Hope Educational Centre is a private, Christian, primary school located in the rural area of Sakwa/Kisii, about a five-hour's drive northwest of Nairobi. Though in the "bush" and off a dirt road, it is a beautiful area with lush vegetation, consisting of many colorful trees, flowers, and crops such as corn, avocados, bananas, tea, and coffee.
The school was started in 2007 and soon partnered with Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. and Christ Church of Fairfax Station, VA, with the vision of providing a quality Christian education for the poorest of the poor. The school began with 23 pupils and added one class per year, and now has a full early childhood development program --with Pre-Primary 1 and 2 classes--as well as Grades 1 through 8. The school has 10 classrooms, an office, and a Media Centre. There are 17 staff members who include the Head Teacher, two Accounts Clerks, Cook, Watchman, and teachers. Currently school enrollment is 420 pupils, which includes several orphans and some who are positive for HIV.
The school had been located on a few different pieces of rental property until 2014, when three acres of land were bought to provide a home for a permanent school compound. By buying our own land, the school would have a solid future with no possibility of having it stolen away as often happens in impoverished, poorly regulated areas such as this. Over the years, Christ Church and Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. have helped to buy supplies, pay teachers, obtain government certification, provide medical care for the pupils, build classrooms, provide textbooks, and improve the conditions of the school which once met in mud and stick structures. Since 2014, a two-story classroom block of 12 rooms has been built, toilet blocks for girls, boys, and staff, and a temporary, iron-sheet building to house the pupils in the construction years. The classroom block was completed in July 2021 and a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held in August. Special guests for the event were Rev. John Speight, the pastor of Christ Church; Roberta Peterson, President of Hope Africa Ministries, Inc.; and some members of their church and board.
The school performs well on the end-of term and end-of-year exams, often placing individual students and grade levels in the top three positions within their zone. In 2015, the first year our Grade 8/candidates sat for the national exams--KCPE's--all 20 of our pupils scored in the top 20% nationally and our average score was 100 points higher than the national average for private schools. Our candidates have not been able to match that high level since, but we did have our first pupil score 400 marks in 2019, which is a great achievement allowing him to attend one of the best secondary schools in the country.
The Media Centre houses our computers, movie projector and videos, and library. There are computers and desks for a classroom of pupils for learning activities. The projector and screen allow the showing of videos for both instruction and entertainment. The library now has over 1000 books which are used by the teachers for classes and for the upper primary students to check out for pleasure and informative reading. Less than 10% of primary schools in Kenya have a library, making our pupils very fortunate to have this opportunity to increase reading and improve reading comprehension.
The school curriculum was changed in 2017 to a Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) which introduced several new subjects to the classroom such as agriculture, home science, physical education and health, and technology. This change in curriculum was to focus on the talents of a pupil in a wide spectrum of areas. Some of the new activities at the school because of the CBC are planting crops, repurposing materials, and planting fruit and shade trees.
Pastor Gideon and friends, working to obtain food, medicine and jobs.
Mumomatei Foundation, founded by Pastor Gideon Ngila, was formed in 2010, but he has been working with some of its 25 clients for many years. Clients are located in the in the Dandora and Mathare slums in Nairobi.
Mumomatei is formed from the words grace and mercy in Pastor Gideon’s mother tongue (Kikamba) and this is what he provides by giving support and encouragement to the clients as they live being HIV+.
During these visits, the clients share about their current situations—health, income, food, rent, children's school fees, concerns, and needs. They also share scripture, a devotion, and pray together. Home-based care programs mainly provide care, support, and encouragement though sometimes Pastor Gideon is able to bring items like food, blankets, clothes, Bibles, health kits, medicine, and/or money.
All of these things are provided through donations of those who support and care about these people. Recently 18 lap quilts--made by a group of ladies at Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church in Greenville, North Carolina--were given to the clients. This is an example of donations made in love and concern by people half a world away.
Some of the clients have grouped together to form business ventures to help provide for their food, rent, school fees, and other necessities. One of these ventures is an egg hatchery used to raise and sell chicks and grown chickens. Although they have this small business, as well as tailoring and a hair salon; they are struggling to buy food, pay rent, and/or pay school fees for their children.
Please consider helping these people living with HIV+ as they struggle with the basics of life.
Hope Africa Ministries Inc. and our partners continue to focus on basic health issues. Through the generosity of one such partner, the students and teachers at HEC receive regular visits and examinations from medical professionals. When health problems have been discovered that call for a higher level of treatment than they can provide on site, we have supported students and their families in traveling to hospitals in other cities to receive medical treatment. Two pupils from Hope Educational Centre have been able to receive surgeries through the generous donations of supporters. With help from another partner, we have sponsored lectures in local communities to train and inform people on basic preventative health care, a seminar for ladies led by midwives and medical personnel, and a vision clinic and screening presented by local medical students and teachers.
Hope Africa Ministries, Inc. is also known to support in various ways other ministries that support our focus of education, health, and evangelism such as: Joysprings School in Kibera/Nairobi--a school in the midst of Kibera slum which also houses a church and Flomina--an orphanage caring for 63 children in the outskirts of Nairobi. Through our focus on education and evangelism, we have conducted seminars on HIV/AIDS and Old Testament seminars for pastors and church leaders; and Sunday School Teacher Trainings.
Classroom at Hope Educational Centre