In 2006 Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd. provided scholarship awards for tuitions and fees for 12 Kenyan students.
In 2011 we are scheduled to provide scholarships for over 125 African students.
We (Bill and Joanne and our Kenyan colleague John Peter Mukhola) visit our scholarship
students frequently during each trip back to Kenya. We drive in an old van to well over 40 different schools locations, mostly in rural Western Kenya. These are long days, as some of the schools are three hours away from
Kisumu (our home base). Most of the journey is maneuvering through dirt rutted roads, sometimes very difficult to navigate
with billowing dust clouds from passing trucks. And sometimes we’re outside the van pushing it after getting stuck after a
heavy afternoon rain. Once at the school, it is amazing. Each school has a distinct environment and philosophical approach.
Usually, the schools are either all girls or all boys boarding schools with very strict disciplinary rules and regulations.
For the most part, visitors are welcome one Saturday per month. Of course, that would be impossible to coordinate, so we
just arrive and proceed.
Generally the Headmasters have been very accommodating to us. We always meet to discuss each
student’s academic progress and try to cultivate a special relationship with the lead teachers. We want all of our students
to succeed. Many of these students are many miles away from home for the first time. We tell them how much we personally care
for them and often tell them a bit about their sponsors so they can visualize the blessing they have through the generosity of a
sponsor in the United States. We tell them that they have a special sponsor in the States who cares about them very much, who
wants them to do well in school, and to try their very best. And of course every child gets big hugs from us along with encouragement and a discussion of career possibilities.
During these visits we provide each student a “care package” of items which must be approved by the school.
You would be surprised at how many items get pulled out because they are not allowed, such as deodorant and fruit juice. We often provide a stamped post card or sheet of stationary so students can write a letter to his or her sponsor and tell them about how they are doing.