Peter's Hope: Empowering women and children for a brighter future!
Peter's Hope exists to partner with a primary school and women's empowerment center in an impoverished community in Bamburi, Kenya, where educational opportunities for the lowest income people are nearly non-existent. Our mission is to provide immediate and sustained funding to the school and center so they can continue educating the women and childen of their community.
During GTMD we are concentrating on the needs of Peter's programs to reopen in late 2020. The schools and women's center have been closed since mid-March due to COVID. The financial needs for re-opening are greater at this time due to the following needs:
**Additional desks for the school in order to provide for social distancing
**Hand sanitizer for 90 children and their teachers; 30+ women and their teachers
**Temperature guns for classrooms
**Soap for hand washing
**Masks for all children, women, and teachers
An additional hardship is that parents have not been working, and therefore many will not have the ability to pay tuition at this time.
Our goal during GTMD is to raise $2000, to be matched by $2000. This money will go directly to get the school and women's center back to their job of educating the children and women of Bamburi.
To learn more about Peter's Hope, please read on:
Peter’s Hope had its beginnings in the fall of 2019 when a 72-year-old woman from St. Paul, Carolyn Tonneson, spent a month volunteering in the impoverished community of Bamburi, Kenya. Working in both the Bamburi Women’s Empowerment Center, and St. Peter’s Mountain Children’s Centre, a primary school. The founder and director of both programs is Peter Ochieng.
She became very well acquainted with Peter—his beliefs, values, dreams, etc. and experienced him as a man of integrity, working/living in a community where everyone is poor, (including Peter and his family) and trying his best to educate children and women who have no other options for such an education.
Peter's vision for his primary school is "To provide education to the vulnerable and orphan children in the community." He believes in serving "children from poor background who have no hope to access education." Such children "should be given opportunity to realize their talents."
When Carolyn was volunteering in September, 2019, the dilapidated school building had been Peter's location for many years. It had no electricity or running water. The only light came from a few windows and a large opening in the hall ceiling. Peter fed all 90 children a noon meal of rice and beans, which was the only food many of the children had in any given day. There were cockroaches and rats in the building, which was 'lovingly' called "the rat hole".
One of Carolyn's main goals for the beginning of Peter's Hope was to movethe children to better quarters. By February that was accomplished with funds raised through presentations that Carolyn gave. The children had just moved into the school when the pandemic closed all schools in Kenya. It has only been through continued donations that Peter has been able to continue to pay rent and keep the building ready for re-opening which is planned for January.
One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. -Malala Yousafzai
The Women's Empowerment Center opened in April of 2019 with a beauty school and a sewing school where women can learn marketable skills.
Peter's vision/mission for the Women's Center is clear: To make women self reliable and independent. To equip women with knowledge and skills to be able to fight abject poverty.
Carolyn brought value to the women by teaching such skills as self esteem, healthy relationships, self affirmations, good nutrition, parenting. She also offered one-on-one counseling for the women.
No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens. – Michelle Obama
Peter's Hope is not quite one-year old, and most of this year has been spent with the pandemic limitations in place. Yet, people have been generous, and we have been able to send Peter a monthly contribution so he could continue to pay salaries at a reduced amount (teachers had no other means of income), and keep up with rent and utilities on both the school and women's center buildings. Once the programs are up and running again, he'll have many more expenses, and it is our hope, at Peter's Hope, that we'll be able to continue our partnership so that these women and children get the education that they so badly need and deserve.
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