A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOARD PRESIDENT
As our sponsors and donors know, SHARE operates an Orphan Sponsorship Program and several other programs that seek to alleviate the impacts of the crushing poverty of the orphans and their families. Our largest fundraiser has been an annual Fall golf outing, dinner and auction that accounts for approximately half of the annual SHARE budget. It currently appears that, due to Covid-19, the fundraiser will not be held this year or if it is held, it will be a significantly modified and reduced event. As a result, we have been forced to look at cutting back some of our programs. At the same time, as noted below, there are additional demands due to food shortages in Kenya. While we know these are difficult times for everyone, if any of you can make additional donations or sponsor an orphan for $600 a year that would be an enormous help in maintaining these important programs ( see the Website at https://shareafrica.org/donate/ ) .
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SHARE
The recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Kenya has exacerbated the difficult living conditions faced by orphans in the Share Orphan Sponsorship (SOS) program and their guardians. In March, the outbreak forced the closure of the many boarding schools that SHARE children attend and the children had to return home to their villages. Lack of food is a constant issue for the people of Kenya. As a result, in order to be certain that they could receive basic sustenance, when the children were sent home SHARE has been supplying food for the children and the families they live with. Yet, the issue of food shortages has become worse and continues to strain the resources of SHARE.
As reported in the news ( https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/world/africa/coronavirus-hunger-crisis.html?referringSource=articleShare ) food shortages are spreading in Kenya and will likely impact the rural areas where our sponsored orphans are located. SHARE is an independent non-profit that receives no government funding and is entirely reliant upon the support of our sponsors/donors. These are extraordinary times and we are asking people to give what they can. If you can help SHARE provide additional assistance to the children please go to the SHARE Website ( https://shareafrica.org/donate/ ).
SHARE GRADUATES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
On a recent visit to the SHARE facilities in Kenya, a young woman arrived by bus seeking out Board members Usha Wright and Jerry Warshaw. The young lady, Beryl, turned out to be a 2010 graduate of SHARE who went on to college and is now teaching secondary school. She came to express her appreciation for everything SHARE had done for her during the eight years she was in the program. As further proof that the efforts of SHARE produce benefits beyond the aid provided to the individual orphans, Beryl sent a follow up note in which she discussed her teaching assignment. She noted in part: “I am fortunate to be in a school with the less privileged students and am now giving back to the society through them.”
ANOTHER SHARE STUDENT MOVES FORWARD
In Kenya, going to a top high school almost guarantees a top university education without cost to the student. The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Exam is taken after the equivalent of 8th grade by all students. Our sponsored orphan, Arphazad Omondi is an 11 year old boy who attends the St. Agnes Education Center as his primary school. He recently received an excellent score on the high school entrance exam and therefore will be attending one of the top high schools, the Alliance Boys High School in Nairobi. He wants to be a doctor. But he needs the continued support of SHARE so that he can stay in school through high school and therefore be able to complete study at this top high school. Like Beryl noted in the other Article, the support of our donors and sponsors can make a real difference in the lives of not only the sponsored children but those they serve in the future.
HELPING BABIES BREATHE
Many babies in Kenya die shortly after birth. Typically, there is only one person attending the birth to attend to the needs of both the mother and the newborn. As soon as the child is born, he or she is put aside and attention is turned to the mother. In that short period of time, large numbers of newborns fail to begin proper breathing and they die before anyone notices. SHARE has brought a worldwide program to our region where midwives are trained to initially turn their attention to the newborn and ensure that they are properly breathing before putting the baby down and turning attention to the mother. The program has significantly reduced infant mortality where it has been implemented. Yet, part of the impact of Covid-19 has been to force SHARE to cut back on funding for this program.