This past October marked 10 years since Amy's Kids was unofficially established. In 2009, with the help of few donors, we hired one teacher and bought a few uniforms for 50 kids that lived in an area where getting to school was too difficult. That teacher sat the kids in the shade of a tree and taught a few lessons each day. Today, we have a 5 room brick building (hoping for 5 more classrooms this year), a 6 stall bathroom facility with running water, a new kitchen/store and 178 kids that are taught by 5 teachers.
As I sat with the kids in their classrooms it really became quite overwhelming as I reflected on the impact that Amy's Kids has made on so many children, their families and the entire community. People dream about changing the world and often times those dreams go untouched because of the difficulty in knowing where to start. I didn't know where to start. I had struggles and let downs and disappointments that made me want to give up. I am so thankful for the people that pushed me through and encouraged me to keep going.
The 4th annual Amy's Kids Big Laramie Garage Sale was a huge success. Held August 20, 2016, the total donations exceeded $5,000. The proceeds from the garage sale will help pay for the upcoming school year including: food, supplies, uniforms and teacher salaries. We couldn't do it without the help of the numerous volunteers, the generous physical donations and the community coming out to see what they can't live without.
Furaha Sana is making progress! We have gone from learning under a huge Mugandini tree in 2009 to seeing the foundation and side walls of our new permanent school building. The kids are getting so excited to have their new school finished. Once the funding is fulfilled for the remaining supplies, we are planning for the children to utilize the building starting in January 2017.
One of the main goals of Amy's Kids Foundation is to give children, who wouldn't otherwise have the chance, a head start at learning. We accept children starting at 3-years-old and keep them until they can successfully go into the Primary education system, which is equivalent to our 1st or 2nd grade in the United States. This is Sophia. She started at Furaha Sana the very first year, when she was just 4-years-old.
As a proud supporter of the Single Moms program ran by Caris International (http://www.carisfoundation.org/), Amy’s Kids has been able to extend a helping hand to the local community. Caris Kenya targets young single mothers who are marginalized and live in poverty in the Malindi, Kenya area. Some of these young mothers have been trained in sewing and are excellent seamstresses and we are honored to give them the opportunity to make the school uniforms for Furaha Sana. In 2009, the uniforms for the first set of children generated enough income for three single moms to purchase their own sewing machines and each January the seamstresses go out to the school and fully measure each child so that they can have exact fitting uniforms.