Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Alleviate Children’s Hunger in Karabok, Kenya

How can children learn if they are hungry? In the village of Karabok in Kenya, East Africa, hunger is precisely the situation for nearly 200 nursery school children, ages 3-7. St. Anthony Nursery school was founded 14 years ago, beginning with only a few children attending. By 2012, 50 children were enrolled, and in 2013, the enrollment had mushroomed to 150 children. Enrollment is expected to increase even more this year! This rapid increase is good news for the school and its primary mission of education; however, food deprivation remains the key issue that requires special funding. In a situation like this, feeding people is just as important as educating them. The two needs are inseparable.


Dear Mr. Doe,

How can children learn if they are hungry?

In the village of Karabok, just outside of the commercial center of Olugis in Kenya, East Africa, hunger is precisely the situation for nearly 200 nursery school children, ages 3-7. They all want to learn to receive a good start in life, but they first need to eat.

“Karabok is one of the poorest villages in Oyugis,” reports Brother Franz Janssen who runs St. Anthony Nursery School there.

In a situation like this, feeding people is just as important as educating them. The two needs are inseparable.

St. Anthony Nursery school was founded 14 years ago, beginning with only a few children attending. By 2012, 50 children were enrolled. In 2013 the enrollment had mushroomed to 150 children. This year enrollment is expected to exceed 200!

Although this rapid increase in population is good news for the school and its primary mission of education, food deprivation remains the key issue that requires special funding. Brother Janssen explains: “The Kenyan government does not support nursery schools, so the money has to come from donors. Self-sustaining is impossible, but we try to get enough money from school fees to pay the staff costs. However, we are only able to raise half of the funds needed for this.”

This is where you and I come in! With this special appeal, we are hoping to raise $33,000 or more to fund both the current and long-term needs of this burgeoning outreach to children. The funds are needed to subsidize the education work, and, perhaps more importantly, to FEED these 200+ young children during school days so that they are able to focus on and benefit from the education they are receiving. No food, no education.

As you thoughtfully consider participating with our missionaries in this special project in Kenya, please know that there are others who have already been helping to make this work possible. There is a “Parents’ Committee” who cares for the compound where the school is located, collecting firewood, providing water, and maintaining the school as a whole. There is a group from Belgium who cares for the children’s uniforms. The parents who can afford it are paying what they can in school fees, although only about half of the parents can manage this due to the extreme poverty in the village.

Our missionary provincial in Nairobi, Father Charles Obanya, M.Afr., strongly endorses this program. He has written to me personally and pointed out that he considers the St. Anthony Nursery School project in Karabok to be “a well-managed project meeting the needs of underprivileged children.”

Also, the local bishop of the Diocese of Homa Bay considers this an important work in his diocese. He writes: “This nursery school caters to children who are needy. The feeding program serves to improve their learning. Kindly assist them in giving these children a foundation for their lives.”

I cannot say it better than the bishop! Let’s assist Brother Janssen in the village of Karabok in Kenya in being able to accommodate the growing population of St. Anthony Nursery School. Let’s help to alleviate the children’s hunger for food and hunger for learning. Let’s join with the others on Brother Janssen’s “team” to provide the “good start in life” that these children deserve as children of God, made in His image and likeness!