I would first like to start off by saying everyone here in Keumbu is doing fabulous. I am proud of all of the boys and girls here and their progress thus far. The photo above, however, makes me most proud. The above hands have two things in common – they belong to former street children, and they are Kenyan. What makes them different, however, is that one hand is a Kisii, one a Giriama, one a Kikuyu, one a Luo, and one a Kalenjin. In a country divided by ethnic and tribal affiliations, this photo symbolizes peace among a divided nation. This photo represents Kenya; not just one of its 42 tribes (notice the Kenyan bracelet that all children at home are bought and wear proudly). As we continue on our quest to have all 42 tribes represented in Keumbu, we have already proven many people wrong who said bringing any children other than Kisiis to Kisii land would reek havok. Arrive is ready to prove to Kenya and the world that all 42 tribes can live peacefully without the conflict that forces many of these orphans to the streets.
Right now in Kenya, all schools are on a three week break. But these former street children have been on break from school for the last many years of their childhood. Arrive has decided to hire four teachers to instruct the children at home, Monday – Friday, 9:00am (which is called “hour three after sunrise” in Kenya) – 3:00pm, for the three week break. Priority number 1 – make sure every child can read and write by the time school reopens. Many of the children are illiterate despite being 12 or 13 years old; a product of no education and a hard life in the streets. And its not just the former street children getting a extra help – all the orphan girls at home are benefiting from these teachers’ arrival and extra classes too. School might have closed for three weeks but the learning is continuing at the Keumbu Rehema Children’s Home!