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Shine the Light Kenya... Helping make a brighter future for our children.
About Us
A note from founder,
Lizzie Maina.
Shine The Light Kenya is a vision born out of my passion for missions. In July, 2010 I went on a mission trip with my church under the OneHope organization to Mapela village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. This was after the World Soccer that was held in South Africa. Our theme was incorporating soccer into lessons on patience, joy, forgiveness, peace, love and many other life lessons while playing soccer with children in nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Before setting out for this trip, each person was required to write an informative letter on missions. I wanted to express my interest in missions. I recalled how my late mother on multiple instances passionately talked about how my late grandfather was actively involved with missionaries who came from Scotland in 1899. These missionaries settled at Thogoto, kikuyu, on the Kenya Central Highlands. 

As a young boy, my grandfather was one of the young men who joined these missionaries in starting evening classes which later became schools. In 1920, my grandfather was ordained as a church elder and became the first church elder to be commissioned to Rungiri, Kikuyu which is about 15 miles away from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. It was very exciting to see a picture on the internet of the first twenty (20) Elders ordained by the Scottish missionaries in 1920. He was instrumental in obtaining land and building the Rungiri Presbyterian Church, the Rungiri Primary School in the 1920's.He died in 1962.

It was when in South Africa that I meditated on what my life meant. What legacy would I like to leave concerning my family? I was in a very lonely place within my spirit. The last living member of my close family, my only brother, was on dialysis in Kenya and was not doing well. I knew he did not have long to live. He died in February, 2011.

I traveled to Kenya for my brother's funeral in February, 2011.Thereafter, I visited the Joseph Ngwaci Memorial Rungiri Presbyterian church, which is named in the memory of my late grandfather and I also visited the Rungiri Primary school. This is a public day school that accommodates close to 800 boys and girls. 

I felt at home in this place that due to many family constraints, I had never visited in my life and I knew that there was work for me to do. Instead of the pain I felt after losing my close relatives, all at a young age, I was energized by standing in the grounds where my late grandfather ones stood. I was ready to step into his shoes and continue with what he started.

It was heartbreaking for me to witness the deplorable condition under which these students were learning. In this school, there was no water, no electricity, no sports equipment, no school feeding program, children shared a few torn text books, six pit latrines, some of them with no doors to name just a few. There were about two hundred orphans in this school at that time. Parents or guardians who have been given the responsibility of providing these needs are laborers who depend on daily wages and can barely put food on the table.

When I returned from Kenya, I shared pictures of the school with a few of my friends. They come from areas in Kenya that are more than 50 miles apart and we came to realize that rural public schools in these areas share the same problems. All these schools perform poorly in the final national primary school exams. This means that students in these schools do not graduate to join high schools and so they join their parents in becoming casual laborers. Some of them, in desperation, participate in criminal activities in order to earn a living.

We decided to come up with a plan of action to equip these students in order to improve their performance so that they would qualify to go to national high schools and colleges. This would ensure that they landed in steady, well earning careers that would improve their living standard and in turn break the poverty cycle. This would improve the standard of living in whole communities.

As we focus on improving education in Kenya rural primary schools, we honor those missionaries who made great sacrifices as they pioneered education in Kenya with the support of elders like my grandfather, who together changed the destiny of Kenya as a nation. Shine The Light Kenya's goal is to create a bright future for the children of Kenya as we expand nationwide. We welcome you to join us in this effort. Thank you.

-Lizzie Maina