Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Touch a Family
Through the generous support of our sponsors and donors, we have been able to reach out to families of our sponsored children and people living in Kibera. God has worked tremendously through this program and brought hope to homes that were in despair. The smiles that we see in faces of these families once we reach out with our food parcels are usually amazing. The kids are the once who express it even better by laughing and holding these food parcels. It always touches our hearts to know that we are creating an impact in someone’s life and bringing joy to a particular family.

We not only give out the food parcels but this always creates a platform for us to also share the love of God to these families in which Christ died for their sins. We get families giving their lives to Jesus through our visits too. There is a family that we recently visited who knew nothing about Jesus but through our generous support they got interested to know who is this we serve that gives us the joy of sharing. We got a chance to share His word and they gave their lives to Jesus.
One of the most touching stories from this program that we have had in the course of this year is from a family that saw the food parcel and broke down in tears. They had gone for some days without food and said that we were heaven sent. The gratitude that we received from them was beyond our imagination. The most recent family we visited was of a young girl who had just given birth and had nothing to eat. The fact that she was breastfeeding made things even harder for her. On visiting, she was very happy and really thanked us because she finally got something that would take her for at least two weeks or so.

These are some of the stories that keep us going as an organization. The fact that we are creating an impact in the society gives us the zeal to keep working. We thank all the donors for making such programs successful. You may not be here physically to witness the impact but we can truly testify that you are a blessing. May you be richly blessed for your continued support.

Friday, 19 June 2015

The children that are sponsored in our program come from Kibera slums. It is the largest slums in Kenya and the second largest slums in the world. It has occupants of up to a million people living in an area of about 2.5km².They stay in single roomed mud houses. The roofs are made of rusty iron sheets that have been often been on for more than 30 years. There are few roads, mostly just small paths leading to the different houses with sewage running through the shacks as there is no good sewage system.
Kibera slums

During the rainy season living in the slums becomes a nightmare. The roofs leak, water comes in through the doors and sometimes houses constructed near the rivers are carried away by the floods. Mudslides are sometimes experienced by people whose houses were constructed where there is a lot of soil. People lose their lives during this season especially small children who often get lost when it is raining.
open sewage
God has been good to our Riziki children as none of them has been badly affected by the floods. It is a cold season too and we pray for good health for our children. They are doing well in school as it is a month since they went back to school for second term. One of our children in boarding school came home after the reports of his mother being admitted at the Kenyatta national hospital reached him. He refused to go back to school until the mother gets well as he says he will not be able to concentrate on his studies.
He is from a single parent family and the mother is the one who has raised him together with two other siblings. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis but we later learnt that it was not the first time to get the diagnosis and she had stopped taking the first lot of drugs. She is an alcoholic but doesn’t get enough food to supplement the drugs which made her very weak.  Even if she gets well she cannot tell where money will come from for her to be discharged. Her daughter gave birth while she is still at the hospital. The new mum has no one to take care of her with her baby. Two days before giving birth she had stayed on an empty stomach for lack of something to eat.
flooded river
Soon after giving birth she was discharged and allowed to go home. She was shocked on arriving at their place to find part of the wall had fallen down due to the heavy downpour the previous night. Her mattress was also wet because the roof leaks and there was no one at home to put containers as they usually do when it rains. Stranded and very weak and not knowing where to start, she took all her clothes and spread them on the bed and laid her daughter to keep warm.  She sat down and cried for the most part of the night. The following day a neighbor pitied her and fixed the wall of their house.
This new mum is using old clothes as diapers as she cannot afford to purchase any. She cannot ask anyone for assistance as she is not sure who fathered her child but the one she thinks of is a drunkard and uses bhang(marijuana). He came to see her a week after delivery and gave her a dollar to buy something. Life for a girl child in Kibera is not easy. Girls sell their bodies in exchange for a small sum of money just to be able to take care of their needs, especially purchasing sanitary towels. Peer pressure among teenage girls is also high as everyone wants to do what the other person is doing. Teenage pregnancy has become the order of the day in Kibera slums and if you reach a certain age without a child people will always think that maybe you have been aborting.
The society has accepted this behavior. The morals that people use to highly uphold are no longer there in this current society. Girls as young as 13 years are getting married and by the time they reach 20 years most of them have up to three or four children. The rate of school dropout has also gone up as parents have become unable to control their children. Some pretend to be going to school but go to places where they are influenced into a life of crime.
Thank you to everyone who supports Afri-lift because it is through touch a family and child sponsorship that we are able to impact the lives of people living in Kibera. We see a better Kibera in days to come through education that is being given to the younger generation.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

I took a day to be at the farm and interacted with some of the former street boys.They are getting rehabilitated from their former way of life where they lived on the streets in one of the slums and engaged in vices to survive.
It is so amazing how some of them have changed positively and have a zeal for serving God. They are optimistic for a bright future after completing the two years program which includes being equipped with social skills, modern agricultural methods, basic education as well as business skills.
Boys in class
One of the stories that touched my heart was from a young man called Davies who is currently waiting to be baptized after receiving salvation on the night of the eve of the New Year.
He is from a family of four children. His mother and father separated when he was two years old. He was taken care of by an aunt in their rural home while the father relocated to the city to search for greener pastures. He was later diagnosed with a rare skin condition where his whole body could bleed. This got the aunt worried and thought he had been bewitched.
The husband to the aunt and other family members saw him as a cursed child and asked the aunt to take the boy to his father. They traveled to the city with the aunt and Davies was left with the father who later sent him to school when the skin disease disappeared on its own.
As he was growing up life became really hard as the father was a drunkard and would barely provide food or proper clothing for him. He stopped paying for his fees in standard seven because he could use most of his money on alcohol. He was not getting along with his father who would beat him up regularly at a slight mistake. This made him to run away from home. He could stay in the house at daytime when the father was out for casual jobs and slept in a church at night.
No one in church knew he was sleeping there as he would sneak at night and sleep at a corner and leave very early in the morning. His life became miserable until one of his friends informed him about our program.
He joined the Osiligi farm in 2013 and has never regretted. At the beginning he was one of the stubborn boys who made life for others hard because of his past but later changed after realizing that life was much better there. He loves the life at the rehabilitation center because the activities carried around and the fact that he does not go to bed on an empty stomach. He also takes the other boys as his brothers and this has given him a sense of belonging.
Davies during the interview
The night he received Christ was after watching a testimony of a woman who had a vision about hell and how a big fire was readily prepared for the people who would not have accepted Jesus when He comes back. She said it was a fiery furnace with scary creatures burning. Then she saw heaven being a beautiful place filled with glory. The angels were singing and worshiping God. It was a place filled with gold. He desired to  go to heaven and his love for Christ grew. This convicted him to receive Christ as He is the only one who could save humanity. He has never looked back and is determined to serve God even after completing the two years program.
He is among five other boys who are preparing to be baptized as for him baptism is dying and resurrecting in Gods glory. He is a good role model as the boys who use to mock him as “holy boy” desire to get salvation too.
He really inspired me with his positive attitude for a bright future and the joy that salvation brings. Soon it was time for me to leave the center but wished I could stay longer. I left the center with more desire to serve in the Afri-Lift Missionary Society.

Friday, 4 July 2014


Osiligi is a maasai word meaning hope. The rehabilitation centre in Kiserian, an hour drive away from the city centre, has brought hope to youth  who had no direction in life and who felt that life had no meaning. Most of them had resorted to theft, crimes and drug and substance abuse. The rehabilitation centre gives them the hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Here is a story of a young man who joined the farm a few years ago and has now graduated to face life outside after being equipped with skills while in the centre. The skills that make him and others become great assets in the society.
Doing studies

Joseph (not his real name) is a young man who was born in Elungongo in Western Kenya. He is from a family of eight children, three sisters and four brothers. The mother stays back in the village doing farming with the rest of the family while Joseph lives with the father in the slums and shanties of Kibera (the largest slum in Africa).
The father works as a construction worker ‘jua kali’ (working under the hot sun) in any site he manages to find on a daily basis. This kind of job is not one that anyone can rely on for their daily needs. The father is also a heavy drinker who consumes the cheap liquor brewed in the slums. This kind of liquor has seen families break, men rendered useless and even some losing their lives as a result of the liquor.
Being raised by a drunken father is one of the most difficult kind of life that any teenage child could have. By this time, Joseph was not attending school because the father could not afford his fees. It reached a point that he no longer brought food home, came drunk and abused the son physically. This made Joseph to join the small gangs in the slums in order to survive. He would steal from people and buy food and later began using drugs because of the bad company he was spending time with.
Mixing chemicals for farming
He was soon thrown out of the house by his father who felt that he was a burden to him. He had to spend the nights in a nearby toilet at least to get warm from the cold at night. Life turned from bad to worse for the young man as sometimes he would be beaten up if caught stealing. In the slums if one is caught stealing they are either beaten and stoned to death or burnt alive. The rate of crime has increased due to school dropouts, lack of employment and poor parenting.
Our social workers were lucky to find him in time and talked him into joining the farm. For a while he hesitated owing to the fact that he had gotten used to the street life and felt that going to the farm would have turned him into a prisoner. He later agreed and joined our farm rehabilitation program and after that his life has never been the same again.
 The holistic program that seeks to rehabilitate the young men from their former lifestyle of crime, homelessness, lack of education to becoming assets to society. The program includes an onsite primary school system, counseling sessions, a sports program, computer lessons, media classes, business clubs and training in all aspects of agriculture. Upon graduation the trainee enters a work placement for fulltime employment. Trainees are involved in local community programs throughout the program.
Boys at the farm

All activities and programs are designed to improve the quality and economic circumstances and put them in a position where they can become productive members of society.
It is so fulfilling to see him as a changed young man who now has a brighter future. He is employed in a nearby farm and he manages all the activities carried in the kitchen farm. He is so grateful for the program and recommends it to the other streetboys.For sure there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Mothers do influence their sons and daughters! One of life`s greatest blessings is to have a godly mother. And, thus the greatest gift you can give to your children is to be a godly mother. You cannot impart what you do not possess. If your kids seldom see you seeking God through His word, they won’t catch it for themselves. If they do not see you changing through your growing understanding and obedience to the word, they won’t be motivated to be in the word themselves.
Being born and raised up in the slums and shanties of Kibera is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. It has helped me appreciate all the mothers in the world because of the struggles they go through to raise their children. The strength of a woman is way beyond my comprehension.
I am a third born in a family of six girls. Bringing up a girl child in the slums is one of the most difficult tasks any mother can face. My father being jobless at that point and my mother a housewife wasn’t easy. Mum had to look for a way to feed her children by doing all types of jobs from washing people’s clothes, fetching water for people living in the nearby estates and even hawking bananas at least to put some food on our table. I look back at where I have come from and I celebrate my mother. I would have been married by now with a family of three or four children if my own mother didn’t stand by me and taught my siblings and me the principles we were to abide by.
Almost all the children sponsored by Afri-lift come from Kibera slums and some of them are being raised by single mothers. Am always amazed at how these mothers sacrifice a lot for their survival.Merab one of our sponsored children is being brought up by a single mother who works as a cleaner during the day and still looks for something else to do in the evening to make sure that her three children will not lack the basic needs. These reflect in her kids who perform so well in class because they are following in her footsteps.
Nancy with her siblings
Nancy, one of the girls in our programme would like to do catering as a career because of what she sees in her mother. Her mum sells French fries in the slums to help cater for their family needs. Mothers are priceless gifts from God and I wonder how the world would have been without mums.
I have nothing against the fathers but through my experience in the slums, I have come to know that women are mostly the bread-winners in their families. They wake up early when men are still in bed, do cleaning, cook, prepare the kids for school and go in search of jobs leaving the men sleeping. Most men wake up at 10am and laze around while some go to “alcohol dens” and take cheap brew while gossiping about nothing. Families that have both hardworking parents have a reason to celebrate.
Children tend to do as parents do, so the mother has the greatest influence on the children. We celebrate all the mothers in the world.”A foolish woman destroys her house with her own hands while a virtuous woman makes things work”.
A wife of noble character
A wife of noble character who can find?
She makes linen garments and sells them
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with dignity and faithful instruction is on her tongue
She watches over the affairs of her household
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed:
Many women do noble things
But she surpasses them all.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Servant Leadership

“It’s alright to be Goliath but always act like David.” Philip Knight

A few months ago, I graduated from Daystar University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication.  During my time at the university, one of their core values that were deeply emphasized to us was servant leadership.  The idea of servant leadership didn’t mean a lot to me until I came out here to the real world.

Servant leadership is a philosophy whereby the leader puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.  This concept became a reality to me as I started working here in Afri-Lift. I can say I work with the most amazing colleagues on the planet.

It is here that I have seen the leaders roll up their sleeves and help with the work assigned to others.  I have seen the same leaders join the rest of staff in Monday morning devotions, they join in missions to Kibera, lunch and even in small events like birthday parties. Do not get me wrong, there is always work to do around here but at the end of the day one leave the office feeling part of the team.

This style of leadership has also trickled down to our children sponsorship program. The Riziki Child Assistance program has leaders who have graduated from the program and volunteer to run the program. These leaders sacrifice a lot of time to prepare for their monthly meetings and ensure that everything runs smoothly. They work really hard to make sure that the rest of the children have fun and learn from the program.

The perfect embodiment of the servant leadership philosophy is our Lord Jesus Christ.  In John 13: 1-17, we find him doing something quite unfamiliar to his disciples- washing feet. In those days it was customary for the Jews to wash their feet before a meal. I believe this was because walking in sandals all day in the filthy roads of Palestine did not make eating at low tables easier since you know; dirty feet are not a great sight to look at while eating.

It is at this point that Jesus stood up and began to wash his disciple’s feet. This was work often left to the lowliest servants in the house. I can just imagine the disciples were stunned to silence at as His act of humility. To the disciples these would be stooping too low for someone who was regarded to be the King and conqueror. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus revealed that He had come to serve and not be served and to give his life as a ransom for many.

So, what kind of leader are you? Remember, you don't have to be on the organization's executive team to be a leader. True leaders(whether they are at the helm or not) are humble. They don't much care about the spotlight. They care about the results. And that comes from focus.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Happy Valentines Day

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. 

I love Valentines Day – the chocolates, the flowers, the cards, the meals out. It’s a great time to celebrate the special people in our lives.

When we look at the origins of Valentines Day it sheds a different light on the situation. Many early martyrs were called by the name of Valentine. Legend tells us that there was one particular man called Valentine who was imprisoned for doing acts of charity to persecuted Christians and also overseeing the marriage of Roman soldiers (there were those forbidden to marry). The whole idea of cards and celebrating the love between a husband and wife originated in the United Kingdom.

In the United States 18.6 billion is spent on Valentines Day alone.

Even here in Kenya, Valentines Day is becoming a bigger event.

When we get down to it though, why do we leave it till one day a year to tell that special someone how much they matter to you? We should be expressing it often and in different ways. A simple note of appreciation, putting together a playlist of your favorite songs, pulling a chair out so the person can be seated, opening the car door for them, telling others how wonderful they are.

Expressions of love don’t have to be huge things. At the moment there seems to be a competition of who can give the most romantic marriage proposal and then post it online. While it’s a great idea, true love means going through the hard and good times TOGETHER. It means having the other persons back and means being the love of Christ to someone who doesn't necessarily deserve it.

I have seen a great example of love expressed at our monthly meeting for sponsored children in the Kibera Slum. While these young people are sponsored to stay in school, they are required to attend the monthly meeting of games, singing, activities and a time around God’s Word. Each attendee also gets a snack at the end of the program. It always incorporates a piece of fruit and a drink as well as items such as a doughnut, hot dog or samosas. We celebrate birthdays for that month and each is presented with a card. Birthdays are not a big event in Kibera, but we want to get across the message that they are important to both God and us.

Children playing in Nakuru

It always amazes me how much food these little ones can eat in a short period of time. Many times I have seen children take a small amount of the cake for themselves and ask if it’s okay to take the other portion back for one of their siblings (which of course we say yes!). It may seem a small thing to us, but to the person who gets a piece of cake, it is huge. In the West we would just throw leftovers in the rubbish bin. Here, every morsel is important, so to share it with someone else is a huge sacrifice.

Acts of kindness whether done randomly or on purpose can impact someone forever.

Let’s think about what we can do for someone else on Valentines Day but also beyond that. Do something that tells them that they are special and that both God and we appreciate them. Pick up the phone and talk to someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send an SMS saying ‘hi’. Post a letter (that doesn't happen much anymore). Put up a photo album online of people who have impacted you and say ‘thanks’.
Tell someone you love them. If God could express his love by giving his son Jesus for us, we too can express God’s love to others.