Monday, December 18, 2006

Traditions and Celebrations at Red Rose

Like their peers anywhere around the world, the children at Red Rose enjoy celebrations and ceremonies. The school tries to provide occasions for communal joy through traditions such as the annual graduation ceremony with all its accompanying pomp and pageantry. The photo above shows the proud graduates of the Kindergarten class in their graduation gowns on November 17, 2006. All these successful young learners will be starting first grade in January, regardless of their families' background, thanks to the generosity of our private sponsors whose financial support will help pay for the costs of educating 18 orphans at the school in 2007.
Another tradition at Red Rose is the communal birthday party, held two or three times a year to celebrate the birthdays of a group of students altogether. This is an occassion to get out recycled streamers, a few balloons, a special meal different from the regular lunch menu, plus lots of singing and dancing, all wrapped up at the end with the cutting and sharing of cake. For many of these kids who never would receive a birthday present or have an individual birthday party, the celebrations at Red Rose really make for an extended family experience and gives them the opportunity to feel truly special and loved. The message of the smiling faces and the thumbs up is unmistakable!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

We have been blessed in the last couple of weeks as new friends of Red Rose have emerged to pledge their support and make donations that will sponsor the education of many of the orphans at the school next year. For a list of more Red Rose children in need of sponsorships, please click here.

This is Edwin Otieno, who completed his pre-unit class at the Red Rose School this November, and will be starting his first grade in January. Edwin is a six year old orphan who lost both his parents two years ago, and now lives with a guardian in the Kianda neighborhood within the slums of Kibera in Nairobi. Contributions from Mr. Joshua Perlman of Washington DC and Ms. Bonnie West of Canton, New York will help to provide a full sponsorship of Edwin's education at Red Rose for all of next year.

This is 9 year old Quinter Atieno. She lost her father in 2000, and stays with her unemployed mother who ekes out a living hawking green vegetables in the slums of Kibera. Because of poverty, Quinter could not begin any schooling until she was taken into Red Rose three years ago. She has just completed her first grade successfuly at the Red Rose School in November, and will be going into the second grade in January. A generous sponsorship by Ms. Leila Atkin of Kailua Kona, Hawaii will provide for the costs of Quinter's tuition, meals, basic medical care, and school supplies for all of 2007.
This is Tolen Lusala. Tolen has just completed her baby class at the Red Rose School this November, and will be starting her kindergarten/nursery class in January. Tolen is a six year old orphan who lost her father to complications from HIV/AIDS earlier this year, and now lives with her unemployed mother in the Makina neighborhood within the slums of Kibera in Nairobi. A full sponsorship for 2007 by Mrs. Gail T. and Mr. John Nields of McLean, Virginia will make a priceless difference in Tolen's life at a crucial stage, thank you very much!

Samuel Mbithi is 7 years old, and will be entering the second grade at Red Rose in January 2007. His father passed away in 2001 due to complications related to AIDS, and he now lives with his widowed mother in the Kianda slum neighborhood of Kibera. A sponsorship from David and Jaffa Davies of Barrington, Rhode Island will make a vital difference for his educational prospects and bring hope of a brighter future to Samuel's life.

This is 5 year old Regan Obeka. Regan's parents are not known. Since his abandonment as an infant, he has been raised by a compassionate guardian in the Makina slum neighborhood of Kibera. Mr. Matthew Fagan of Alexandria, Virginia has provided a full sponsorship for Regan's education at the Red Rose School in 2007. Thank you!

This is Jael Amunga, in a photo taken next to her guardian's residence in Kibera on December 5, 2006. Jael completed the baby class this year and will be starting her second year at Red Rose as a member of the pre-K class in January. Jael is the recipient of a sponsorship for 2007 from Ms. Bonnie Tice of Alexandria, Virginia.

To the left are Vinand Joachim and Diana Akinyi in their most recent photographs taken at the school's end of year celebrations and graduation ceremonies on November 17, 2006. Joining in the celebration outside the school's entrance is Diana's aunt.

Dr. Kathy Olesko and Dr. Wayne Davis of Springfield, Virginia will be sponsoring education of Diana and Vinand at the Red Rose School. Thank you very much for your generosity.

Please click here to learn about other children at Red Rose who need your help.