Friends and supporters gathered in the Park Cities home of Faith and Ray Stazzoni for a reception and presentation on the Imbirikani Girls High School (IGS) in Kenya given by the Neema-Huruma Foundation in Dallas. In Swahili, Neema-Huruma means grace and mercy.
The foundation raises funds for the school which was founded by Clyde and Betsy Jackson in 2006 to provide education to Maasai children living in the Imbirikani Group Ranch area of southwest Kenya. 98% of girls in the area do not have educational opportunities after primary school so they enter into early marriages at ages 14-15 and are subjected to a life of child bearing and hard physical labor carrying wood and water. Continuing education for these girls provides a promising future. The school which is owned and operated by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) opened with 40 students and now has capacity for 300.
“Our goal is to elevate the girls’ lives,” said Jackson. “The Imbirikani Girls High School provides the education that is desperately needed by the young women of the Maasai tribe and other tribes. Parents from as far away as Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa are sending their daughters now to IGS for its reputation for excellent academics and Godly character building.”
Foundation board member Stan Gardner shared some of his personal experiences from a mission trip to the school in the summer of 2015. He saw how poor the Imbirikani area was and the eagerness of the girls wanting to learn, but prevented by lack of funds.
“While donations for any amount are appreciated, there are immediate areas where help is needed,” said Gardner. “25 sponsors are urgently needed to pay $750 which would cover a one year scholarship for a girl’s tuition, room and board and a uniform. $5,000 is needed for new textbooks and $20,000 would construct new classrooms.”
The Foundation provided photos and biographies of individual girls that could be “adopted” and several guests made donations to cover the one year cost.
Judy Blasing proudly displayed the photo of the young girl she “adopted”.
“I am so glad to make the difference in one girl’s education to improve her future,” said Blasing. “I look forward to meeting her when I go on the annual mission trip this summer.”
The public is also encouraged to support the Imbirikani Girls High School. Donations can be made by mail or online.
By Mail: Make checks payable to: Highland Park Presbyterian Church-Kenya School and mail to: Clyde Jackson – 600 N. Pearl, Suite 650, L.B. 149 – Dallas TX 75201.
Donate online via secure server: www.NHKenya.org. Click on the “Donate Now” button.
Neema-Huruma Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization. Donations will be processed through HPPC or directly through the Dallas offices at Neema-Huruma Foundation. Tax-deductible receipts will be sent.
Further information about the Imbirikani Girls High School and the Neema-Huruma Foundation is available at www.nhkenya.org.
Photos by Deborah Brown