This is Shinka Ratwa, the deaf and mute young girl for whom we are supplying tuition at a special school to learn sign language.
(Written by a student at Endoinyo-Erinka Boarding Primary School)
THE SINCERE CONCERN
On behalf of my fellow pupils I would like to appreciate the great work done by Sterling Hammack Foundation - our mum, we love you and we are lacking words to express our gratitude. Problem of long distance searching for water is now a forgotten case, this was a risk to us because of wild animals and indeed we are now safe. Water which is available has really boosted hygiene in our school. Thanks Naishorua. Our teachers are also comfortable in good houses with lights. This has increased teachers and pupils contact hours and promoted performance. Indeed congestion - you have eradicated by building three classrooms, provision of mattresses, desks and the toilets are underway which is vital in any institution or home, thanks a lot our dear mum. We are enjoying playing materials within our school this has boosted cognitive development and promoted fine motor. We can't forget the consideration you have given to vulnerable children including the special need children who sometimes are hidden at their homes due to fear of stigma. Really, this is God's work, thanks a lot Naishorua. Thanks a lot and may God extend your boundaries. As you go back greet your friends and foundation at large and tell them thanks a lot and remind them we love them. Safe journey as you travel back. Ashe Oleng' our mum!
Purity Naneu Njapit
Class Seven South
Paula first met Mary and her five children when they were living in a tin, windowless garden shack. Mary would walk for miles to retrieve water for the day, and then more miles collecting firewood to boil the water.
She had fled with her children and little else from an abusive, alcoholic husband. Most marriages in Kenya are arranged and she had never experienced intimacy, rather, sex was always with a machete at her throat as she was essentially raped.
The Foundation provided funds for school fees and uniforms so the children could return to school
and mattresses for them to sleep on. When her husband discovered this, he returned and
threatened both mother and children in order to gain access to her ‘new found money.’
Our local contact in Nairobi was able to meet with the tribal Chief about the situation and he
determined the best course was for them to move 400 kilometers away to live with the mother
of the abusive husband. Try as she might this has not worked out and the abuse and threats
have continued. Until the father actually does something that he can go to jail for, he continues to
be a threat to his wife and children.
In fear for her life she has again fled back to Nairobi and this time we are helping to keep her
location a secret to protect the family. This time they have come with nothing but the clothes
on their backs so again we have provided housing, food, school supplies and a small toy each for
the children who have suffered tremendously. Our contact will see to it that they have food every day and help returning to school. There are three girls and two boys in this family. The oldest, AnneMarie, is 13.
We have leased a small apartment for a year in a safe area of the city and once settled, Mary will try to find a job as a maid with one of the wealthy families in Nairobi. The Foundation has purchased a small lot and will soon begin construction on a house for her to create a safe space for her children. Until she is able to care for herself and her family, the Hammack Foundation will continue to provide aid and comfort as this family works toward a better life.