Read For Change - Raising Funds for Kenya
Our second annual Read for Change: Read-a-thon was a great success and we raised close to $20,000! One of the causes that we were fundraising for was a school and medical clinic in Kenya and we wanted to share an update with you from Larry Carruthers. Larry and his wife, Francine are missionaries that we have been supporting in Kenya for many years. It is very encouraging to see how the money we have raised is making a difference and having a positive impact on those that receive it.
While attending a peace talk way up in a very desolate area of Kenya we met a six-year-old deaf and mute girl. Her name in English translates to Nasha. Her parents considered her a curse and therefore neglected her, emotionally and physically.
Her parents were glad to grant us permission to raise their child, so after obtaining a letter from the local chief we at (Out of the Ashes – Building Beyond Borders – KCC) are now her legal guardians.
A friend who teaches ASL came out last month from Kelowna to assist us in retrieving Nasha from her village and begin the process of teaching her sign. The two-day trip back from her isolated village was a steady stream of new wonders and sights for Nasha. She had never seen a cow, a two-story building, driven on pavement, never had continuous access to a mirror, ate an apple, and when she saw her first mannequin, she was quite puzzled.
Arriving back in Kitale we hired a sign teacher from Nairobi to come and live with Nashas’ new family for one month, teaching basic sign to both the family and Nasha, before she was enrolled in school.
January is the start of the school year in Kenya. Nasha is now attending the best deaf school in East Africa. It is a boarding school of a couple hundred children, where all the staff know sign, and some of the teachers are former students. She has been assessed as profoundly deaf, although a hearing aid would help her recognize some sounds.
The teachers are amazed by her curiosity and leadership tendencies. They affirmed what we already knew, and that is, Nasha is unique, extremely intelligent, funny, a bit stubborn, but very loving, which in turn attracts everyone to her.
Her teachers were amazed how much sign she learned in that one month prior to enrolling. We visit her the first Saturday of each month, and school here breaks every three months and the students return home for one month. Nashas’ new home has seven girls and one boy, who all love dancing, singing, and playing together. I believe, she thinks her new life could not be any more desirable at this time.