KENYA MATHARE 2018 EASTSIDE BEYOND BORDERS|Kirstie Ruhland

We're serving others in Kenya! Learn More

Hi friends!

Thanks for visiting the website! Let me tell ya about my trip. I will be heading to Methare, Kenya where we serve just outside the capital city of Nairobi in one of the largest slums in the Mathare Valley. The Mathare slum is home to more than one million people living in an area of just under one square mile on less than $2 a day. The area is characterized by extreme poverty, high crime rates, joblessness, and lack of services such as electricity, water, and sanitation. The homes of those living in this area are made mostly of materials that are scavenged (tin, scrap lumber, poles, mud). Many have dirt floors, leaky roofs, and insecure doors and window openings. Addressing some of these malfunctions is one of the tasks we will be taking on during our time. We will also be providing food, bringing solar light to individuals who have no access to electricity, and hosting the 2nd Annual Women’s Conference for the employees of MOHI. This included teachers, cooks, social workers, administrators, the ladies who sew the children’s uniforms, everyone!

Our partner in Methare is the organization, Missions of Hope International (MOHI). In 2000, the first MoHI school opened in the Mathare Valley slum to 50 four - five year old children. In 2004, MoHI joined forces with Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) to form the Hope Partnership, and in 2005 the two organizations launched a child sponsorship program. Today, they now serve over 14,500 children in multiple schools with Christian education, daily meals, and social services. The schools also serve as community centers, offering skills training, and medical care for these children and their families.


I recently began sponsoring a precious little girl, Linda, that I will have the opportunity to meet and spend a week with when I visit. Linda is the daughter of a single mother who would not otherwise be able to put her through school or give her the necessities that we often take for granted. For a mere $38 a month, Linda gets ALL of the following: A Christian education, school supplies and uniforms, 2-3 meals a day, medical care, health workshops and counseling for her entire family.

I have been working with a team of individuals who have been returning to the slums for 6-10 years now because of this very program. Meeting the child, writing letters to and from and knowing they had a part in bettering that child’s everyday-life keeps them coming back. Some of these children are 17 or 18 before they receive sponsorship and begin Kindergarten. Think of your own educational journey and the impact that would have had on you.

Aside from the opportunity to sponsor and meet Linda, something else had me inching towards Kenya. I work in a low-socioeconomic area in the Los Angeles School District here in California. I work day-in and day-out with children that have severe communication disorders such as down syndrome and non-to minimally verbal autism. They are my pride and joy and just because they are often “locked-in” does NOT mean their wheels aren’t turning. Now, take my little guys and move them to Methare. What does that look like?

Children with any physical, intellectual or emotional disability are shunned from the public eye. It is heartbreaking. I have spoken to a handful of leaders and they share in my concerns. It’s only been done one other time but, we will be gathering as many of these individuals and their families for a small, private educational session. I will be bringing basic communication device and picture requesting systems along with beginning level language activities. It is a very small step but may give these children their first communicable exchanges. Unfortunately, I cannot do this single-handedly. The trip expense for travel, food and lodging is ~$3,000. If I can cover that through fundraising, I have no doubt I can fill my 50 pound bag full of devices and activities for these beautiful children.

All in all, if you can help by sponsoring a child, donating to me, or just saying an extra prayer for the far-less fortunate in our world, this letter and my reaching out has been a success. If you want to make a donation or keep up with my journey, feel free to check out my website! Thank you for taking the time to read about my up-and-coming adventure. I appreciate it more than I could possibly put into words. Please contact me if you have any questions at all!

Thank you SO much,

Kirstie 



Contact Info:

ruhlandk@uni.edu
(310) 704-1891





*All donations are given to Eastside Christian Church and a tax-deductible statement will be issued to you at the end of the year. Contributions are made and received with the understanding that Eastside Christian Church has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds; they may be used for other participants, other mission trip expenses, or for future mission trips. No refunds will be issued to participants or donors.

Eastside Christian Church 3370 E Miraloma Ave. Suite 101 Anaheim CA 92806

Anonymous
Nina & Breck Hansen
We will be praying for you and those you will be helping.
$50.00
Lawrence R
05/14 Offline donation
$100.00
The Poe Family
Keep being you, my dear!
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Mary K
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Juan Hernandez $5.00
Chris Schuett & Keri Gross and family $100.00
Taylor
So cool. Keep up the good work!!
$20.00
Peggy Taylor
Looking forward to working with you in Kenya.
$25.00
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Love ya!
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June 20, 2018 1:32 PM

Ah, departure day is here! I cannot thank you enough for supporting this wondrous adventure to Kenya. BECAUSE OF YOU, we are bringing more supplies than we could have ever imagined.

Initially, it was thought that the real battle would be getting mothers to bring their children with disabilities to our training as it is unacceptable for these dear children to be in the public eye. We were absolutely overwhelmed with joy to find they had to cap the training at fifty mothers due to space. I have no doubt we will be back for the others.

BECAUSE OF YOU, every one of those mothers will go home with the following supplies:

-Picture exchange communication book in Swahili

-Booklet of basic language development suggestions

-Activities targeting colors, shapes, letters and numbers

-Whiteboard and markers

-Bubbles

-Books

-Mr. Potato Head (allows easy requesting, choice making, direction following, and teaches body parts and colors!)

BECAUSE OF YOU, I was also able to bring school supplies, basic necessities, a couple of outfits, a new uniform and shoes, and lots of fun activities for my sponsor child, Linda, and her family. She wrote me recently and said “if” she grows up, she wants to be a teacher. This inspired some teachers at my school to donate some of their excess supplies. We came up with some great stuff I think all of our eight years old selves would have been pretty giddy over! Noow, the real struggle will be getting the 70lb bag approved.. ;)

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, well-wishes and so much more. I will keep you updated as frequently as I can!

Mungu akubariki :)

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