Happy New Year, Cherish Sponsors and Supporters!
January is a great time to pause and picture our young Kenyan friends walking with anticipation through the villages of Meru to start a new year of school. Because of Cherish and HOPE, over 200 students are experiencing school security; they don’t have to wonder if their family’s money will run out before the next term’s school fees are due, abruptly ending their formal education. Not only do they enjoy educational security, but they also know they have a stable and loving neighbor – their HOPE guardian – checking in on them periodically to make sure they have the clothing, food, and even medicine they need to flourish. I feel so blessed to be a part of this good work, and I hope you do too.
I traveled to Kenya with Cherish three years ago. Visiting the homes and schools of our sponsored children showed me that our Cherish students are learning so much! At home they learn practical skills such as farming, gardening, budgeting, water purification, and management. Their school learning – such as language acquisition and problem solving – augments their real-world learning to open their mind to think big and find innovative ways to support their family in the future. I will say this – these Meru students work hard at both home and school! They are going to be well equipped for a productive adult life.
To make up for educational losses during the school closures in 2020, students in Kenya will be attending a 4th term of school in 2022. This Is the equivalent of schools in Washington deciding to continue school through summer break. While Cherish sponsors will not be expected to make a 4th contribution this year, we do want to invite you to consider make an extra gift to help cover these additional school fees for our Cherish students. Simply label your donation, “Extra family gift.” For reference, the cost per term for a primary student is $118 and for a secondary student is $195.
Cherish maintains the best aspects of being small, grass roots, and personal (despite tremendous growth) through relational letter-writing and prayer. We do want to let sponsors know that extra gifts beyond sponsorship dues can no longer be ear-marked to go to a specific child or family. It is healthier from a non-profit standpoint for donors to designate their above-and-beyond donation, “Extra family gift,” and allow the HOPE guardians to discern where the money needs to be directed. This money will be used for unforeseen needs such as food, clothing, and medicine for the children, or spikes in school fees.
Other bits of news –
- Cherish has a new, useful, and easy-to-remember email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Multiple Kenya Team members will have access to this mailbox so inquiries can quickly be directed to the right person.
- There are several students waiting for sponsors; see the list at cherishmeru.org.
- Sponsorship donations are due March 5, June 5, and October 5.
- View your Cherish giving – past, present, and future – online! See link for details.
Thank you for your faithful partnership with Cherish Meru. Sponsors are making such a difference. Speaking for my family, I know the money that we pre-designate for Kingdom purposes is the easiest yet most gratifying part of our budget. It is a practical way to express our trust of a good God who cares for our needs as well as the needs of the children in Meru – He really is good “all the time!”
Cherish Team Member and Cherish Sponsor
UPPC Elder of Outreach and Mission
email@example.com | (253) 459-4049
UPPC Minister of Outreach
firstname.lastname@example.org | (253) 292-2848
P.S. Be sure to check the updated Donation Instructions to help ensure your donations are received correctly.