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De studenten

  • Sheruya Kwendo


    Hunger

    I was born in the slums of Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya and second largest in Africa. Most of the residents live in extreme poverty. Unemployment and crimes are at a very high rate. Poverty is bigger than most people understand and mostly affects the little ones. I stayed in a one roomed house with my family and the house was not cemented. There was no electricity, muddy floors and when it rained we could not sleep because it could leak and the floors became muddy. My parents were semi illiterate and that meant that they could not get any formal job. Therefore they did any job forthcoming to make ends meet. As a child I didn’t enjoy the privileges accorded to small babies like good food and ended up being malnourished. Hunger was sadly our greatest challenge.

    As a small girl in the slum, life was twice difficult because of the absence of security or any form of protection. I remember so vividly walking to school one morning in the narrow dark paths of Kibera and one of the local administrators trying to sexually harass me. I was lucky that a passerby came to my intervention. Going to school was not any better because I wasn’t assured of any meal during lunch hours. I remember so vividly yawning in class and the scrambling of my stomach as I tried to concentrate. I grew knowing that I was hopeless and with very weak self-esteem. I remember sadly when my little brother used to pick food in the litter to eat because he couldn’t stand the hunger. I could not stop him because I couldn’t provide food to him.

    New hope
    The greatest miracle in my life happened when I joined Compassion in the year 1996 when I was 6 years old. That was the start of a brand new life. My life took a positive shift. I found new hope and life gave me a new meaning. I was no longer a statistic of poverty because I had hope for a better tomorrow. Poverty is a cycle and I thank God for Compassion for breaking it! Through Compassion I got food, clean water and health care. I got my first bible in Compassion. I received Bible teaching, education, counseling and emotional support. I got to know the care and love and taught about the greatest of Love which is from God. I got a sponsor from the USA four months after I joined the program and was extremely happy that God used people I did not know until that date, to bring meaning to my life. I will be forever grateful to my sponsor from USA.

    University Education
    I enjoyed school even more because I got all the necessary items for school. I received lovely letters from my sponsor and felt appreciated and worth living. I was able to concentrate and when I did my final exams of primary education after 8 years, I passed well and joined high school. Compassion still assisted through high school and managed to qualify with an entry to university. After my secondary education my sponsors withdrew their assistance. Compassion gives an opportunity for university education to those Compassion students who have performed well in their secondary education and I was among them. Even before I had the opportunity to join the Leadership Development Program (LDP).  From Floreijn I received the possibility to get into the LDP. They promised to hold my hand through university education and that was such a humbling experience.

    in Jesus name
    I graduated from Pan Africa Christian University (PACU) with a first class honors in Business Leadership-Accounting Option. This result would not have been a success without the generous support that Floreijn provided me. I deeply appreciate the willingness that you always had. Compassion indeed works-releasing children from poverty in Jesus name.

  • Eric Ombati


    Hopeless

    My parents named me Eric Ombati when I was born in the year 1989. I joined School in 1995. My parents really struggled to pay for my education. In 1999 I joined an international child care organization well known as Compassion. There I realized that God had a plan for my future. Being a hopeless child in the slums,

    Valuable
    Compassion took me and started manufacturing the unpromising and desperate boy into a valuable man in the society. The first area where they started handling in my life was my walk with Christ. I came from a catholic family but now started getting bible teaching which really helped me to understand my Bible very well. A few months after joining the program I understood who I am and what God desires from me. At that point  I gave my life to Christ. 
    Up to the present day I am grateful to Compassion since this is the greatest gift I got from them. It gave me a key for my future. We were taught how to pray, and to worship God. We discovered the gifts the Lord had given us. We had a Leadership Development Program specialist by the name Sammy Kaunga who helped us in developing our talents. One of my talent is that I can sing. I entered in the music industry and now I have recorded two singles ”Thank you Compassion” and “Last Days”. I also made a few songs with a group in Kenya called Gospel is power krew. I had no vision of stepping into university doors because of my humble background.

    Big picture
    In the slums the trend was that after you are done with your grade 8, you look for a place where you can be employed as a casual laborer. It is regular that you work for some time, then get married and life continues. But Compassion gave me a big picture and then I realized that there was life after grade 8. With help of Compassion I was able to join higher school. By Gods favor I proceed and joined one of the leading universities in Kenya where I pursed a diploma in Human Resource Management  and a degree in Supply chain and Procurement Management, waiting to graduate next year.

    Stepping stones
    Compassion was very supportive in ensuring that we lacked not a thing, when it came to academics affairs. We were provided with books, an accommodation fee in school and the tuition fee was fully paid. I am really grateful to God for bringing this organization in my life. Through Compassion I came across Floreijn who fully supported me in my university education. They made me feel I was part of the international family. They did not only focus on my schooling but also my well-being. They also supported my parent’s business for some time and now the business is stable. It is through the business that my parents are able to take good care of the whole family.

    At the program of Compassion I learned a lot of skills in all dimension of life. This includes how to give a good public image of myself to the society, mentorship in finances, marriage, academics and also business. I am employed as a project assistant in one of the project management firms in Kenya, dealing with construction. I also produce suits for men and I have a t-shirt printing business alongside. I am using this business as a stepping stone to the real estate business. In a few years from now I want to work there. Compassion has done a lot in my life. There is so much more to tell you about it.

  • Boniface Lumumba


    Truest height of ignorance

    The slums, the hood, the projects, favelas, shanties, ghettos and the many names that are used to describe this way of life. But no matter what name that the slums will be called, they are never ever sound pretty to the listener. The slums are tales untold, agony unnoticed, uncorrectable mess, questions unanswered and rights deprived. Above all, the slums are the truest height of ignorance. One of these shanties I have proudly called ‘home’ for more than two decades of my life.

    I was born in June 19th 1989; the 2nd in a family of 4 siblings of Mr. Hesborn Lumumba and Mrs. Asha Ahmed a runaway Ugandan refugee married to the son of a rich but ignorant highly ranked police officer who had nothing to offer his children. Not even education or an inheritance they can proudly embrace as their dad’s, So in short I hailed from a pretty poor family. The struggle was real, I did not know what we could afford or what we could not. It was bad! The enemy is at work in the slum Kibera! How? John 10:10, He comes to kill dreams, steal the future and destroy livelihood and reality. Children here have no dreams or future ambitions, the parents see no importance in taking their kids to school. There is no conception without a dream and no continuity without ambition. So that is the state which my home is at.

    When you have a dream the society gives you enough reason to let go of the dream and if you still insist on holding on to that dream, you are alienated. The city is infested with the fast money disease and that is what you are encouraged to seek after. Crime, drug peddling, ammunition sales and black market is a top notch business and they are the most outstanding members of my hood. A lot of babies in garbage, prostitution at a very young age, child labor and young mothers are a common sight. When I was 7 years old I rolled into a church program of Compassion.

    Sponsored child
    I visited the program every saturday and played with a whole lot of kids. We also eat rice, a delicacy that was only seen once in a blue moon in many households. I went go back home later in the evening. I knew I was a Compassion sponsored child and I was sponsored by someone abroad so that I could pursue my academic dreams. They also bought new books, new sets of uniforms, they paid my fees and rewarded my outstanding academic performance. The greatest gift I received though was my first bible during my 12th birthday and there is where my grooming towards knowing and loving Christ started taking shape. I guess that was the best gift ever and I have never forgotten how excited I was. Much as the world misunderstood me, Compassion was home to me. I had true friends who would accept me with my special abilities and over-ambitious dreams and unlike the world outside who pushed me to let go of them, they encouraged me to hold on and much as the future is uncertain, the faithfulness of the Lord is what we will always rely on.

    Servant leadership
    On graduation out of high school, Compassion saw me through French school, and I even interned at the project where it is a fulfilling job seeing kids become better and you take that chance to lead them to Christ who will strengthen them and help them do the impossible. In 2009 I joined the Leadership Development Program. I have to admit that it was the zenith of my life as a Compassion sponsored child. Here is where I came to learn that my gifts are not there to be abused or be used selfishly. Rather I am a leader, chosen by God to bring a godly influence to the world, especially my hometown.

    LDP empowered me not only with academic skills in the field of aeronautical engineering. They also coupled up with the LDP curriculum which has its key focus on raising up a generation of servant leaders that are deep rooted in the Word. Leaders that are transformative and would not sit back and accept to be conformed to the selfish and destructive patterns of the worldly leadership structures and beliefs. LDP exposed me to servant leadership opportunities in the mission field where we not only sowed the seed of the Gospel but also we had to practice love and giving to the less fortunate, through services like cleanup activities, building of houses and charity giving. We also were clustered into sponsorship groups where we had to sponsor a child as a group. All these activities we planned them ourselves thus an exposure to stewardship and project management. As LDPs we never believed in being served but rather we took every opportunity to serve.

    Salvation
    The sponsor on the other end was more than just a donor, personally my LDP sponsor Floreijn was a true blessing to me. As a father figure, a friend, a teacher and a mentor in my LDP walk. We still have contact until now and I am thankful for them.

    Now I am here 25 years after a hopeless birth. Look at me now, standing tall with a diploma in Aeronautical Engineering, a four year Leadership Development Program training, bold advocate, French speaker and healthy. This is just to mention but a few of the tangibles, but if I include the intangibles aspects and influences like the salvation in Christ which the Compassion workers pushed me towards and all that Compassion has done for me, this will be a book to write. 

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