Our van bumps down a dirt road headed for one of Buckner Kenya’s five locations, all in underserved areas across the country. Each campus includes a children’s school, a health clinic, adult vocational classes, a sustainable garden and a chapel, or other designated place to pray, in addition to other things depending on the unique strengths and needs of each community.
Buckner Kenya, under the wise and steady leadership of Country Director Dickson Masindano, has been meeting the needs of communities in Kenya and bringing the Kingdom closer for nearby children and families for 23 years. His relatively small staff provides this continuum of care for more than 10,000 children and families each year.
A window into the joy culminating across Kenya
Upon arrival to each Buckner location, we experienced smiling, happy schoolchildren dressed in matching uniforms. These uniforms are made in Buckner tailor shops, serving as both a sewing educational site and a key supplier to Buckner and other schools.
All the children are excited to greet us, give us fist bumps and say, “Hello – how are you?” One school greeted us with a lively children’s indigenous drum and dance routine that was led by a music teacher who has been at Buckner for 23 years. The group has already won a regional competition and we’re praying they can continue to advance.
Classrooms are bright and cheerful, with both English and Swahili words on the walls. Outside, children play in the playground and yard. Inspired teachers and staff feel called to this work and are committed to educating more than 1,000 students each year. Many of the teachers have been there for 10 years or more.
Kenyan communities receive access to wrap-around support
Other staff onsite include family coaches who provide individualized support and counseling to more than 160 at-risk families each year. Family coaches support kinship and foster families, who may need special attention and resources. There’s a health clinic that provides vaccines, medicine, testing, routine procedures and more to the entire surrounding community.
The onsite farm provides nutritious food for the schoolchildren and staff, while training families on innovative and sustainable farming techniques to use at home.
Adults from the community can benefit from computer classes that enhance their employability or sewing classes to help them build a small business. Lastly, there’s a brick-making machine that produces materials for building new structures as well as helping families improve their homes.
Creating a community of hope empowering families to reach their potential
It’s an integrated community facilitating opportunities for family strengthening, education, health care and economic improvements - creating a place to thrive for children and families. Across the world, Buckner wants all to experience the transformative power of hope. And for Buckner Kenya, there’s no doubt that Hope shines here®.
Written by Andrea Sparks, director of government relations, and Lynn Hendricks, impact investing and resource development manager for Buckner International.