What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support education, food, shelter and health services for children in St. Vincent’s Nursery School, Rescue Center and Scholarship Program in Kibera, Kenya.
St. Vincent's is a grassroots organization located in Kibera, Kenya – one of Africa’s largest slums. As a result of the high rates of HIV and high levels of poverty, Kibera is home to a large number of orphaned and vulnerable children who lack the basic necessities to stay healthy and safe. For the past two decades, St. Vincent's has worked to build a society where these most vulnerable children receive the necessary love and care essential to survive and thrive.
St. Vincent’s provides critical services to orphaned and vulnerable children and their families through our Nursery School, Rescue Center and Scholarship Program.
Nursery School: Our Nursery School provides early childhood development services to 85 orphans and extremely vulnerable children between the ages of 3 and 7 from the Kibera slum. At school, the children receive early education from our three trained teachers and Head Teacher, Alice; two nutritious, daily meals prepared by our cook, Dorcas; and other health and wellness services, such as HIV testing, deworming and hygiene education.
Rescue Center: Our Rescue Center provides a safe and loving home to 21 children who have been orphaned or experienced abuse or neglect in their homes. The children, ranging from ages 3 to 21 years, are cared for by our House Mother, Grace. Originally established to provide emergency care, the home offers a safe place for children with both short and long term needs. All children attend school, receive needed medical care, and whenever possible are reunited with guardians or extended family.
Scholarship Program: Our Scholarship Program was initially created to support our Nursery School graduates whose families were unable to cover the costs associated with sending their children to primary school (e.g., uniforms, textbooks, school supplies, etc.). Today, our Scholarship Program enables 25 children and youth to attend primary and secondary school, as well as university. Scholarships cover tuition, textbooks, registration fees and school supplies.
Ugandan by birth, Lucy Kayiwa is widely known in Kibera as “Shosho Manyanga” (or grandmother) for the kind of love and care she provides to children and families. Following her retirement from teaching in the Kenya public school system and decades of community volunteer work, Lucy founded St. Vincent’s in 2000 and now serves as its Director. With unwavering perseverance, Lucy stretches scarce resources and taps into a vast network that she has worked hard to fulfill the basic needs of the most vulnerable children in Kibera.
“Every child in this One World deserves a chance. We are proud to be part of St. Vincent's whose volunteers and staff in Kibera, Kenya work tirelessly day in and day out to give children that chance. And we thank you, One World, for partnering with us to help make a difference in the lives of these precious children at St. Vincent's."
St. Vincent’s is co-championed by Christina Stellini, Carla Lundstrom and Diane Yongue (different last names but all related!). They have been fundraising and working with the organization since 2009 when St. Vincent’s began experiencing a severe funding crisis and almost had to close its doors. They have made trips together to Kibera to see the work in action and coordinate events and campaigns in the United States to enable St. Vincent’s to continue helping the children and community in Kibera.
Christina works in international development, currently as a Technical Advisor with World Education, Inc. supporting orphan and vulnerable children programs in East and Southern Africa. A native of California, Christina earned a Bachelor’s of Political Science/International Relations from UCLA and a Master’s of Arts in International Development Studies from The George Washington University. When she is not working, Christina is coaching basketball at a local high school, cooking or fundraising for St. Vincent's.
Carla works as a certified public accountant in Walnut Creek, CA. She also works as a Controller for TechFutures, a non-profit organization that runs a technology program in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Convinced by her daughter, Christina, to make the trip to Kenya in 2010, her first ever Africa visit, she has been committed to supporting St. Vincent’s ever since. In her free time, Carla enjoys gardening, meeting with her book club and Skyping with her grandkids in Sweden and England.
Diane has been teaching preschool in the S.F. Bay Area for the past 20 years. Her passion for children was the reason she decided to join her niece, Christina, and sister-in-law, Carla, on a trip to Kibera back in 2010. Once there, she fell in love with everyone and everything that was St. Vincent's. Along with teaching preschool, Diane spends time babysitting her granddaughter and volunteering at a local recreation center for children and adults with disabilities.