This past July, we had a special surprise at our office in Richmond, Virginia when we received notice that our volunteer coordinator, Peter Njuguna, from the St. John’s Community Center in Nairobi, Kenya, would be visiting. Peter has been a long-time coordinator with Children Incorporated, running our sponsorship program that supports children living in poverty in the Pumwani area of Nairobi.

“Our mission is to promote a just, healthy, and transformative community through capacity building, social inclusion, and accountable interventions,” explained Peter.

Peter arrived at the office prepared with a presentation in which he discussed the mission, vision and curriculum at St. John’s. He explained that the school is especially focused on providing a quality education to help break the cycle of poverty in their community through education, sports, nutrition, life skills, and spiritual guidance, which enables students to reach their full potential and become future leaders.

“Our mission is to promote a just, healthy, and transformative community through capacity building, social inclusion, and accountable interventions,” explained Peter.

“We do this through our Competent-Based Curriculum which helps to individualize each learner within a classroom to improve their critical thinking skills, enhance reading culture, and motivate parents to work closely with teachers to help ensure that comprehensive results are achieved by everyone.”

Peter went on to describe the ways in which this model of teaching has its own challenges — mostly in that it requires new textbooks and computer equipment that are not cost-friendly. It also requires training teachers, which is time consuming. Regardless, Peter is optimistic about this approach to learning, especially since many of the children in the community face so many challenges living in poverty. Their lives became even more difficult during the pandemic, when parents lost their usual labor jobs like housekeeping, construction work, and food vending. Peter watched as more and more children dropped out of school to try to help their families when they needed the support of a school environment more than ever.

Today, according to Peter, 102 children are supported through our sponsorship program from first grade all the way to vocational training which takes place after graduation. This constitutes almost half of the 206 children in total attendance at the school, which means our sponsors have a huge role in making sure students are receiving an education. Beyond providing school supplies and funds for uniforms and text books, our sponsors and donors also provide daily meals for students at the school, which improves their physical fitness and makes it possible for parents to carry on with their work without having to worry about the safety of their children, who no longer have to leave school to come home for lunch.

“We take retention very seriously at St. John’s, so we work hard to follow up with parents and guardians about the learning process so they can express any concerns. We also host parenting classes and give life skills lessons to students about substance abuse, child rights and responsibilities, career paths and personal studies,” said Peter.

Before he finished his presentation, Peter shared with our staff success stories of students who had graduated from the school to go on to work in education, mentoring, and youth leadership. Peter feels strongly that these children, who are now young adults, were able to focus on school and become successful in large part due to their sponsors, and was so happy to be able to express those feelings to all of us in person.


How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.


written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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