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New Life Nyambene is committed to creating a better future for some of the most disadvantaged and stigmatised children in Africa. Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned street children in Kenya and to give them the educational opportunities that are their best chance of escaping destitution.
Welcome to our Christmas newsletter which, despite all challenges, is full of good news.  As the days shorten in the UK and publess evenings, bare of friends turn our minds towards Christmas trees, online parties and new year vaccinations, I am delighted to bring you a whole list of 2020 rejoicing from Maua.
What a year!  I think it has possibly been our best ever, to which extraordinary thanks are owed to Benard Mwangi our project manager who has led it all; and to Patrick Munene and Faith Kaberia, our staff team, whose care has created the contented stability of our family. 
Winifred Kathambi, alumna and our teacher during lockdown, with Roy, our youngest child
Here are ten highlights:
  1. Before anyone knew what 2020 would bring, I was able to visit Maua and spend invaluable face-to-face time with crucial contacts as well as with the children
  2. The lockdown brought them excellent teaching so that they are even better prepared for end-of-year examinations - which are happening as I write!
  3. Our medical student, Patrick Mwenda, never had to leave Nairobi and is now on placement in Kitale County Hospital
  4. We moved to new rented premises, which are better in every way than where we have been since 2015
  5. We employed a new Matron, and are reaping daily benefit from her loving, capable presence
(Above left) A mathematics lesson.  In school several children had found maths difficult.  Now, with individual help, there have been many breakthrough moments.

(Above right) Winifred Kathambi teaches a humanities class.

(Left) Our comfortable new bunk beds!
6.  We were finally able to buy all the children new beds
7.  As a result of your response to our appeal during the summer, we have been able to bring in Mark  (below left) and he is now happily part of the family
8.  The Onion Farm is successful and ready for harvest
9.  Benard has created a fish farm on the same land, and the fish are also nearly ready for the first 'harvest'
10. CarolJune, who finished secondary school last year, has secured a place on an IT diploma  course, to begin in February
Several of our older boys have either completed a course or are about to begin a course in heavy plant driving at this college.
And in the Uk:
  • Lockdown enabled me to mine a treasure trove of new volunteering support
  • We have re-branded ourselves, and a new website is on the way
  • Although we regretfully accepted the resignation of Michael Winterson, with whom we retain the warmest of relationships; we have welcomed two new trustees, Olive Branch (Kenyan Advisor and Liaison) and John Downey (Governance and Fund-raising). Their contributions are bringing new possibilities and increasing our capacity and vision
  • Zoom has enabled weekly staff meetings with the team in Maua, so that I am in constant touch with events as they unfold, and can send and receive video messages to and from both staff and children
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY 
To crown the year, Benard is planning a tremendous Christmas celebration and feast, traditional to Kenya, and an event that will bring a good year to a wonderful climax.  He tells me that after all their suffering, he wants to give the children the  celebratory experiences they have never had; so he is planning a goat slaughtering.  That is the apotheosis of a rural Kenyan family Christmas, and everyone is already excited and happy.  Benard plans to give them all the flavours of the meat: boiled, fried, roasted.  They will eat the entire goat, except the hair and outer hooves he tells me, and it will be washed down with fruit juice, rice and chapattis. 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS BERNARD, FAITH, PATRICK AND ALL YOUR FAMILIES!
FINALLY, let me remind you why we do this.  Another of our secondary school girls has written her story.  It is probably the most harrowing I have yet seen.  She writes of being raised by her biological parents until she was two, when she witnessed her drunken father's habitual beating of her mother going too far, and "the painful part that I recall, my father took a kitchen knife and slit off my mother neck.. and my mother died as I watch." 
 
The father has a life-sentence, but the wider family rejected the girl because it was through her testimony to a rescuing police officer that he was convicted.  She went temporarily to a grandmother, but by the age of four "I would wake up at 4 am and sleep at 11 pm having completed all duties. The lady turned to an animal she would beat me with no reason and even refused to give me food." The chores included grazing cattle and gathering firewood, washing clothes and cooking.  She was too little to control the cattle, so she was constantly having to chase them, with her load of firewood on her back.  She came to us after being beaten unconscious when she was six years old.  The saddest thing she writes is, "At that moment I realised my life has no value."
 
I have read that phrase too often in our children's stories.  They have infinite value, and they learn that through your generous support.  Because of you, she can now write of her introduction to New Life Nyambene Children's Home:
 
"I met many girls and boys who later I come to learn they are my brothers and sisters who I will ever know my entire life."

Her ambition is to be a doctor (she is bright and studies hard) because "it is embedded in humanity. It was only through humanity and kindness that I have made it this far. Thank you mum, Miriam; it is only via my dream that I can be able to carry your mission of making someone's life better and bearable."
If anything you have read has moved you or made your heart glad, please consider sponsoring New Life Nyambene.  A monthly contribution will enable us to continue to provide our current level of care, and increase it with laptops and books and medical care for our existing children.  Our dream is to fill to capacity next year - can you bring in another child and save another life?  If you will, we can! 
Join the joy of restoring life - click here to make it happen!
Copyright 2020, New Life Nyambene. All rights reserved.

Keep in touch we'd love to hear from you:
New Life Nyambene Team
5 Bridge Hill House
Canterbury
Kent
CT4 5AY
Email: info@newlifenyambene.org

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