Sewing is an Important Part of Daylight School

Sewing is an important part of life at Daylight. Knowing how to sew is a valuable life skill in Kenya, allowing our students to get a job, mend their own clothing, and creatively express themselves!

Dama, our professional seamstress, expertly sews new school uniforms for the students. She also makes endless repairs, mending the pants, shirts, dresses and jumpers the students wear. There are three treadle sewing machines in the sewing room, and they get plenty of use. Sometimes the machines are moved outside in the sunshine where there is more light, making it easier to see.


Seamstress Dama teaching a sewing lesson

Recently some improvements were made to the sewing room, making the work easier for the seamstresses. We added wiring and an outlet, making it possible to use an electric sewing machine that can make zig-zag stitches and make durable button holes more easily. We also installed wiring for two tracks of solar-powered lights, making the sewing room usable on cloudy or rainy days.


Daylight middle school students learning to sew

Dama and her student seamstresses live out the Daylight principles of continuous learning and using one’s skills to better the lives of others.

Alongside the sewing in Kenya, a sewing group in Minnesota created over 200 handmade dolls to find new homes in the students’ arms.


Daylight students showing off their new dolls

A dedicated group of women in the Minneapolis Community Education Sewing for Children in Need class led by Tristen Lindemann poured their hearts and creativity into meeting their goal of sewing 200 dolls for Daylight. The cheerful smiles of these dolls helped warm up a long Minnesota winter, and we hope the love with which they were created will be felt by the Daylight children.

Thank you to all the amazing people who helped build and design our sewing room. And the people who donate their time and resources to continue this important program. And thank you to all our partners who make all of the education at Daylight possible!

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Our Farm and Animals Help Teach Life Skills to Our Students

Daylight is a school and a working farm!animals 4

This is our brilliant and very funny 8th grader Eunice with a Daylight cow. Eunice’s parents are farmers, and she wants to be a nurse when she grows up. We include students like Eunice in the farm work because we believe that farming teaches children important life skills.

Farming is a common profession in rural Kenya. People with other professions often keep a few cows, goats, and chickens at their homes for food and supplemental income. We want our students to have the knowledge and experience to farm if they choose. We also want them to learn life skills such as responsibility, animal care, and hard work, and learn the value of food and the importance of caring for the earth.

Daylight’s farm also serves an important role in the sustainability of our school. About a third of the school’s food supplies come from Daylight’s farming acres and animals. Angelina Kimpur is the head of this farming project. She works with a team of herdsmen, teachers, and students who help milk and harvest.

We wanted to give you a short tour of our farm and the animals at Daylight’s farm:

Angelina Kimpur holding one of our 40 chickens, which provide eggs every day and meat on special occasions.

animals 5The 40 chickens and 4 rabbits live side-by-side in their houses.animals 8Our six geese wander around the school picking up scraps that fall off of plates after lunch.
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Daylight grows three tons of corn each year in rented farm land surrounding our school’s property. This land is also used for grazing our 13 cows (our herd has grown from five cows when we started the farm).animals 1
But sometimes the grass gets long and we let them graze in the volleyball court. animals 7Our seven Daylight watch dogs, like Sam here, keep an eye on the cows. Sam also loves to play with our students during recess.animals 6We are so grateful for the staff who diligently care for our animals and work hard to pass these skills onto our students.animals 2We are also grateful for our supporters. Your gifts help make this farm and our amazing school possible!

An update on Faith:

Faith and her family are staying at a hotel near the hospital. She is continuing to get treatment for her eye. Please keep her, her family, and all of Daylight in your thoughts and prayers as she works with doctors in the coming weeks.

 

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We Ask for Thoughts & Prayers for Faith & Daylight After Accident

It is with heavy hearts that we ask you to hold our 7th grade student Faith, as well as, all the Daylight staff, students, and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Faith is now going with her mother and Daylight Matron Angelina Kimpur to an eye specialist hospital in Sabatia which is three hours away.

Faith was playing with her friends and a teacher on the playground this week and there was an accident where a stick poked her in the eye. Her eye was injured and she was rushed to the nearby hospital.  Faith is a soloist in the Daylight choir and a star student in academics.

Faith Eye
Daylight Upper Grades

Sabatia Eye Hospital is an excellent care facility and will give Faith the best possible care.Dr. Leornard Doing a B-Scan
Sabatia Eye Hospital

We want to thank you for your generous donations which help fund Daylight’s emergency medical fund for our students and staff. We ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for Faith and her family as she undergoes treatment on her eye.

You can listen to Faith and the Daylight choir singing in this video below:

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At 21, Daylight Graduate Nicholas is the First in His Family to Attend High School

At 21 years old, Nicholas is starting his sophomore year of high school.

Nicholas got a late start on school because he is from a very remote village and was at home helping his family on the farm. But, in 2010, Nicholas lost his vision due to an eye infection. “I lost my sight, and I was given medicine that helped me feel better and then I could see again.” This gave him a passion for becoming a surgeon. Nicholas left the farm and came to Daylight School. Nicholas worked hard to catch up in his studies and enrolled in Ortum Boy’s High School in West Pokot near Daylight.

Nicholas is the oldest son of Daylight’s longtime Outreach Coordinator Peter Losengoria. “I am so happy for my son, because I did not get to go to high school. But now I work at Daylight school.” He smiled, looking proudly at his son. “I want him to be a great surgeon.”

1 Nicholas Kayaa 2Nicholas and his father Peter 

Nicholas is one of seven kids in his family, including a new baby. It is a struggle for their family to pay for Nicholas’ high school fees. And because Nicholas is the first person in his family to go to high school, they are extraordinarily proud of him.

1 Nicholas KayaaNicholas, Mama Keyaa, and the new baby

Daylight provides scholarships for Nicholas and all the graduating 8th graders. Then we work together with the high schools to secure funding throughout their education.

But this year Nicholas needed extra support after some of the students in his high school were caught cheating on their exams. After the principal put a stop to it, some students got unruly and destroyed school property. This resulted in all of the students being sent home mid-term. When classes resumed, Nicholas and his classmates were forced to pay extra fees to rejoin school.

But Daylight stepped in and provided the funds to help Nicholas re-enter school.

We did this because we are committed to helping Nicholas and all our students reach their goals.

In response to this support, Nicholas wanted to write a thank you letter to Daylight partners who donate financially to make his education possible.

1 Nicholas Kaaya Letter

Your contributions fund Nicholas and so many other students’ educations. And, as it is the start of a new term, we will be making another round of school fee payments this September.

Please consider making a special donation this month to help us fund these students’ high school education.

 

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Pastor Javon Learned about “African Time” & the Importance of Relationships

Reflection from Rev. Javen Swanson who serves as Associate Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

One of the things I was told about beforehand but couldn’t fully comprehend until I had spent some time in Kenya was the concept of “African time.” Our trip leaders encouraged us before we left to keep an open mind and to go with the flow; we were taught that Kenyans have a more relaxed relationship with time.
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Pastor Javon Swanson with Daylight Students

Once we arrived in Kenya we discovered just exactly what that meant: Those of us from America who are so used to organizing our lives around our calendars and keeping a close eye on our watches spent a lot of time confused and wondering what was going on. No class period ever began “on time.”

The 30-minute mid-morning break for tea always lingered well beyond the time allotted for it. Teachers ended lessons when the lessons were done. And nobody at Daylight School thought twice about canceling an entire afternoon of classes to make time for different kinds of activities that gave the American visitors an opportunity to really get to know the Kenyan students.

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Mid-morning porridge and tea break

At the end of the day, that’s really what “African time” is about: It’s about relationships. Some have said Africans have more of an “emotional time consciousness” that is different from our Western “mechanical time consciousness.” There’s more of an emphasis on the personal interactions happening in the present than on strict adherence to a schedule.

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Most of the time, those 30-minute mid-morning tea breaks went longer than planned because Americans and Kenyans were sitting together having good conversations, and in that moment, those good conversations mattered more than the class schedule.

School lessons were postponed to create opportunities for Americans and Kenyans to spend time together, because in that culture, relationships take priority.

The sad takeaway for me was that we Americans often cut short those most important moments because we have busy schedules to keep. Too often we miss the amazing things happening right before our eyes because we’re determined to play out the agenda we had planned ahead of time. We’re so certain we know how things are supposed to go that we don’t even notice when something awesome and unexpected is happening right in front of us now. – Pastor Javon Swanson

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