Nipe Tumaini Academy is located at the base of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. The school is run by Nipe Tumaini Children’s Home and sits on the edge of their 10 acre property. The home partners with Lahash International in restoring hope to vulnerable and abandoned children through providing holistic care and support to the children.
Nipe Tumaini Academy is a great benefit to the children who live on the compound as well as to the surrounding local community. Before the school was established, there was no other school in the village. The closest school was seven kilometers away. Lack of roads and transport systems within the village made it even more difficult for local parents to take their children to school. As a result some children from the village never attended school at all. Those who did had to undergo the ordeal of walking long distances every day to and from school, and had to also deal with the fear of attack by hyenas, which were common in the village.
For a time, the children living at Nipe Tumaini underwent a home schooling program which was helpful, but from the start they always dreamed of having a fully functional school. So when Nipe Tumaini Academy opened it’s doors for students in 2017, it was a huge relief to the home and to the local community. Many locals termed the school as “a gift from heaven.” Currently, the school goes up to grade five and has a total of 78 pupils. 17 kids are from the home and the remaining 61 are from the community. Through the school, Nipe Tumaini Children’s Home has established great ties with the local community. The relationship is mutual, with the home providing educational support to the community children and in return the parents from the community pay subsidized school fees to support the operations of the school.
When Covid-19 struck in March 2020, the country went into a series of lockdowns. Livelihoods were effected both in the villages and towns. The villagers who depended on paid labour as a source of income could not get jobs anymore due to movement and interaction restrictions. Schools were also closed for six months, including Nipe Tumaini Academy.
Thankfully, Nipe Tumaini is largely self-sustaining. In addition to its school facilities, there are also several acres dedicated for farming. Farming activities and drip irrigation ensure a steady food supply for the home throughout the year.
As the pandemic wore on, Benson the founder of Nipe Tumaini realized that some families in the village were going through serious hardships — especially hunger. Some of the affected people were families whose children attended Nipe Tumaini Academy.
Benson together with some of his staff then took the initiative to supply food items to the affected families. Most of the food items they distributed were grown on the Nipe Tumaini farm! This act of kindness from Benson and the home was a great relief to the affected families and also a good symbol of cooperation between the home and the community.
Since then, Nipe Tumaini Acadamy has been able to reopen for classes. Masks and increased hygiene help protect the students’ health as they continue progressing in their education. As coronavirus cases continue to surge across East Africa, we’re so thankful that our partners at Nipe Tumaini are always on the lookout for ways they can support and care for their own kids and the community they live in.
Just like the families living near Nipe Tumaini, there are times when we could all use a helping hand. Join us in supporting kids and families all across East Africa during this challenging time.
Saggiah Wright (Lahash International)