Arise and Shine
“Arise and Shine”
KCEP joins the ARDF Family
“I call it historic!” exclaimed Janet Helms, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Kenyan Christian Education Partnership (KCEP). She was reporting the results of the Kenyan Primary exams held in the fall of 2017. For the first time, 8th year students from Tumaini Academy had taken national exams and were about to taste a piece of the fruit from a tree planted almost eight years ago.
KCEP was founded in 2010 with the initial purpose of building Tumaini Academy. When it opened, the school had only one grade level. Now those first students were striving to score high enough marks in order to be accepted into secondary (high) school.
When the results of the exams were released, Tumaini Academy was the best school in the district, ahead of 19 other schools. The top seven students from the district in 2017 were all Tumaini students.
Tumaini Academy is located in Sololo, in Marsabit District, close to the Ethiopian border. Here, more children are engaged in child labor (26%), than attend primary school. How did such a remote area produce such stellar students?
“Back in 2008, there was only a dream and purchased land where Tumaini stands today, completed, tall and strong between the stunning mountains of Sololo, Kenya with approximately forty students in every grade level. This story is marked by God’s miraculous timing providing just what we needed, at just the right time, with the exact amount of donations to build for the next phase.” – Janet Helms
Tumaini has been a gift to the entire community. Indeed, the school has become an educational, spiritual, and economic center of the community. “We spread the Gospel, through education and the meeting of physical needs,” Bishop of Marsabit, Qampicha Daniel Wario says. Helms explains, “Even though sixty percent of Tumaini students come from Muslim homes, they all experience the love of Jesus.”
“Tumaini” means “hope” in Kiswahili, the unifying language of Kenya. Through the faithful work of the local community and their North American partners, the school is bringing hope through quality Christian education to the families of Sololo.
ARDF joined KCEP to build a multipurpose room at Tumaini Academy in 2015. Now, KCEP is joining the ARDF family as an ongoing project to bring quality education to even more children in Northern Kenya.
Bishop Qampicha and the Diocese of Marsabit have purchased land for two Christian high schools: one for boys and one for girls. The goal is to have one operating by January 2020. KCEP will continue the journey with them, leveraging the larger audience that ARDF brings. KCEP already has a strong group of supporters, many who gather each year at the annual Harvest Jubilation. North Americans concerned about Christian education in remote areas of Africa sponsor students or teachers to make a lasting impact. Now ARDF donors can join them.
What happened to the graduating children who did so well on the national exam? All seven of them were accepted into regional Christian High Schools and are continuing their education, thanks to scholarships provided by KCEP donors. The plan is that with the Diocese’s construction of a new high school, future Tumaini graduates will not have to go so far away to study.
We know that God is preparing Tumaini students for something so much greater. Arise and Shine (Isaiah 60:1) is the motto of Tumaini Academy. With God’s help, these students will carry this motto with them, allowing Jesus to shine through wherever they go.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” - Isaiah 60:1
Read an extended version of this article in The Apostle (Easter & Pentecost 2018 issue).