BACKGROUND Ndoto: For Africa’s Future is a Christ-centered community development organization that works in the Obunga slum of Kisumu, Kenya. Ndoto is a Swahili word meaning “dream.” We aim to give at-risk youth a chance to dream for themselves, their community, and the kingdom of God through education, discipleship, and development. As an organization, we believe that forgotten communities can be transformed from the inside out. Our dream is to see entire communities changed, not only individual lives transformed.
Ndoto is still supporting families in Kenya who have been drastically affected by the worldwide pandemic. Many families have lost jobs and income for different reasons. The government has instituted travel restrictions, which have affected product supply in many markets. Many people have moved to rural areas, which has affected demand for products and services in urban areas. Other businesses have simply crumbled as cascading economic fallout means that fewer households can afford to buy what they need.
Education is a cornerstone of Ndoto. Last year, we extended the benefits of education to our Kenyan staff, too. When Joshua joined our team years ago, he was a high-school dropout taxi driver. While working for us, he earned the Kenyan equivalent of a GED. Last year, he began a certificate program, the only college program available to him. His school continued online during the pandemic, and he took extra classes while the Ndoto offices were closed to get ahead.
Part of Joshua’s flooded property Kisumu sits on the edge of Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake. The lake’s level varies significantly, as its primary source is rainwater and its primary loss is through evaporation, not river outflow. With massive rainstorms, the lake has recently reached its highest level in 120 years of records, causing enormous flooding in nearby villages. Families have been displaced as they move to higher ground, and homes and farms have been submerged.
Students in Kenya got more disappointing news from their government. With the rising instances of COVID-19 in Kenya and the lack of resources in the school system, Kenyan schools will now remain closed for the remainder of the school year, which aligns with the calendar year. Hopefully, schools will re-open in January, but the Ministry of Education has announced that all grade school students will repeat their grade in 2021, as students only received one of their three terms in 2020.