Meet a Kenya Works Student Sponsor!
As I look back on the letters that have travelled from my home in Appleton to the Tanui family in Nairobi and theirs back to me, I am so thankful that I made the decision so many years ago to sponsor their daughter, Lytress. Especially this past year when COVID made the world more desperately united; all of us fighting the same battle; rich and poor, all colors, races and beliefs … those of us with so much, battling the same virus that the Tanuis feared in their simple dwelling in the slums of Nairobi. Today I feel closer and even more a part of this global community. After years of exchanging letters and photos, I was fortunate to get a short video of Lytress recently and it grew that connection. Here was a young lady - not just one among 7 children - with a message and wish to come to see me here in the US. In the latest photo with her parents and siblings, all together, dressed for their photo op, I can clearly see how their being in the care of VICODEC and Kenya Works has given them a sense of self and pride over the years as they stand a little taller, in spite of these difficult times. I can even see a sense of style emerge, in what they chose to wear. It reminds me again that we are all not so different. They have remained a family with the help of these organizations that aim to help the poorest of the poor be fed, clothed and educated. And education is everything to these families. Their letters beam with pride as each of their children progress to the next level in school with high honors. The satisfaction of sponsorship comes in seeing this progress over time. It’s also personal. I know that the money I send goes to Lytress and her family as is best determined by people with boots-on-the-ground there who truly care. I don’t have to worry that it is spent on administrative costs or that it is used to advertise or exploit their need. I do hope that one day I will meet Lytress and her wish to come here comes true. I look forward to more photos and letters until then. I thank the people who so lovingly work to advance the wellbeing of families like hers and individuals there that are not so fortunate to have one. For all of them, Kenya Works is family. ~ Lou Ann McCutcheon