Monday, February 3, 2020

Record number of (former) street boys make it to high school

For a boy living on the street, going to school is an impossible dream. But for the former street boys join the Sunshine Centre, that distant dream becomes a reality.

This year 15 of the Sunshine Boys successfully completed their national primary exams (KCPE) and started at high schools in various locations in Kenya. The boys remain part of the Sunshine family and we continue to support and encourage them as they take this next big step in the process of transforming their lives.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Dreams come true at Sunshine

Edward Makori has achieved his childhood ambition of graduating from university.

In December he was awarded his BA in Economics from Masai Mara University, the end-result of years of hard work.

But when he was living on the streets of Naivasha, this was a distant dream.

"For lots of reasons, my mother couldn't look after me and I went to live on the streets. I slept under verandas, in tunnels and under bushes. Life was very dangerous and I started to steal. It was very risky because if I caught, I could be stoned to death. I wanted to go back to school, and shared my dream with my friends. Some laughed at me, but others encouraged me not to lose hope."

On 2nd June, 2004, Edward was admitted to the Sunshine Centre (lower photo) where we have cared for him ever since. on 20th December 2019, he graduated (topn photo). 

"I thank God for His grace and Sunshine for giving me a second chance to prove myself. I also thank everyone who has partnered with Sunshine in supporting me to where I am today. May God bless them abundantly."

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Jael is a high flyer!

"Today was the happiest day of my life." This was the message from Jael following her graduation from college in November.

Jael was one of the first group of orphaned children who came into our Sunshine Centre when it opened. When she left school, she learned hairdressing and beauty before deciding to take airline cabin crew training at Mombasa Aviation College.

She has completed her course and, as her graduation photo shows, she is very happy to be qualified to fly!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Francis runs a unique welding business

Francis Kamau dropped out of school and drifted onto the streets of Naivasha in 2007. The youngest of six children, his family was very poor and his decision was driven by the poverty he experienced at home.

On the streets he spent his time ferrying loads for a few shillings, and collecting scrap metal to sell.
In January 2008 he was rescued by Sunshine staff and admitted to the Centre for care and support. When he had settled, he joined class 8 of Karai Primary School, before moving on to train as a welder at Naivasha Polytechnic.
He qualified well, and was employed at several different welding workshops in Naivasha before taking the ambitious step of setting up his own business in the Mwiki area of Nairobi in 2012.
In 2014, Footsteps trustees visited Francis to see how his new business was going. We were pleased to find he had lots of customers, but he told us that his welding machine kept breaking down, causing a delay to the completion of their orders. We immediately decided to invest in a new machine to help him.
He has continued to work with great skill and passion, building up his Unique Welding Workshop business, and now has a wife and young son.
But Francis has an ambition to build more than a successful business. He wants to repay the support he received from Sunshine by employing former street boys.
In August 2018, Joseph Thiong’o and Peter Gathoga joined his business, even before they had graduated as welders in May 2019 (photo right).
When we visited Francis in October, we were delighted to hear him describe his dream of repaying the investment we made in him in this unique way!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go...

Eric Chege has packed his bags and is ready to university.

If he had even dreamed of this happening when he lived on the streets, he would have thought he was going mad! He was out of school and scavenging on the streets for food, with no hope for a better future.

Poverty at home led Eric to migrate to the streets when he was just 8 years old, but his life changed when a staff member from the Sunshine Centre met him and asked him if he wanted a home and to go back to school. He accepted the offer, and it was a turning point in his life.

This month he set off from the Sunshine Centre to join South-eastern University in Kitui (6 hours journey away) to start his degree course in Economics and Statistics.

Once he has graduated, Eric will have a bright future ahead of him - a far cry from when he lived on the streets.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sunshine leavers celebration

As the end of the academic year approaches, the Sunshine Centre staff organised a leavers' celebration to equip our former street boys for their next step in life.

During an emotional day, the boys were given professional advice on how to manage job interviews, they were reminded of the importance of living their lives God's way, and they formed themselves into an alumni group  to encourage each other.

Many of the boys have been with us since they were rescued from the streets in 2004 when the Sunshine Centre first opened.

Now, as young adults they are fully equipped to move into the world of work, knowing that the Sunshine staff and their Sunshine brothers are still with them for help and advice.

One aim of the newly formed alumni group is to come back to talk to and encourage the younger boys who are still at the Centre. They are compelling role models that show what a street boy can achieve!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Former street boy Samuel graduates....and more

On 26th of July, Samuel Kamau graduated from Kenyatta University with a degree in Sociology – he has a bright future ahead of him. 

When he first came to our Sunshine Centre in 2009, Samuel had been living on the streets of Naivasha, sleeping outside and scavenging among the garbage piles for food to eat. 
“Life on the streets was very difficult,” he told us.
At the Sunshine Centre, we funded Samuel’s education, and provided him with good food, loving care and helped him stay connected with his family during the school holidays.
Samuel's graduation day was a busy affair with over 7,000 students receiving their awards. Who was managing security on the campus for the event? James Maina - another former street boy we cared for at the Sunshine Centre! 

To provide the sustained care that street boys like Samuel and James need to excel we need the help of a huge number of donors and supporters. Thank you working with us to transform the lives of many more young people!