Lucy Njeri is a mother of three children, two of whom attend Missions of Hope International (MOHI) schools. She has a son in grade seven at Ndovoini center and another son in grade two at Mathare North center.
Just like other families in the disadvantaged communities where we serve, Lucy’s family has been financially affected by the COVID 19 epidemic. She says the first blow came after her husband was laid off from his job.
“After he lost his job, we were left to rely on my small vegetable and fruit vending business,” she says. “We have made do this far but it has not been without its challenges because business is low and we are operating on minimal profit and sometimes losses.”
Another effect of this pandemic has been in the education sector that saw the school calendar disrupted very suddenly. Lucy, however, is grateful that MOHI has taken steps to ensure her children continue with their education while they are home.
“The WhatsApp groups formed by my sons’ teachers have been really helpful. The reading material they send and revision papers have ensured that our children remain occupied,” she says.
Despite this arrangement being in place, Lucy says she still wishes her children were in school instead of learning at home. She says her greatest challenge is that there is plenty of negative peer pressure in the environment where they live and parents have to be extra vigilant in monitoring their children. Then the homes are small which makes them not conducive for learning.
“It was for this reason that my husband and I opted to take our children to stay with their grandmother upcountry. We felt that they would be safer there,” she says. “To ensure that they keep up with their studies, my husband travels home every Sunday to check on their schoolwork and bring it back to the teachers as well as deliver new assignments.”
While this is an expensive venture, Lucy says she and her husband prefer it this way because their children’s safety is what’s most important.
“I really desire for schools to reopen so that we can also be reunited as a family,” she says. “When the children are in school, I do not have to worry about them. I know they are safe and being supervised which gives me peace of mind.”