the good results posted by the students in the last term examination. This has pleased many guardians, so they wish to enroll their students in this school. The number has increased so much the students have been in a temporary classroom. That is not conducive to learning and attentiveness because whenever it rains students and their work gets splashed with water because windows and door s are open. The dirt floor requires students to clean and sweep to prevent jiggers. It is a waste of study time as they are supposed to be taught and not concentrating on sweeping.

This classroom will be constructed alongside the other classroom as preferred by the architecture to ease the movement of teachers and students.

The school is for both boys and girls?

Yes, the school is for both boys and girls. The aim and objective of establishing the school was to make sure that there is an enlightenment in the society. This will only be fulfilled through education for both genders. Education has underpinned civilization and there is a need for accepting it in the society. The Board considers the school as the best place for nurturing the talents of the students and realization of the dreams, through good morals and spiritual growth.

How many graduates, if any, go on to university?

The school is privileged to have candidates this year 2017 as their first students to sit for the placement test to tertiary education. The statistics carried out recently by the teachers report that according to the performance based on the continuous assessment tests they have been doing monthly, there is probability that 80% will be able to join tertiary education through colleges and universities and the remaining 20% will join vocational/technical schools for further studies.

The competition between boys and girls is equal as both students were placed by the similar rank of class during admission.

Thank you, Mr. Kiprotich, for taking time to tell us about Bp. Athanasius Secondary School.  To read further details about the school go here .

Exam Time at St. Innocent Academy!

St. Innocent Academy’s students are taking their end of June exams!

A challenge the Academy has had is preparing and printing sample exams.  Doing so would allow the teachers to better prepare the students on test taking skills and strategies.  Students are given knowledge through teaching in the classroom. As we all have experienced, when the time comes to take the test, the information may be slightly altered to challenge the student to think and reason out the correct answer.  Test taking is an art in which practice helps ensure success in the end.

   

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah are making a request for donations with which they will purchase at minimum one, preferably two, laptops and printer.  Teacher, Julius Kiprotich, said, “Two laptops would be ideal. It would allow me to train some of my fellow teachers to improve their typing skills, to assist in test preparation, and expose the students to the workings of a computer.”

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah seek $700 for the purchase of one laptop and one printer.  With generous spirits, any additional funds raised will go towards the purchase of a second laptop.

To donate, please visit our donation page here.  Or visit St. Innocent Academy’s website here.

 

Concrete Flooring Being Installed

St. Innocent Academy’s plea for help has been answered.  Glory to God!

In the May 9, 2017 article Seven Floors for Seven Classrooms, readers learned of the need for concrete floors to prevent jigger infections in the feet of students and responded to the call.  Enough donations have been received so that concrete has been purchased and two of seven floors have been installed.

The remaining classrooms are in process of receiving concrete floors.  The anticipated completion date is the end of June.

In the mean time, students are meeting outside of the classroom while the floors are being laid.

Thank you to each person who donated to this project.  It is much appreciated!

South Kinangpop, Kenya’s Vulnerable Could Receive their Dream Home

Of the eleven recently baptized Christians in South Kinangpop, Kenya reported by Orthodox Africa and Pravoslavie.Ru, the author’s family is blessed to have sponsored twin boys; Moses and Maurice. Photographs of these young ones in their baptismal robes, standing with Fathers Methodius and Silouan, evoke conflicting emotions of sweet joy, and desperation. For their eyes speak of deep suffering, the kind that causes the soul to retreat; leaving behind a sad, vacant stare.

Moses and Maurice attend St. Barnabas’ Orphanage for day school, where they also receive meals. However, they return home to their mother afterward, who struggles with dependency; and subsequently, neglects her boys. Currently, the orphanage is operating at maximum capacity, and cannot receive new orphans into its home; so, its director has established a relocation fund to provide housing for more orphans, like Maurice and Moses.

St. Barnabas Orphanage and School were founded in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife, Everlyn, when they were having lunch and noticed three boys watching them with hungry stares. They invited them to eat with them and soon it became a tradition. More orphans found them; and with community support, and the blessing of their ruling bishop, St. Barnabas now serves 175 children. The orphanage, however, is a small “shack” which houses only 12 children. Knowing this, someone has offered to sell them their home on two acres, for almost a quarter of the market price; $25,000. This property, if purchased, would instantly double the number of orphans that would be housed. With two acres of fertile land, they could expand the home, build a chapel, and still have room to grow food. This would strengthen the Orthodox community, and improve the orphans’ lives immensely; hopefully Maurice and Moses’ as well.

The need is tremendous, but as grandma would say: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” One contribution from multiple donors, can provide the necessary funds for St. Barnabas Orphanage and School to purchase their dream property; property that would afford them more self-sufficiency and housing ability.  More information on St. Barnabas can be found at Orthodox Africa here, and donations to this orphanage can be made here.

~Kent & Amber~

Saint Barnabas Orphanage & School: Campaign followup

Saint Barnabas Mission: Service to Man is Service to God

The Saint Barnabas Mission in South Kinangop, Kenya was started in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife Everlyn. They were eating lunch one day, and noticed three young children picking through scraps. They invited them over then to eat with them, and soon, feeding these children became a regular event for them. From this beginning, they began sharing what they had with other people in the area. They started to provide food and shelter for those who needed it, helping with what they could. To this day, they have helped more than 400 children in all. Currently, they have about 175 children who they help as much as they are able, though constant droughts have brought the region’s prices up. In order to meet the needs of the children, Father Methodius and his wife need to expand the Mission.

They have been leasing a property where they are unable to improve the current structure, making it difficult to make more space for their activities. They wish to have a less restricted place to teach the children, a place to worship, and a place for homeless children to live. The land they wish to get is four times larger than the current property and outside of the slums, making it a more suitable place for them to construct a new school, orphanage, and a proper chapel for the mission. There is even a possibility for them to create a kitchen garden for them to defray costs, a place where they may grow what they need.

By expanding the facilities, they hope to become a self-sustainable mission. The goal of the school is not only to provide a good general education to the children, but also to provide them with trade skills that will be in demand in the region. In this way, the children will have a better chance at becoming employed when they reach school-leaving age. The school hopes to be able to place their older students in jobs, a great help in a region where unemployment is high. The knowledge that they are learning not just academic facts, but facts that will ensure they have the skills to earn money and support themselves makes the Mission seem a haven to the children. The stability and comfort it provides make a great contrast to homes that are poor and have the added instability of addictions resulting from hopelessness.

The Saint Barnabas Mission gives comfort to those in need today as it has for others in the past: it will instill in the students a sense of hope for the future, beginning today. These goals can be accomplished with your help, and you can bring them to that brighter future. Service to man is service to God, and what we do for the least of these, we do for Christ Himself. Please be as generous as you can, for His Sake.  Donate here and select St. Barnabas Orphanage.

Saint Barnabas Orphanage & School: A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location

Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School give children a healthy start and a reflective journey of life while being nurtured into successful individuals. They are offered an opportunity for education while helping to protect them from unhealthy indulgences and corrosive contamination. By transforming the lives of these children, a stable base upon which they can be lifted to successful heights in life.

Founded in 2007 by Father Methodius and his wife, Everlyn, Saint Barnabas Orphanage started around a lunch table. While eating lunch at their home, Father Methodius observed three orphaned children who were eating scraps of food nearby. Feeling bad for them, they invited them in to have lunch with them. With that lunch, a tradition was born in which these children started to come to their house every day for lunch.

Father Methodius decided to hire a young woman to come and stay with these children in a rented room. There they could spend the day and play outside. Soon afterwards, Father Methodius and Everlyn learned of other needy children and orphans that were living in the area. They began to take in more and more children as they gained support from the Church and other well-wishers.

Today Saint Barnabas’s mission has 13 volunteers that are providing care for 175 children. Currently 12 boys live in a one-room shack. The remainder of children arrive on a daily basis for classes where they learn to read, write and arithmetic.

The Dream
Father Methodius and Everlyn would like to provide a home to 50 orphaned children. The current living situation cannot support that many children.   However, an opportunity has presented itself that can help them move to the first phase of the dream. A local couple can no longer live in the area due to wife’s poor health, which has been negatively affected by the weather conditions. On the recommendation of her doctor, she must move out the area. Knowing Fr. Methodius has been praying and looking for land on which to situate the orphanage and accommodate more children, she offered him the two acre property at far below what it is worth.

The Opportunity
The full market price of two acres of land with a house is $90,000 ($45,000 per acre). The owner is willing to sell the property for a total of:

$25,000

This opportunity is only available for a short time. It would allow them to double the number of children from its current 12 to 24. The home can easily house that many children. Twenty-four children who have no home, can have a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and a place to play and learn.

Won’t you please consider donating to Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School to help them achieve Phase One of their dream – A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location?

Watch the video to see the land and the home. Listen to Father Methodius’ speak of the possibilities and join in him furthering the mission of Saint Barnabas Orphanage and School.

To donate to A Campaign for a Permanent Lunch Location click here.