Christopher Mwaniki Muthoni, Chair
I was born 2 June 1990 in Kenya -- in the town of Nyeri on the slopes of the Aberdare Mountains. I have four siblings, and since my single mum couldn’t care for all of us, I was raised by my grandparents. My father, who I don't know to this day, never cared for any of us. I grew up knowing only my younger sister, Jane -- as my mother and my two older brothers and an older sister had moved to Nairobi for work.
Primary school was a big challenge for me, but I had the desire to succeed. When I finished primary school in 2004, my grandpa didn’t have money for me to continue my education. And then when I was only fourteen, just a few weeks after my final exams, my grandmother died. Then my aunt and her son came to live with us -- all five of us were in three small rooms.
After being out of school for a term, I really wanted to be in secondary school like other kids, and God gave me the inspiration to seek for a way. I went to the principal of Riamukurwe Secondary School, and she took me in, with no uniform or books -– and later, she arranged for me to live in Tumaini Children’s Center.
I was so excited about staying in this very beautiful place, and I promised myself that I would work very hard, so that one day in the future I would be able to live in my own beautiful home. I met many Americans who came to visit the Centre -– they loved my jovial mood and wanted to be my friends.
After I finished secondary school in 2009, one of them sponsored me at Cooperative College in Karen, which is next to Karen Blixen’s farm (of Out of Africa fame). I studied at Cooperative College for three years, and graduated in 2012 with a credit 1 grade. My sponsor was so excited about my high grades that he sponsored me again, for further studies at Daystar University. Now I am hoping to finish the requirements in April for a Finance and Accounting degree.
In April 2012 I joined a NGO, Hand in Hand Eastern Africa, where I work with poor women to help them start their own small enterprises. I train them to be entrepreneurs -- to create jobs for themselves -- and I teach them the skills required for making detergents, yoghurt, cakes and woven items, and then they can sell what they produce and support themselves and their families.
All this I do, as I also attend classes in the evenings, so that I can pay my rent and buy food and clothes for myself -- and buy some things too, for my sweet young sister Jane, whom I love so much. I have seen the power of the friendship -– it is worth much more than gold.
I am thankful for the many people who have helped me to become who I am today. My goal in this life is to love and be kind to everyone, especially the poor, and to promote peace among all peoples. I believe God created me for this purpose, and I pray that He will continue to help me to help the poor to develop their talents.
I am happy meeting new friends each day, and I am happy that God gave me my heart of love. In God I Trust -– and every day I pray the St. Francis of Assisi prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace ---”, as well as read and meditate on Tracy Fox’s OMBS (One Minute Bible Study) messages.
James Mburu Maina, Secretary
I joined Huruma Children’s Home in Nyeri in 2008. I came from Rift Valley province during the 2007/2008 post-election violence and had camped at Ruring’u stadium in Nyeri as an Internal Displaced Person (IDP). It was while I was there that the Patron of the Tumaini Children’s Home, Reverend Bernard Muindi paid a visit and requested the Home accomodate the children who were residing at the camp. At the children’s home, I was given shelter and an opportunity to go to school. I remained in the home until 2015 when I completed my undergraduate course in December.
I joined the neighboring Riamukurwe Secondary School in 2008 as a Form One student (9th Grade) and after four years sat for my Form Four national exams. I stayed one year at the Home and then through the help of the Think Kindness Kenya scholarship fund, I joined Kenya Methodist University in January 2013. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems in July 2016.
I enjoy playing soccer, watching movies, and travelling during my free time.
I am inspired by all the people who have changed my life and have given me hope for a brighter future through education. I feel compelled to give back to my fellow brothers and sisters through the Tumaini-Huruma Alumni Association because of all the support I have received.
It is my belief, hope, and prayer that the Tumaini-Huruma Alumni Association will inspire the kids and play a big role in their lives to change and help them morally, spiritually, and most importantly academically through constant encouragement and serving as a role model for the kids to emulate.
Beatrice Khakali, Treasurer
My name is Beatrice Khakali, and I am the Treasurer of the Tumaini Huruma Alumni Association. Our family of eight fled Western Kenya to Nyeri when I was very young due to violence. When I was four years old, my father passed away which was the beginning of our financial hardships that carried on through 2006, when I started secondary school. It was then that I boldly introduced myself to Reverend Bernard Muindi who facilitated my adoption into the Huruma Children’s Home. I remain grateful for the stability that this provided me as it allowed me to focus on my education.
Through the support of sponsors of and donors to the Tumaini Children’s Home, I enrolled in Murang’a College of Technology and earned a certificate in Food & Beverage in Service Production in 2011. In 2013 I completed a diploma in hotel management. I am currently an Assistant Manager at Batian Guest Hotel in Nanyuki and have had the opportunity to hire two women from the Huruma Children’s Home.
I love the children growing up in Tumaini and Huruma homes and enjoy using humor as a tool to connect with them. I am eager to see my brothers and sisters in the homes receive the same benefit that was accorded to me. I would also like to see them become useful and responsible people in society.