Daylight’s Farm Matches Your Donation

My name is Merv Miller, I’m currently Chairman of the Daylight USA Board of Directors. My wife and I have been sustaining supporters of Daylight for over 6 years and in January I had the privilege of visiting Daylight for the very first time.

I must say that Daylight exceeded my expectations. I’ve always known that Daylight is partially self-supporting but it was truly inspiring for me to observe it in person.

Board Chair Merv Miller with Daylight students

When we first arrived, classes were in session so the campus was quiet, But I noticed a herdsman, Komole, leading cattle out of their pen to graze alongside the gravel road just outside the campus. The cows are milked twice a day and the milk is mixed with ground corn to create a porridge that is served daily to the students during a mid-morning break.

Daylight cattle grazing along the roadside

Next, I ran into John, the gardener, he was weeding one of the gardens. A vegetable is grown in two, half-acre gardens. The gardens are planted at different intervals to assure continues crops throughout the school year. The corn is grown on campus as well. Some corn is ground for porridge and the rest is dried and mixed with beans to create a soup that is often served at lunch.

John and others tending to Daylight’s garden
Corn drying in the sun

The cook, Elizabeth and her volunteers work non-stop to create meals for the students on campus. We have Herdsmen, Gardeners, and Cooks that work on campus seven days a week with one hundred students living on the campus in dormitories. They boarding students are just as hungry on Sunday as they are on Monday. And, the cows don’t take a day off from production!

Elizabeth making lunch for students and staff
Bags of corn in storage

I met a parent of four students named Rosemary while I was at Daylight who described the self-sustaining efforts this way; “When you send one dollar to Daylight it magically becomes two.” So remember, every time you give your gift is matched by the hard working staff and volunteers in Kenya!

Daylight parent Rosemary with her four children

If you would like more information on supporting Daylight School or sponsoring a classroom click here. We understand that financial circumstances are challenging for many people right now, and we are especially thankful for your generosity to Daylight School, it’s students and staff.

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Daylight’s Student Safety & Well Being Response to Coronavirus

The safety and well being of Daylight students and staff during Coronavirus is the highest priority for us. There have been at least 15 confirmed case of Coronavirus in Kenya and we are working with the Kenyan Government to ensure all our staff and students are given accurate information.

The leadership team of Daylight Center and School are leading the response efforts. They are ensuring students and staff stay safe and healthy. School Manager Reuben is coordinating deliveries and using his motorbike to get needed supplies.

School Manager Reuben Losharipo with his daughter

In accordance with recommendations from the Kenya Government, educational classes are postponed. The Daylight campus will be closed to the students who walk or ride to school on a daily basis. Students with families nearby will stay with their families. We will continue to find ways to support our students and their families who are practicing social distancing.

Daylight Headmaster Paul updating students and staff on the safety and well being plan.

Many hand washing stations have been set up throughout the Daylight campus to keep kids hands as clean as possible.

For the students who must remain at Daylight’s dormitory due to their family situations, we are working hard to limit exposure. We are also attempting to continue to support (and have fun!) by continuing many of the beloved non-classroom activities.

The Daylight Track Team was sad that their national track meets were cancelled. But they are continuing to train in their new track suits!

Grace, Sunday, Pembe, Reuben and friends on the Daylight Track Team.

Many of the students favorite parts of their day continue at Daylight. We are continuing to serve a healthy meals to students living on campus.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are being provided to students and staff at Daylight.

Angelina Kimpur is ensuring the students are being well fed. Using the eggs, milk, corn, and beans. Many of which are grown in Daylight’s farm.

Daylight Matron Angelina Kimpur holding an egg from Daylight’s farm.

The days are still filled with field games organized by staff and students!

Field games at Daylight.

The playground is in full swing!

Swing set at Daylight.

Students are continuing to have fun in their classrooms with teachers who have remained on campus.

Students are continuing to learn in the Daylight computer lab.

Daylight computer lab.

The construction team of Fundis (the swahili word for worker) are using the time to work on the empty classrooms. The workers are being careful to have a lot of distance from Daylight students and staff.

They are putting the finishing touches on the new Pre-School classrooms.

The Daylight students and staff said they are keeping their American friends in their thoughts and prayers. They hope you all stay staff and healthy.

Thank you for your continued support of Daylight as they meet the needs of our students in this difficult time. We will keep you updated on Daylight’s continuing response to the coronavirus.

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Our Students Love Getting Letters from America

Daylight Students love getting mail from their classroom sponsors! They are so excited to read the letters from their friends in America. It is empowering to know that people care about them enough to share their lives in a letter. Our students like to learn about American culture, families, schools, and weather (especially snow!).

This is why we are so grateful for the Daylight classroom sponsors who take time to write our students. These letters are read to the entire class and then passed around for each student to read. They love looking at the pictures and holding a letter from across the world!

If you are interested in becoming a classroom sponsor you can give $30 monthly, you’ll be partnered with a specific class of your choice (grade 4, 5, 6, or 7). These monthly funds will go to purchasing food, school supplies, and daily needs of the students. You are invited to write letters to the class. In return, you’ll receive updates and letters from students three times a year.

Letter-Writing Prompts to Your Sponsored Class:

Your letters will be read to the entire class so please address it to the class as a whole. In your letters we encourage you to connect over interests and activities. Please avoid talking about things you own. If you send a picture of your family please do not include pictures of your home or things you own.

Why are you excited about about supporting this class?
What have you recently learned about Kenya or Daylight School?
What do you hope the child will learn at School? (This could be a truth or skill.)
What do you appreciate about this class?
What do you want the class to remember when facing discouragement?
What are your closest family members like?
What do you like to do when your extended family gets together?
What is your typical day like now?
What do you do at church/work/school?
What do you like most about your hometown?
What are some interesting facts about your state/province/region?
How do you relax?

Letters can be mailed to Daylight US PO Box and they will be delivered to Daylight Kenya quarterly.

Daylight Center and School
PO Box 40533
Saint Paul, MN 55104

Our students sent their greetings, their gratitude for supporting their education, and they look forward to reading your letters!

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Doctors Visit Daylight to Inspire Students

Our students know the value of access to quality healthcare. In the rural town of Kapenguria where Daylight is located, medical care is limited to a small clinic with a few doctors and nurses. When students get sick they take the school van with a Daylight staff to the local clinic across town or to the nearest large hospital which is a 45 minute drive away.

Our students are passionate about helping their community stay healthy. A third of Daylight students say they want to go into the medical field when they grow up. Students like Grace, who wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

To encourage Grace and her fellow students we invited Dr. Rachel and Dr. Maria to visit Daylight. These doctors are from New York and are currently serving alongside Kenya Doctors at Kapenguria Hospital near Daylight. They spoke about their work helping Kenyan doctors deliver babies in the community.

For an hour our students asked the doctors questions like, “What should I study if I want to become a doctor?” They encouraged our students to study math and sciences, work hard, and not to give up with they experience set-backs.

This was especially inspiring for the female students to see female role models serving in their local hospital.

Thank you to Doctor Rachel and Maria for their work at the Kapenguria Hospital and inspiring our young people. And thank you to all our supporters, teachers, and families for helping our aspiring medical care providers with the education they need to reach their goals.

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Join us: Shade in a Parched Land Sunday, February 23, 2020


The second performance of Shade In A Parched Land is scheduled for February 23 at 4pm at Como Park Lutheran Church located at 1376 Hoyt Avenue West in St. Paul.

The piece is for organ, African percussion instruments and spoken poems, on a African theme. The arc of the piece in 5 movements is the emotional experience of an American educator/technician, from know-it-all to a realization that the one being helped is himself, working at a school for orphans and very poor children in rural Kenya. All are invited. Free-will offerings accepted. This event will last approximately one hour.

Below is one of the poems that will be included in the performance. 

Building A Classroom In Rural Kenya

Would you rather be
The mattock that disturbs
Dirt and clay,
Asleep in the ground
These many years,
Or the shovel that removes
Dirt and clods of clay
And creates a thing
Known for its absence – a hole?
Would you rather be
The brick that, with help from its brothers,
Defines the brick wall,
Or the mortar that binds brothers together
To make the strong wall?
In America, machines
Build everything.
Gian claws rip the ground
And trucks pour
Concrete for the foundation.
But in Kenya,
People are the machines.
They dig foundations
And build walls.
In Kenya,
The classroom
Is made of bricks and mortar,
And sweat and tears,
And hope.
So, you choose.
Would you rather be
The hammer that directs
The nail into its proper place,
Or the nail that holds
Things together
Long after the hammer
Lies asleep in the tool shed.

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