FAQs about El Shadai

How many children are at El Shadai?

There are currently 25 children at El Shadai.

Can I send items to the kids personally?

Unfortunately, shipping items is not a good option. There is no mail delivery in Githurai, and even when shipped to a PO box in downtown Nairobi, shipping can be very unreliable. There are often additional pick-up fees as well. So, by the time we’ve bought an item, paid the shipping, paid the pick-up fees, and waited any length of time, it’s likely we’ve spent exponentially more for the said item compared to sending the money to SAWA and allowing Cara (or a member of the orphanage staff) to purchase the item in Kenya.

Can I send stuff with Cara for the kids next time she goes?

Depending on the items, yes. We are happy to facilitate communication between the children and their sponsors, so things like letters and pictures are always welcome! Sending larger items can be difficult, however. As with shipping, often times by the time we pay for the extra items to be transported they could have been bought cheaper in Kenya. If you have questions about sending small items with Cara, please contact her at Cara@someoneaworldaway.org to make arrangements.

Do the kids speak English?

Yes! English is taught in all Kenyan schools. Of course, the older children speak English better than the young ones; but our kids also have the unique advantage of having so many volunteers and visitors that their English is quite strong!

What happens to the kids after they finish school?

Our oldest children at El Shadai have yet to finish high school. One will be finished at the end of 2016, and then we will have one or two graduating each year after that. Quite simply put, we aren’t sure yet! The hope is for them to perform well enough in high school to attend college. However, we are realistic about our expectations, considering some of these children did not get a great foundation in school in the years prior to their arrival at El Shadai. When a child doesn’t start school until 3rd grade, for example, they often struggle through the rest of their education due to that lack of a strong foundation in basic skills like reading and writing. This applies to many of our children. 

We will support them through as much education as possible, however when it is a better option for the child to pursue a trade or a craft rather than struggle through more school we will also do our best to support their transition into the work world. We are currently working on developing income generating programs at the orphanage that will also provide the children with an opportunity to learn a trade.

Are the kids religious?

Yes. The director of the orphanage is also a pastor, and the orphanage was opened through their Christian ministry, El Shadai Grace.

FAQs about SAWA

Where is my monthly donation going?

Monthly donations contribute to several expenses at El Shadai from food to school fees and everything in between!Our Sponsorship program primarily covers the following expenses: -School Fees -Orphanage Rent -Small salary for orphanage staff-“Kids fund” for things like backpacks, underwear, house sandals, school supplies, etc. Most of these things are cycled throughout the year and bought once per year. This also covers things like getting the boys’ heads shaved and the girls’ hair braided, buying meat or fruits on occasion, and sometimes medical needs. 

Our other monthly donations help us keep up with all of the unexpected needs. Occasionally one of our sponsors will lapse on their payment, and we need to use other funds to make sure that our monthly expenses are covered. Other times we have had to cover medical costs for the kids when they’ve fallen ill. Sometimes the small amount we’ve allotted for the “Kids Fund” isn’t enough to cover the cost of something larger, like when the kids need new leather school shoes for the year. Cara is in constant contact with the orphanage “mom,” Debra, and they discuss all of the needs ot the children. When extenuating circumstances arise, Cara sends additional funds. 

Finally, until the building is completed, all monthly donations that are not spent on regular expenses for the children will be saved and used for the building fund. Once the new home is built, we can move the children and eliminate the orphanage rent payment and drastically improve their living circumstances with amenities like running water and electricity. We want to make sure the kids are properly taken care of until this move is possible, but it is definitely a major priority for us to get the new home built as quickly as possible!

Why help them, instead of needy children in our own country?

This is one of the most difficult questions to address. First and foremost, it is our belief that every child is worth helping and that the country they live in should not have any bearing on if we should or should not help them. Children are completely innocent in the hand they’ve been dealt. A child is a child, and they each deserve a chance. 

These are the children who happened to steal Cara’s heart. Had she travelled somewhere else maybe SAWA would be a completely different organization. These kids are not just “kids in Africa,” they are Nivah, Peter, Modesta, and Erick. They have names, faces, pasts, personalities, and quirks. This is a group of children who are real to all of us now, and we want to help them. Simple as that. 

Finally, in the US there are programs in place to help needy children and families. Do they reach everyone? Of course not. But we have free education, programs for school lunches for those who are needy, and even social work programs for underprivileged children and orphans. Again, these systems are not perfect and there is no denying that there are children who need help here, too. But for these kids in Kenya, the ONLY support they have is from the family who opened the orphanage, and even they struggle to get by. There are SO many orphans and street children in Kenya, and SO FEW resources for them. Even public schools in Kenya require school fees and uniforms. Without help, these children literally have no chance. Who are any of us to say who deserves help more than another. But, we believe that as long as we are all working together to help people then we are all doing our job as humans on this earth.

How can I help?

• FOLLOW us on Facebook. Visit our page and be sure to click “Like”! 

• INVITE your friends to do the same! On our Facebook page, click “Invite friends to like this page” on the left-hand side. Scroll through your list of friends and invite everyone to check out our page! We have seen a HUGE increase in our audience when our supporters take this step. 

• SHARE our Page, Posts, and Pictures. Help us increase our audience by allowing all of YOUR friends to see our posts. 

• SIGN-UP for our E-Newsletter to receive quarterly updates from us. (Link to newsletter sign up) http://eepurl.com/bGZ-kv

• DONATE whatever you can, whenever you can. Whatever you can afford WILL help us! 

• CONTACT US if you have an idea for a fundraiser. 

• SHOP online with AmazonSmile and eBay for Charity and choose SAWA as your charity of choice! Both programs donate a percentage of your purchase directly to us. 

• DESIGNATE SAWA to receive your charitable giving if your company offers the option for an automatic payroll deduction. We are a 501c3 organization. You will need our EIN: 46-4507361.

More questions? No problem.

Contact us anytime at admin@someoneaworldaway.org