Student sponsorship isn’t a new idea. Other great ministries have paved the way for how to remove financial obstacles from education in impoverished places. When we started Ndoto in 2009, it was actually a relaunch using sponsorship as the centerpiece. We had spent 6 years trying to plant a church. Only after we switched to working with young people was the church planted sustainably.
Prince Kelly was born right by Ndoto’s compound in 2006, so we knew her as an infant. Her father had abandoned the family, and her ailing mother struggled to keep a job and take care of her and her older brother, Zeddy. Her brother was the one who did odd jobs like washing motorbikes, doing dishes at a local restaurant, and draining boats at the lake to make a few shillings to feed the family. Their house was literally falling apart, sometimes without a complete roof or even a door. “Hopelessness defined our lives,” Prince remembered.
We took Zeddy into our program in 2012, and Prince followed in 2014. Two things make our sponsorship unique. First, discipleship goes hand-in-hand with education. Our dedicated team spends deep time with these students, guiding them emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. Second, we recognize that we can’t stop with 12th grade. Most students need vocational certificates and college education to reach their full potential. Zeddy will sit for his final high school exams next month.
|Prince and her brother Zeddy|
“Since I joined Ndoto,” Prince said, “I started living because I didn’t just find academic support, but also found Christ and a loving family. While my mother suggested that I leave school and get married because there was no means of surviving this unforgiving life, I found a lifeline at Ndoto, an open door, and another shot at my dreams.”
Today Prince is finishing her sophomore year of high school. This is already an achievement given her background. She tries to influence her peers and challenge the attitudes and mindsets of those coming from the same background.
We just accepted our newest class of sponsored students: 25 more young men and women who need Ndoto’s support to dream again. This brings us to over 650 students helped by Ndoto in 14 years. We’ve always felt like 300 students at a time was our capacity, however. Allowing our staff to have individual relationships with the students and maintaining a personal touch between students and sponsors is very important to us. Yet it’s clear that the need is great. From just from one office in one community, we are receiving over 500 applications for sponsorship every year.
What if Ndoto were able to sponsor more students? What if we were able to hire more staff? What if we were able to open a satellite office in a new neighborhood across town? All of these are dreams that Ndoto has, and we have open doors. What we lack are the resources. When you support Ndoto on Heroes Day, you allow us to take a step toward the future of Ndoto’s sponsorship.