Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Challenge 2500: 850 Raised, 1650 to Go! (*see update below*)

Dear Friends of Red Rose:

Our challenge this year is to raise a minimum of $2500 for the Red Rose School before January 1st 2007. Imagine how great it would be to start the new school year in January with the full tuition, meals, and basic health care fees for the 23 orphans at the school paid upfront.

We can do it! Thus far, we have raised $850, so we are more than 30% there. Please forward this message to one or two of your compassionate friends you believe would like to support us. Any donations go directly to the programs at the school, providing an immediate and direct positive impact in the lives of these children.

Contributors will be listed on the website (by name or anonymously if they choose) as Friends of Red Rose. Your compassion and love can make a difference in the fight for hope against poverty and disease for the children in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi.

Donations by check can be written out to "Children of Kibera Foundation" . The mailing address is:

Children of Kibera Foundation
4701 Alton Place NW
Washington DC 20016
Have a safe and blessed holiday season!

Ken Okoth,
Ambassador for Red Rose School
UPDATE: Monday December 4th: Just a week after we sent out this challenge of raising $2500 before the January 1st, we have succeeded in raising $755 more, bringing us to a total of $1,605. We are more than 60% towards achieving our goal. We only need to raise $896 more to surpass our goal for the year by $1. We can do this! Thanks for your faith and support!
UPDATE # 2: Friday December 15th: We have received contributions and pledges totalling $1,910 and bringing us ever closer to reaching our goal of $2,500. Thanks to our supporters whose gifts will help secure the work being done at Red Rose all of next year and shine a candle in the lives of these children. Asante sana.
UPDATE #3:Wednesday January 24, 2007: We were successful in raising the $2,500 we needed before December 31st. Click here to read the report on the fundraising so far.

Friday, November 24, 2006

More Kindergarten Fun in Songs, Games, and Dance

Under the leadership of volunteer teacher Ms. Sophia, the kindergarten and baby class students engage in more song, dance, and games that promote their development in many different ways.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Kindergarten fun through nursery songs and dance

Red Rose kindergarten students sing and dance, sharing some fun African nursery songs.

Poetry Recital -- "Thank You Mama" and "The Whole World is Crying" by first graders at Red Rose

"Thank You Mama" and "The Whole World is Crying" - Two poems recited by the first grade (standard one) children in Ms. Peninah Hoka's class at the Red Rose School. The children are Laureen Njoki, Joyce Namatsi, Nancy Nekesa, Rosemary Githaiga, and Pressly Munyambu.

Second grade class introductions video and song

And even more faces of Red Rose - Summer 2006

Simple Gifts, Extraordinary Differences : Thank You!

In the spring of 2006, the Upper School Community Service Club at the Potomac School in McLean, VA held a fundraiser for the Red Rose School in Kibera. Potomac parents, teachers, and students donated baked goods while the fine arts department donated old student works from the ceramics classes in the upper school.

On the day of the spring choral concert, the baked goodies were sold to concert guests in the lobby of the performing arts center for a dollar a piece. Anybody who made a donation of more than five dollars was allowed to select a ceramic piece produced in the art classes by current and former Potomac students. By the end of the evening, Mr. Grant and his Community Service Club volunteers had collected $500 for the Red Rose School. At assembly the following week, student community service leader Zach Leonsis presented the check to history teacher Ken Okoth, who brought the donation to the Red Rose School over the summer. Above, is Mr. Okoth presenting the check from Potomac to Mr. Protase Buluma, principal and volunteer teacher of the Red Rose School.

Here is what a simple gift of US $500 means for the Red Rose School in Nairobi :

a) Rent and electric bills for three months for the school compound


b) Basic salary/stipend for three certified elementary school teachers for two months (80 dollars per month per teacher) and 20 dollars left for lunch and snacks for the 80 students for five school days


c) Tuition scholarships/sponsorships and writing supplies for six children for a year (tuition is US$ 75 per year, basic school supplies cost US$ 5 per year)

Thanks to all our friends for your simple gifts that make an extraordinary difference at Red Rose. The children, teachers, and guardians in the community served by Red Rose appreciate your support fully. Please click here if you would like more information about children at the Red Rose School who are in dire need for a sponsor to support their education and dreams.

Menu for Learning - Lunch and Morning Snacks at Red Rose

The menu at Red Rose is simple yet nutritious, consisting of basic items such as enriched millet porridge, hot chocolate, bread and margarine, tea, rice, beans, ugali (Kenyan polenta), cabbage, githeri (maize and beans mix), carrots and kale. The basic kitchen in the main building, which is a rented three-bedroom single family home. Each of the rooms serves as a classroom. At the back of the property, the rest of the compound has been converted into more learning space made up of semi-permanent classrooms of basic timber frame, corrugated iron sheet walls, wooden window panels, and cement floors. There is not much room left on the compound for playing space.
The school cook stirs a pot of ugali on a charcoal stove (jiko) ready for a typical lunch. Ugali is the carbohydrate corn meal staple, eaten with vegetable, meat, or fish stews. To feed 80 children, the cook needs to prepare about four such large pots of the ugali.

Click here to read about special occassions such as graduation and birthdays at the Red Rose School.

More faces of Red Rose - July 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good news: Sponsor found for Rehema Andia

Mr. Steve Goldberg and Dr. Jocelyn Glazier of Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina have chosen to sponsor 8-year old Rehema Andia at the Red Rose School.

Rehema Andia is now attending the first grade and making steady progress as a learner and a friend to her schoolmates. She was rescued by one of the teachers at the school, Ms. Penina Lukoro, six years ago after she was found abandoned in the slums of Kibera. Her parents are unknown. Children are precious in Kenya, but the poverty and desperation amongst the lowest classes in our society sometimes push the parents to such drastic and sad decisions as the abandonment of a lovely child.

Thankfully, there are always other people in the community who do their best to help in such cases, and we celebrate this kind of hope, generosity, and self-reliance as we go ahead. The support of sponsors such as the Goldbergs will go a long way in making Rehema's childhood, safe, promising, and special. This photo shows Rehema at age three.
If you would be interested in sponsoring a child at Red Rose, please CLICK HERE for more information about other orphans at the school who desperately need sponsors.

Sponsors Needed, Please Help ** Updated**

UPDATE: By Thursday Dec 28th, we had identified sponsors and received contributions or pledges to take care of 20 out of the 23 students at the school who are AIDS orphans in need of sponsorship to get an education, food, and basic health care at Red Rose School. Let's celebrate this great success, and please share the news with any friends or relatives that can help to support the remaining 3 children who really need us. Be blessed!!!

We have 23 students out of the 80 students attending the Red Rose School whose family circumstances are so dire, they can not afford to pay the $75 annual fee for tuition, meals, and basic healthcare provided at the school. Most of these are partial or full orphans who lost their parents due to AIDS, are are being raised by relatives, siblings, or other non-related guardians who have taken them in out of compassion in the community.

Please scroll to the end of this message to read about all the wonderful children who still need sponsors to continue their education at Red Rose. We have been very blessed that new Friends of the Red Rose School in the USA and Canada have emerged in the past few weeks to bring hope and make the possibility of a brighter future through education a reality for these children. To learn about the other supporters who are helping the children at Red Rose, please click here.

Six-year old Mercy Ayuma is going into first grade in January after successfully completing the pre-unit at Red Rose this year. Mercy lost both her parents four years ago, and is being raised by a maternal aunt in Kianda neighborhood of Kibera. -- Mrs. Nancy Prowitt and her family in Arlington, Virginia will sponsor the education of Mercy at the Red Rose School in 2007. Thanks a zillion and be blessed. (Dec 13th)

This is Diana Akinyi, currently in standard one (first grade) at Red Rose. Diana is an HIV/AIDS orphan who lost both her mother and father in 2003, and lives with a guardian in the Kianda neighborhood within the Kibera slums. -- Kathy Olesko and Wayne Davis of Springfield, VA will be sponsoring Diana's education at Red Rose. Thanks a zillion! (Dec 1st, 2006)This is Jael Amunga, currently three years old and a member of the pre-unit/baby class at Red Rose. Jael lost both of her parents to HIV/AIDS in 2005 when she was only one year old. She is being raised by an aunt and a paternal uncle in Kibera. -- Matt Fagan and Bonnie Tice of Alexandria, VA will be sponsoring Jael's education at Red Rose. Thanks a zillion! (Dec 1st, 2006)
This is Marilyn Achieng. She is 7 years old and she has just completed her first grade at Red Rose. Marylin's father passed away in 2000, and she lives now with an aunt who is her guardian in the Kianda neighborhood of the Kibera slums. Marilyn has been promoted to the second grade beginning in January. -- Carrie McGraw of New York City will be sponsoring Marilyn's education at Red Rose next year. Thanks and be blessed! (Dec 17th)
Above is Hillary Nyapola who is 9 years old, and has just successfully completed the first grade at Red Rose. Hillary's father died in 2002, and he is being raised by his unemployed mother who depends on hand outs from neighbors. Because of poverty, Hillary was not able to begin school, but a late start to formal education has not hindered his love of learning and zest for life. --Christie, Roger, and Hilary Platt of Washington DC will be sponsoring Hillary Nyapola's education at Red Rose next year. Thanks and be blessed! (Dec 10th)

Laureen Atieno is 9 years old. She lost both her parents to complications related to HIV/AIDS, and is being raised by a guardian in the Kianda slum neighborhood. Laureen has completed the first grade at Red Rose, and will begin the second grade in January 2007. -- The Platt Family of Washington DC and the Bradford Family (David, Jessie, and Nora) of Potsdam New York are generously sponsoring the education of Laureen Atieno in 2007. Be blessed! (Dec 28th)
Cynthia Atieno is 7 years old. She completed the first grade at Red Rose, and will be beginning second grade in January. Her father passed away in 2002, and she is being raised by her widowed mother in the Kianda neighborhood of Kibera slums. -- The Platt Family of Washington DC is kindly sponsoring the education of Cynthia Atieno at Red Rose in 2007. Thank you! (Dec 28th)

Elizabeth Akoth is 5 years old. She lost her father to AIDS when she was only four months old. She is being raised by an uncle in Kibera, and she has been promoted from the nursery/kindergarten class to the pre-unit class at Red Rose beginning January 2007. --Contributions from Louisa Cannell of Bethesda, Maryland and Maria Screti of Florence, Italy will sponsor the education of Elizabeth at Red Rose from January to December 2007 (Dec 8th)
Rhoda Adhiambo is 5 years old, and she lost her mother in 2002 when she was only 1 year old. She is being raised by an uncle in the Karanja Road neighborhood of Kibera. Rhoda has completed the nursery school this year at Red Rose, and will join the pre-unit in January. -- Jackie and Mark Grazette from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, are sponsoring the education of Rhoda Adhiambo at Red Rose in 2007. Asante sana! (Dec 28th)

Six-year old Keith Ochieng stays with his mother in the Kianda neighborhood of Kibera. His father is unknown. Keith completed the pre-unit class at Red Rose and will begin first grade in January 2007. -- A generous contribution received from an anonymous supporter in Ontario, Canada, will pay for the cost of educating, feeding, treating, and supplying Keith Ochieng at the Red Rose School from January to December 2007. Thanks and be blessed! (Dec 14th)
Viona Akinyi is seven years old. Her father passed away due to AIDS in 2003. She lives with an aunt in Kianda neighborhood of Kibera. The whereabouts of her mother are not known. Viona did very well in the pre-unit class this year, and will begin first grade at Red Rose in January. --Pete Atkin of Brooklyn, New York will be sponsoring Viona's education at Red Rose next year. Thanks and be blessed! (Dec 17th)


Thank you very much for any help you can offer to support these children. It costs only $75 to sponsor the tuition, meals, and basic medical care for a child for one full year at the Red Rose School. An additional $5 helps provide vital school supplies such as pencils, writing pads, erasers for one child for a year. Be blessed! Click here to see who else is supporting the Red Rose Children.

2006-2007 Campaign Begins

Hello dear friends -

The campaign to raise funds to support tuition scholarships, medical costs, and other needs at the Red Rose Children's Center and school has began.

In 2005-2006, we raised USD 600 for the school ($500 from the Community Service Club bake sale at the Potomac School's spring concert, and $100 from an anonymous donor.) We also shipped a box of Children's Britannica Encyclopedia from the Potomac School spring book fair. These generous donations made a critical and highly appreciated difference.

For 2006-2007, our basic goal is to raise at least $6,000, which will help not only for the immediate budget needs, but help with the planning and stability needed to get the following academic year off on a strong start. We have a challenge to raise $2,500 before January 1st 2007, and another $3,500 by July 1st. The $2,500 will cover sponsorships of tuition, food, basic medicine, and some supplies for the 23 full or partial orphans at the school. The $3,500 will be used to complete the interior walls of three classrooms and repair/construction of desks by a group of volunteers from the Potomac School in summer 2007.

Look out for the campaign report and updates regularly as donations come in from around the country and elsewhere to support us.

To contribute to Red Rose, you may write a check to "Children of Kibera Foundation" and send it by mail to :

Children of Kibera Foundation
c/o Merrell R. Cherouny - Executive Director
4701 Alton Place, NW
Washington, DC 20016

The Children of Kibera Foundation is a registered non-profit charity corporation in Washington DC that has taken on Red Rose School as its main project.

A famous Swahili proverb says "kutoa ni moyo wala si utajiri," translated as "generosity is a matter of the heart, not wealth." Any help we can get will be highly appreciated.

ASANTE SANA. Thank you very much.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Faces of the Red Rose Children - Kibera, Nairobi

These are some photos of the children at the Red Rose School in Kibera Nairobi. The school is a community self-help project, with friends and relatives choosing to be agents of positive change in these children's lives and futures by providing them the best possible education. As a pre-K through 2nd grade school, the work done at Red Rose for some of Nairobi's most vulnerable children closely matches the philosophy and goals of the congressionally approved Headstart programs in the USA. In the photo above, Red Rose principal Mr. Protase Buluma presents a donation of children's Britannica Encylopedia received from the spring 2006 bookfair at the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia.
Above is Sandra Lumayo, who joined the baby class at Red Rose in 2006. Her teachers report a great measure of improvement in her learning throughout the year, and Sandra has been promoted to the nursery class beginning January 2007.
This photos show from left to right Prince Mue, Quinter Atieno, Emma Amondi, and Laureen Akinyi. They have all completed the second grade (standard two) at Red Rose in 2006, and have been promoted to begin the third grade (standard three) in January 2007. "They all really need help for them to procced to the next class since all of them have been promoted but may not come back next year if they can not get help/funds," writes Mr. Buluma, principal of Red Rose.
(Left to Right above) Here we have Laureen Njoki, Joyce Namatsi, Nancy Nekesa, Rosemary Githaiga, Pressly Munyambu and their teacher, Ms. Peninah Hoka. They were all in first grade (standard one) and have been promoted to the second grade beginning January 2007. Because of a tight school budget, their teacher's salary/stipend had not been paid since October 2006, but she has soldiered on in the hope that help will come to them soon and her dedication to ed serve this destitute children has not wavered. Funds collected from Friends of Red Rose in the USA from September to December 2006 will help pay all the unpaid teacher salaries/stipends and will be designated as sponsorships to the school's 23 full or partial AIDS orphans.
These are Cynthia Awour (L) and Florence Kemunto (R). They were in baby class in 2006 and have been promoted to nursery/kindergarten. They have done very well in their class despite all the problems they face having to go to school hungry in the morning knowing that they will get the little porridge that the school makes at morning snack/break time because their poor parents can not afford to provide the food they need at home.