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Kids Profiles

Annet

Tribal Group Luhya

Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

Annet was living with her mother and 2 younger siblings in the Kangaware Slum when African LEAF came to know about her. During the daytime the children were often unattended as the mother had to go out for work leaving the kids on their own. Her father had left the family to return to his first wife and children. The mother agreed for African LEAF to move Annet to the Rudolf Steiner school in 2006 when she was seven years of age.

About Annet

Annet has left the Steiner school and is in her second year of high school. She has worked hard to improve her grades and has confidence to create a good future for herself. Annet goes home to stay with her mum during the holidays but never sees much of her then. She knows from experience that her mum has a hard life and she regards her education as a way to improve her own life but also with the intention to be able to help her mum in the future.

Annet is very shy in terms of speaking in English, or generally being around grown-ups. But she does not seem to be shy with the other kids and her peers but rather seems to be very much in control of them, advising them and leading them. She stands her ground with the boys who always try to exclude the girls from playing soccer with them. So Annet can be quite determined and strong and she has become a good soccer player. She is very athletic and loves dancing and singing.

Find out about the Luhya tribe.

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Brian

BRIAN - Tribal Group: LUHYA

BRIAN – Tribal Group: LUHYA

Background

Nothing is known of Brian’s mother, except that she died in the family home from complications in a pregnancy. His father suffers from mental illness and is an alcoholic and does not care for any of his children. Brian has an older sister, Sheila, who is also in the African LEAF program.  Brian and Sheila survived in the slum of Kawangwareangware in Nairobi for many years before African Leaf took them in in 2004

About Brian

After we took him away from the slum we boarded him at the Mbaghati Steiner School, together with his sister Sheila. That school became their home and Brian did really well there considering that he had no former schooling.  Unfortunately the Steiner School only goes up to year nine and the kids can’t finish their high school years there.  Brian is now 18 years old and in high school. He is well loved at the Steiner School and goes back to visit in the holidays. After year nine he went to a boarding high school up-country, near Nakuru . It was a hard time for him as he missed his friends and former school. The general Kenyan school system is very different from the schooling at Steiner. After one term we found him a smaller school near Nairobi. It is privately run by a program from Sweden and Brian is doing really well there. As he can’t board there we found him a family to stay with and he is now continuing his education with great determination.  He takes his schoolwork very seriously, always aiming at improving himself. Brian loves to listen to stories and is a great storyteller himself.   His hobbies are drama, football and table tennis.

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Brightlight

Tribal Group Luo

Tribal Group
Luo

Background

Brightlight’s father died before she was born and her mother died when she was one.   She has no siblings, the only sibling died at the age of one and a half.   She was living with her aunt and uncle and two older cousins in the Kawangware Slum before being sponsored by African LEAF. Their house is two rooms, one small and one medium. The house is made of iron sheet walls, concrete floor, no sealing board on the roof, with simple sofa sets, one bed, cupboard, coffee table, radio, water containers The toilets are outside and shared.

Her aunt is a casual worker who sews clothes and her uncle is a casual carpenter. The aunt who has medical problems does not know what caused the death of Brightlight’s parents.

About Brightlight

Brightlight moved to the Rudolf Steiner Farm School in January 2010. She is 12 years old now and in class 6. She is a serious child but it is lovely to see how she has become more open and she warms up to anyone who gives her some affection and attention. She is quite bright, just like her name indicates and always keen to learn things, to get involved and to help organizing things. She has made friends at school and feels at home at Steiner. She loves drawing, singing and maths. Considering what a hard start Brightlight has had in her life it is astounding how resilient and strong she is. Already at this young age one can sense her determination to make good of her new good life.


Christine

Tribal Group Mkisii

Tribal Group
Mkisii

Background

Christine is 13 years old and in class 7. She has been supported by African LEAF for the last 6 years. She lived with an aunt and 1 younger and 2 older cousins, as her mum remarried and she did not want Christine in the same household with the new husband.

About Christine

Christine is a very bright kid who loves learning, her teachers, her friends and playtime after school hours. You will always find her skipping, jumping and running about the lovely Steiner playground with her friends. Her English is excellent, she is polite and attentive and she has self-confidence. If she needs something she will speak up and ask for it which is rare amongst the kids as they are usually a bit shy to ask for something. And she will also speak up for other children not just for herself. Her aunt with whom she stays during the holidays is very strict and Christine is always happy to return to school where she feels very much at home. Christine loves sport and music and wants to be an athlete or a musician when she leaves school.

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Diana

Tribal Group Meru

Tribal Group
Meru

Background

Diana’s mother, who has a severe drinking problem, left her children in the house to fend for themselves, sometimes for up to 3 weeks at a time. The neighbours had asked a Community Health Worker to assess the situation as they were having to feed the children due to the mother’s neglect. African LEAF became involved when Diana fell into the fire within the house and had a bad burn to her arm which her mother knew about, but did not seek medical attention. Diana and her brother, Kiki, were wandering the streets, with Diana very weak and in tremendous pain. African LEAF organised for Diana to get medical assistance and then she and Kiki were moved to the Steiner Farm School where they joined the African LEAF Child Program. Being only 2½ at the time, Diana could not board at the Farm School so she was housed (together with Junior) in a little house on the school grounds.  The house and a carer were paid for by African LEAF until both could be enrolled in the Kindergarten at the Steiner School as a weekly boarder at age 4.

 

About Diana

Diana has progressed very well and has been identified as a gifted child. She is now in year 7.  She absolutely adores music and dancing and has been blessed with an innate sense of rhythm. She breaks out into dance anywhere and anytime! Diana has a rather extraordinary personality for a Kenyan girl. She is outspoken, says what she feels, is outgoing, wanting to be a part and have a go at everything and she has a wicked sense of humour. Everyone just falls in love with her wherever she goes. There is something mature and dignified in her nature that has become more obvious as she now feels much secured and at home at the Steiner School. She takes it upon herself to look after the smaller kids, making sure that they get what they need. Diana is strong and determined and she will do well in live now that she has been given a chance which is absolutely marvellous to see.

Find out about the Meru tribe.


Esther

Esther

Esther

Background

Esther’s mother and father are dead.  She has sisters with whom she has no contact and she was living with her grandfather until he died two years ago. So now she has no family.  She has been staying with a lady she met at a church otherwise she would be in the streets.

About Esther

In 2014, LEAF received an email from Judith Brown at the Steiner School in Nairobi.  Judith wanted to know if African LEAF was able to help an ex student of the school, Esther who was now High School age and who had approached her asking for help.   Judith explained that, after leaving the Steiner School, Esther had been sponsored to a mission high school where she had a very traumatic experience.   She wasn’t believed by the staff and was expelled and lost her sponsor.   Since then she had been struggling to survive, having no money to pay for high school.   Judith told us “Esther says since she has been out of school she has been studying hard from friends’ books etc., and she does not need to repeat classes.   She is totally dedicated to her education.  I believe a school could be convinced not to ask her to repeat due to her dedication to her studies.”

One of our directors, Eva, remembered Esther from the Steiner school and suggested that we agree to pay for Esther’s school fees/uniform/books etc from the Giver of Hope donations.  Thanks to these donations, she is now attending high school and doing very well.

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Eugene

Tribal Group Luhya

Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

Eugene is is 12 years old and is in class six. We knew Eugene from Saints of Hope, a kindergarten that we supported for many years in the Kawangware slum of Nairobi. His parents split up and he was was living with his dad and his step mother until his father died.  He found it very hard to get over the death of his father.  He couldn’t live with his mother who had remarried as, according to the custom of the Luhya tribe, the new husband does not acknowledge any children of his new wife from a previous marriage, relationship or encounter.  So Eugene went to live with his grandparents before being sponsored by LEAF.  During school holidays he goes up country to stay with his grandparents where his two older siblings live.

About Eugene

Eugene is a great kid. He is so full of energy, curious, always to be found where things are happening and in the midst of it. He is constantly entertaining his friends and the rest of the school! He loves playing games and plays until he drops. He is cheerful and a fantastic dancer. All the kids have regular dance classes with African drums and he will be the first in line ready to start the dancing. Music is in his blood. He loves any visitors from overseas and will never be far from you always ready to organize things or help with something. Apart from dancing he loves, singing, drawing and reading stories.  His best friends at school are Junior and Kiki.  When he leaves school he dreams of being an acrobat in a circus.

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Faith

Tribal Group Kamba

Tribal Group
Kamba

Background

Faith and her brother Junior were abandoned by their extremely desperate mother and had been taken in and were living with another family in the village of Mitaboni, near Machakos. But like so many dependants living in poverty they became bottom of the food chain in this household. Faith was underweight, beginning to show signs of malnutrition; she was filthy and wearing soiled clothing, no underpants and no shoes. Faith was being used as a work slave to do all the chores around the household while the other children played.

About Faith

Faith was very shy when she joined the boarding at the farm school. Now she has really come out of her shell and she is a very loving and caring child, in many ways way beyond her young years.  She always took great pleasure in helping out at the boarding with the younger kids. These younger kids were hanging around her because she loves them, and really cares for them like a mother, it is amazing. But that is what she has always done for her younger brother Junior whom she adores. She always cared for him like a mother because their mother was not there.  She has been a very studious girl, never giving her teachers any trouble. She has now left the Steiner school and is in her first year at high school.   To the great joy of the African Leaf supporters who have visited Kenya, she readily converses in English and was very proud to show you around the Steiner school. Faith is also very good at plaiting hair and the girls are lining up for her to do it. Her dream for the future is to become a news announcer on TV.

Find out about the Kamba tribe.

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Junior

Tribal Group Kamba

Tribal Group
Kamba

Background

Please refer to Faith’s profile for details of family situation. When first seen by African LEAF, Junior was having trouble standing up, his legs were swaying and he appeared to be very weak. His clothes were filthy and were hanging off him. There was a piece of cord tied around his waist to hold up his shredded trousers, his feet were bare and dirty.  He weighed nothing, had a huge bloated belly, his rib cage was sticking out, he had baggy skin around his neck and arms, his eyes were yellow and he had bad fluoride damage to his milk teeth.  He was too young to board at the Farm School so he was housed (together with Diana) in a little house on the school grounds.  The house and a carer were paid for by African LEAF until both could be enrolled in the Kindergarten at the Steiner School as a weekly boarder at age 4.

About Junior

Junior is such a lovely boy. You would not recognize him from those former hard years in his life. He is very polite and attentive when you talk to him always happy to help if you need something done. He is full of joy and has many friends because of his gentle nature. It is very fortunate that one of the school teachers takes Junior and his sister home to her farm in the country side where they spend their holidays. This farm is close to their original home and Rose, the teacher makes sure that the kids still keep in contact with some of their relatives. Junior loves the farm and he helps tending to the cattle that need to be taken out to pasture every day for grazing. When he smiles at you everything in your heart lights up! It is a shy smile but also a happy one. Junior wants to be a driver when he grows up as he loves cars. Take him on a drive up the road and you make his day. Junior also enjoys school and is a good student in year seven.

Find out about the Kamba tribe.


Ketty

Ketty Tribal Group Luhya

Ketty
Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

Both of Ketty’s parents were alive when she was moved from the Kangaware Slum to the Steiner School. She has one older brother and one younger sister. Her mother died three years ago and her sister Purity has since been sponsored by African LEAF so that she could join Ketty at the Steiner School. Her father is an alcoholic and her brother is violent and it is not safe for the girls to stay at home. They have supervised visits at their father’s home since the mother died. During the holidays they stay with a foster family.

About Ketty

Ketty is 17 years old and has left the Steiner School to attend high school where she also boards. She was a very responsible teenager, helping at the boarding house with the younger kids, which is much appreciated by the house mums. Ketty is a conscientious and attentive student. Her spoken and written English are both excellent. Although she is quiet she enjoys very much performing at the end of term school shows, singing and dancing which she does with confidence.

Ketty has one very close friend, Annet, who was in the same year at the Steiner school. Annet’s mum and Ketty’s mum were good friends for many years before Ketty’s mum died suddenly. Ketty has shown a lot of maturity overcoming this huge loss. She has taken her young sister Purity under her wings and is very caring and nurturing with her. Ketty is well regarded by her peers and the other girls appreciate Ketty’s knack to do up their hair, something she learned from her mum.

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Kiki

Tribal Group Meru

Tribal Group
Meru

Background

Kiki is sixteen years old . He has been sponsored by African LEAF for the last 8 years.  He and his sister Diana were taken care of by LEAF after they had been locked up in a shack in the slum for 3 days without food. It was in the wintertime and Kiki tried to make a fire. His three year old sister was badly burned. The children screamed and got attention from the neighbours. The mother is mentally unstable and has no interest in the children. He never sees her or his father.  During the holidays he stays in the slum with an aunt where six people share one room.  They have have to go out to get water as there is no running water.

About Kiki

Kiki has now left the Steiner School and has begun his first year at high school.  At the Steiner School, Kiki took on the role of stepping up as a responsible person for the other AL children when our oldest boy, Brian left the school. He really matured, sharing his small possessions with others, giving advice to the smaller children and looking after them. He is very popular also because of his good humour and easy going nature and because he respects other kids and people. He is a delightful boy who is interested in the world, listens to his teachers and recognises that he has to work hard to make a good future for himself.  His dream for the future is to be an engineer, he wants to build aeroplanes and cars.

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Lincoln

Tribal Group Kikuyu

Tribal Group
Kikuyu

Background

Lincoln is a Kikuyu from the Mount Kenya area, North East of Nairobi. His Mother was murdered by his father, a drug addict, who was jailed for life and no-one knows whether the father is still alive.   He is an only child.   He was living with an aunt in a shack in the Kawengwari slum.  The aunt was not in a stable condition and not making enough money selling vegetables to take care of Lincoln.

About Lincoln

Lincoln was taken into sponsorship by African Leaf and boards at the Mbagathi Steiner School where he is now in year 9.  Lincoln is an extremely gentle and likeable child and is loved by all. He has a good command of both spoken and written English.  He is a good swimmer with lots of enthusiasm to learn new skills and he is also a brilliant sportsman, very agile and he shines in gymnastics.  In a letter to his sponsor, he says that he wants to be a scientist and an actor.  He used to be very shy and it would take him a while to open up. Nowadays he is much more confident and outgoing. He loves soccer and spends as much time as possible out there on the fields with his friends kicking the ball. He has no siblings and used to stay with his grand-mother during the holidays. But now he stays with an aunt near Nairobi and her family who have children around his age. He feels very much at home with the aunt’s family and it has really improved his sense of belonging and he seems much happier in himself.

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Lucky Moses

Lucky Moses

Lucky Moses

Background

Lucky was the result of his mother being raped.   She eventually went to a health clinic seeking advice on how to obtain an abortion. Because the pregnancy was about 6 months along, she was counselled to continue with the pregnancy and then place the baby for adoption. After discussing it over 3 days, she decided to continue with the pregnancy, as long as she could get support.   African LEAF was notified of the situation and agreed to take over the care of the baby, after delivery.   He was born on 4/8/07 and the health care staff named him Lucky Moses. The mother remained insistent that she didn’t want to keep the baby, thus she surrendered him before the Children’s Officer – Administrative chief, Riruta Health Care staff member Jane Njogu who subsequently has taken Lucky into care herself under the sponsorship of African LEAF.

 

About Lucky Moses

Lucky is nine years old now (he shares president Obama’s birthday) and he is still under the loving care of Jane and her family who will never give him up and regard him as their own.  Jane’s two grown-up sons George and Isaac are most loved by Lucky as they spend a lot of time with him. So Lucky really was given the right name to be growing up in such a family. Lucky is a hyperactive child and attends a school for special needs in Nairobi. He is doing well there, has made friends and likes to go to school. He is an adorable boy, not shy at all, playful, yes and active! He does not have a care in the world and soaks up the love around him. Jane’s special treat for him is a Sunday morning out on the skating ring. Lucky looks forward to that outing all week!

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Patrick

Tribal Group Luhya

Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

It is not known who is Patrick’s father or if he is still alive.  His mother remarried a Luhya man and according to the custom of the Luhya tribe the new husband does not acknowledge any children of his new wife from a previous marriage, relationship or encounter. Due to this Patrick has very minimal contact with his mother.  Before being sponsored by African Leaf and relocated to the farm school, Patrick was living with his Grandmother and primary caregiver, Sarah.  Sarah, being old, was struggling to care for Patrick and make a living as well.  They were living down in one of the worst areas in Kawangware in a tiny room with open sewers flowing outside the door. Patrick was extremely malnourished and weak and had a belly full of worms.

About Patrick

Patrick has come such a long way since we relocated him from Kawangware Slum to the Steiner Farm School.  He is now healthy, happy and full of beans.  He is a very, energetic, outgoing and personable boy with a quirky disposition and his good sense of humour have helped him to make many friends. But Patrick also has a serious and caring nature. He listens to you and thinks about what you are saying. Whenever you need his help it is forthcoming with a smile and great commitment.   He is a lovely boy and he enjoys taking responsibility for the smaller kids in the African Leaf ‘tribe’ stepping up like a big brother to help those who are smaller and more vulnerable than him.  He loves board games, drawing, reading and his favourite game is football and he says that when he grows up he wants to be a footballer and play for Real Madrid.  He is now in year nine.

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Purity

Tribal Group Luhya

Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

Purity is Ketty’s younger sister and is sponsored by African LEAF after she lost her mother in 2013. It was not safe to leave her with the father who is an alcoholic. Also the father shares a room-shack with his 17 year old son who is violent and unstable. She has taken to the Steiner School like a duck to water and seems genuinely happy there.

About Purity

Purity is 12 years old and in class six. She is a very bright child. She was instantly comfortable and at home at the school. Her English is very good and her English writing abilities for that age are quite amazing. She also loves drawing, dancing, singing, skipping, knitting, playing and more playing!  Her favourite subject at school is maths. It is very reassuring for her to have Ketty around but she is also quite capable to stand her own ground, to speak with confidence and to be happily hanging out with her many playmates. It is a joy to see how well she adjusted despite the recent loss of her mum. It shows that she is very resilient and strong within herself. Also during the holidays she stays happily with her foster family together with her sister Ketty and she seems content to only see her dad occasionally.

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Saumu

Tribal Group Kikuyu

Tribal Group
Kikuyu

Background

Saumu is fourteen years old and in year 9. Both her parents are HIV positive. They were extremely ill when we took Saumu into our care and it looked as if they would not survive for too long. Fortunately they both responded very well to medical treatment. The father has a job to partly support his family which is a rare thing in Kenya. The mother is still sickly and can’t work.

About Saumu

Saumu is a very capable girl and has good spoken and written English. She feels very much at home at Steiner, loves her teachers and learning. She is always polite and ready to help her friends. Her favourite subjects are math and swimming. She enjoys going home during the holidays to spend time with her family, 5 siblings and her parents who all sleep in one room.  But she always loves to return to school and is determined to take the chance to make a better future for herself and her family.  She wants to be a banker when she leaves school.  She is currently in year 9.

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Sheila

Sheila Tribal Group Luhya

Sheila
Tribal Group
Luhya

Background

Nothing is known of Sheila’s mother, except that she died in the family home from complications in a pregnancy. His father suffered from mental illness and was an alcoholic and did not care for any of his children and he passed away in 2012. She has a younger brother, Brian who is also in the African LEAF program.  Brian and Sheila survived in the slum of Kawangware in Nairobi for many years before African LEAF took them in in 2004

About Sheila

Sheila was the first of the African Leaf children to leave the Steiner School and move to high school almost 4 years ago.  She  finished High School at the end of 2014 and began a course studying and training to do catering at St Joseph’s vocational training institute in Ngong town.   She has now completed her course and is doing work experience at Ololo tourist resort.  Sheila stays with a family near Nairobi in her holidays. The same family also is her brother’s home while he is finishing his studies at High School.

Sheila is an optimistic teenager.  She has been working hard throughout her studies and never been discouraged if her marks at school were not so good. She can be very funny and infectious with her good humour. She still always returns to the Steiner School when she gets a chance to catch up with the other LEAF kids and house mums. The kids love her and she would be an excellent house mum herself.  But we don’t know yet if Sheila may consider that as a future plan.

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