Refocus Photography | Mama Gloria - Mary Wanjiku village school - Nyahururu Kenya

Mama Gloria - Mary Wanjiku village school - Nyahururu Kenya

April 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Rural Village School – Mary and James Wanjiku – Nyahururu Kenya

Our vision begins with a pastor and a teacher who have lived and farmed on the same land for three generations, James and Mary Wanjiku. James and Mary (AKA Mama Gloria), have committed their lives to serving their rural village near Nyahururu Falls, Kenya. For nearly ten years, Mary and James have been leading a local church and building a school to educate village kids, including learning and physically impaired children in and around their village. They have personally shouldered the cost of school materials and rented facilities on their own. In 2014 Lighthouse Pacifica went to Kenya with a team from Global LIFE and met Mary and James. It was then we recognized who orchestrated our meeting. The friendship was immediate and partnership would soon follow. As her students danced and sang, Mary asked us to pray for them and shared how children in Kenya are tested and all who fail to meet the academic standard (3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th grade) are not allowed to proceed any further in their public education. There are private boarding school options, but they are costly and most rural villagers are very poor and cannot afford the tuition. Mary is providing education for all children in their village, learning impaired, handicapped, those who meet the academic standards and those who do not. Mary and James are so well respected in their village, the village elders came to our second meeting in May of 2016, publically endorsing Mary as their village educator. This conversation inspired the following plan to partner with Mary and James to educate all children in their rural village regardless of ability to pay, impairment or testing.

Phase 1 - Provide financial resources to ensure the following kids can be educated;

  1. those who cannot qualify for public education (testing, learning impaired and disabled),
  2. kids who do not have access to public education (school are too far),
  3. families who cannot afford public education (200 schillings monthly),
  4. whose parents want their children educated in their local village

a.40 kids at 200 schillings monthly (Kenya mandatory fee)  - $960.00 US

i.$1,000.00 US for curriculum, writing tools, paper, musical instruments, arts supplies, meals (three daily), etc.

ii.$2,000.00 US Annual Operation without salary (funded through January 2018)

Phase 2 - Raise funds to purchase ten acres of land for the school - $20,000.00 (completed April 2017)

Phase 3 - Raise funds to build a multi-room school with concrete floors, aluminum roof, wood walls and electricity. $20,000.00 US dollars (fund-raising in progress)

  • All buildings are built by locals in the village – providing local jobs as resources are constructed

Phase 4 - Raise funds and build a dormitory on property for weekly boarding of kids who cannot travel to and from school, are too far by foot or have no transportation options to get to school.

Lighthouse Pacifica has an account established for Mary’s School and wire money as plans develop and needs arise. All donations are tax-deductible through Lighthouse Pacifica.

Refocus Photography also partners with Mary and James donating 25% of all art sold on their website to building rural village schools in Kenya.

Video of Mary and the Kids in Action

Thank you for partnering to educate beyond poverty and build hope now.

Dennis Shillingburg

Pastor, Lighthouse Pacifica

Photographer, Refocus Photography


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