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Lockdown at Kipepeo

Kipepeo

Wednesday 03 Mar 2021
Over the past year we have all had to adapt to change and restrictions that we couldn’t have imagined a year ago. In February 2020, after a week in Kenya, we (Fransuer and Rachel) left Kenya with all the Kipepeo children enjoying school and with our existing staff getting into a routine with the babies and toddlers in the mornings. We had also taken on a new house mother who was just settling in. 

The Covid-19 pandemic brought school closures to Kenya which meant that Levi, our house parent had to instantly step up from helping 11 children with homework in the afternoons to teaching the children full time from home. We are so thankful for his gifts of patience and willingness to serve as well as his ability to teach the children with passion and enthusiasm. This has been a challenging time for Levi and the rest of the staff as they adapted to having the children home full time and having limited outside contact. We appreciate their dedication to the Kipepeo family!

January 2021 saw the return to school for primary pupils complete with masks! We are delighted to see them back to school.  Please continue to pray for their safety and good health during this time as they mix with other children again.

In Autumn, during the pandemic, those of you who follow our Facebook feed will have seen the story of ‘Sophie’. We can’t go into the details of her background but she had an unthinkable start to life which left her with weakness down one side and uncorrected talipes (club feet). At the age of 4, Sophie was struggling to walk even with assistance and needed almost continuous supervision from one of the house mothers. She has had months of physiotherapy and various splints and walking aids but none were successful. Corrective surgery was planned but costs were high and we were delighted when a high-profile Kenyan was informed of Sophie’s story and started an online campaign to raise the funds for the surgery. The story became even more special when the hospital where the surgery was due to take place heard of the campaign and offered to carry out the surgery without charge! Sophie is now 5 months post- surgery and is doing so well with her rehabilitation with the support of the Kipepeo family. She is learning to walk again and whilst the weakness is ongoing, walking will be much easier. Please pray for Sophie and the Kipepeo staff as they support her progress. 

Jengana has sponsored two teenage girls from Mukuru slum to secondary boarding school after being impressed at their enthusiasm and potential whilst at the Utu Wema Primary school in Mukuru. They have made good progress and are coming to the end of secondary education but when the pandemic hit and schools were closed it meant that they were sent home to Mukuru. Slum life is difficult and certainly does not allow for the in-depth study that is required for the equivalent of our A-Level examinations. The girls were being expected to try and help provide for their families and with limited electricity and no space we were really concerned. Emotionally it is also difficult for the girls who were used to boarding school to adapt to their difficult home situations again. We decided to give the girls a temporary home at the Jengana centre, with their parents’ consent. They became part of the Kipepeo family, helping out where needed but also having space to learn. Levi also tutored the girls during this time, as well as another teenage boy from the local area. This has been an invaluable lifeline to the girls. They are now back to school and we hope schools will remain open to allow them to progress.

As you can see, Kipepeo has been a busy place over the past year. We are thankful that it can be a refuge for many in these challenging times.

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