July 28, 2020
Dear CHERISH Sponsors and Supporters,
Earlier this year, we let you know that we would be dedicating time to prayerfully discern how we can continue to be good stewards of the resources you have given to CHERISH and UPPC. Because of you, our partnership with HOPE has served and given hope to hundreds of children over the last 17 years. Today, you collectively sponsor nearly 200 children every year. To God be the glory!
While the ministry has grown eight-fold from its humble beginnings, we have done our best to absorb increasing operational costs without asking sponsors to give more than the original sponsorship rates of $300/year for Elementary and $500/year for High School that were set in 2003. We have reached a point, however, where we can no longer continue to absorb these costs without significantly jeopardizing the ministry’s effectiveness and long-term sustainability. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to make our first-ever child sponsorship increase, which will be phased in over the next two years.
Starting September 2020, we are asking sponsors to donate $330 per year to sponsor an elementary aged child and $549 per year to sponsor a high school aged child. We will then be asking sponsors to donate $354 and $585 per year respectively, beginning September 2021.
New Sponsorship Rates
Beginning September 2020
· Elementary = $330/year; $110/trimester; $27.50/month
· High School = $549/year; $183/trimester; $45.75/month
Beginning September 2021
· Elementary = $354/year; $118/trimester; $29.50/month
· High School = $585/year; $195/trimester; $48.75/month
Spread out over the year, each annual increase will amount to an extra $2-4 per month per sponsored child. While small at the individual level, cumulatively, these increases will allow us to cover the ministry’s existing operational costs and make some much needed investments in the ministry. The timing of these increases will also allow the new rates to correspond with the Kenyan school year, which runs January-November every year.
Those of you who have already given your sponsorship donations for the the 2021 school year or beyond do not need to contribute additional funds toward the sponsorship costs for those years. We are only asking that sponsorship donations made after September 1, 2020 be at the rates listed above.
We also understand that there may be a few of you who will have difficulty making sponsorship donations at the new rates. If continuing your sponsorship at the rates listed above will create financial hardship, please contact Karen Lau (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make arrangements for continuing your child sponsorship at a rate you can afford. We want to do all that we can to foster an ongoing relationship between you and your sponsored child.
We want to use this opportunity to also let you know that the COVID-19 situation in Kenya continues to worsen. Cases are rising and the needs for food and supplies among families in Meru continue to grow. In light of increasing cases throughout Kenya, the Kenyan government has decided to keep primary and secondary schools closed until January 2021. Once schools reopen, students will restart the level/grade they began in January 2020, thereby extending their education by another year.
While Kenyan families have not been able to recoup school fees they paid prior to their school shut down in March, it has not been necessary for them to pay additional school fees for the 2020 school year. This is allowing the HOPE Guardians to use the sponsorship donations given over the last several months to take care of the growing emergency needs among the families in Meru. We have received reports back that the families are extremely grateful for the much-needed assistance they have been receiving during this unprecedented time.
Thank you for being a part of this important ministry. Stewarding the resources you’ve entrusted to us for this ministry is a responsibility we employ with great care and seriousness. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns you may have about the changes mentioned in this letter. Let us also continue to keep Kenya in our prayers. These next five months will likely be a very difficult time for the families in Meru.
(253) 564 2522 Ext. 125