“YOU believe, as much as we do, that every child deserves a future. We are passionately committed to one goal: Giving children, in Kikambala, Kilifi County, the best chance for the future they deserve-a healthy start in life, the opportunity to go to school and protection from harm”- SAVC’s mission.
By Carol Mango
Chief writer, CCW
Those are the words, scribbled as a mission statement, that draw my attention to the work of an amazing woman, wife and mother, a compassionate one at that!
She might not be a well known or popular individual, but this woman’s story touched me in several ways. Especially, the way she set out to her mission, when she could not take it anymore and the inner voice kept telling her ‘Go for it’!
Meet this amazing woman, Mrs Lilian Ng’umbao. At only 27 years, she is an inspiration, a beacon of hope to dozens of children who thirst for education in vain, thanks to extreme poverty, ignorance and backward cultural practises.
Lilian is the founder of Save a Village Child (SAVC) an organisation founded about ten months ago, with the main goal of making a difference every single day in the lives of young children, giving them hope for a better tomorrow through education.
Lilian’s initiative, which has seen her sacrifice every day of her life, struggling with the little she has and receives as donations from her growing list of well-wishers and potential long term donors, is informed by in her own words ‘Education lifts whole communities out of poverty forever.’
“Even though we are a young organization, SAVC is doing whatever it can, to get more children into class,”
As she continues to slowly fulfil her dream, at the back of her head, is the girl child. Her mission is to make families especially ignorant ones, to see the benefits of sending their girls to school.
Lilian is married to Lawrence Bandari, a supportive husband and they have an adorable 4 year old boy, Lamas.
What is SAVC?
The organization, provides support for the less fortunate, between 4 and 14 years old. It is a campaign, started almost a year ago, to improve children’s lives and secure education for them.
The SAVC also seeks to protect the most vulnerable children from the surrounding villages mainly in Kikambala, who wallow in poverty, including those who were separated from their families because of exploitation and ignorance, in a Count y that has borne the brunt of early marriages, child sex tourism and poverty.
Her mission is, through God’s guidance, help children living in poverty, to give then hope and opportunity through the little they can get, and ultimately, support their families too.
“You believe as much as we do at SAVC, that every child deserves a future, every last child. Vulnerable children in poverty, denied an education, orphaned, abused, abandoned, children with no reason to smile and no hope for the future. The children of Kikambala and the larger Kilifi County, deserve better,”
At SAVC, Lilian and likeminded individuals who include volunteers, donors and well wishers, are passionately committed to one goal- doing whatever is in their power to give them the best chance for the future they deserve.
Through her newly set up organization, which is basically mobile, and which traverses the remote villages of Kikambala, in search of those children who are unable to access education for one reason or the other, started with six children, and today, she has atleast 130 kids to care for.
Sponsor a child through SAVC and change the life of a child in Kikambala…
Since her organization kicked off very late last year, SAVC has managed to enrol about 30 children into public schools.
Currently, they are supporting 138 children between the ages of 2 years to 14 years. But there are hundreds more in the surrounding villages in Kikambala who can barely afford a meal a day, clothing or even send their children to school.
You have the chance to make a difference. To sponsor a child into Nursery school, it will costs Sh.1,380 per term (includes admission fee of 300 and a fee of Sh.1080 per term)
To sponsor a child into Primary school, it will cost Sh. 950 per term (to include an enrolment fee of Sh.300 while 650 covers necessities like sanitation which could go to keeping toilets clean, firewood for cooking, food and other necessities that come up in school).
After they complete their primary school, they release them because Secondary school is free and the organization’s responsibilities can only go to a certain extent.
Since SAVC is mobile, they provide basic needs to these families at the grassroots and create that environment that builds up hope, love, inspiration and the determination to face every day of their lives.
What they are in dire need of, aside from clothes, food and non food items, include stationaries, books, all the aiding materials that can make their new learning environment much easier and less frustrating.
Since the children still go back to their homes after school, to the same environments of extreme poverty, a don’t care attitude caused by backward cultures, SAVC goes out of the way, to provide for their families with clothes, donations, food, beddings and co-ordinate better health care for families in dire need.
The organization has recorded success stories in literally getting health workers and volunteers, to help these families and have addressed extreme cases of jigger infestation, elephantiasis which are ‘a norm’ at the grassroots.
However, the old man refused to have his leg amputated months ago and blamed his woes on witchcraft. One can only imagine how serious the situation is today. Such a father, confined to the walls of poverty that has additionally restricted his movements, with no income at all, feel that taking children to school is a ‘luxury he cannot afford in a thousand years!”
Many parents have similar mentalities, a scenario that leaves the children to their fate from a tender age, to fend for themselves and consequently, instead of being cared for, they assume the roles of heads of families to take care of ignorant parents or guardians instead of vice versa.
When you come across that person who sets something else aside in order to help accomplish a key task or vision — that is a special gift!
Lilian continues to encounter the miraculous- in response from generous givers, people from all economic demographics. These are the people who turn what seems impossible into the possible.
“There are hundreds of needy children in the surrounding villages who do not have family support, good health, food or clothing. Some of them are under the care of their old grandparents, others are orphaned, while others resort to child labour to put food on the table,”-Lilian
In today’s culture, I see more and more that generous givers want to give of more than just their financial resources. This is especially true of younger givers. They want to get their feet on the ground with the causes they’re supporting.
Volunteering with an organization you’re passionate about is a great way to find a deeper connection to the cause.
The next operation to save that Village child in Kikambala, goes to Maweni B village. Come one-come all…
The goal of sponsoring a child is to provide a loving environment and education, in which they can thrive and develop to their full potential,
“Yes, we will not stop. Whatever you give, a little or a lot, every gift makes a world of difference for a child in need,
We will keep you informed, through events and our social media group, with the next operation targeting Maweni B village. As we kick start this operation, to save children and put a smile on their faces, to give them a better life and a brighter future with whatever little we have, our mission being to enrol dozens of them into school,
We will share with all like-minded persons, the success stories we have had at SAVC, as we prepare to celebrate and count our blessings in our forthcoming 1st anniversary which will coincide with Mashujaa day on October 20,
As we prepare to count our blessings on our anniversary, we will also share our success stories, the stories that will make you our partner, supporter, donor, see your generosity in action,
We appeal to all of you, to make this forthcoming event a memorable one. Those old clothes, tight shoes, bed sheets, utensils and any other thing you have no use for, please send it to us, through our various drop off point, in Bamburi, simply call me (0722570808) and I will gladly receive your donation on behalf of these amazing children whose lives have changed tremendously for the past few months,”
Lilian is proud of her efforts.. .
“Let me say that, its true that there are many less fortunate people. My message is that if anyone is able to, then they should lend a helping hand,
I believe that it is very meaningful to share your compassion through giving,
They cannot help their current situation. Sponsoring a child brings happiness and satisfaction to one’s life. If you ask me, we all face challenges but I think it’s good to think about others. It’s refreshing to the spirit and mind.
Education is a basic right for children
In Kikambala, just like in other remote parts of Kilifi, there are children who don’t get the chance to go to school, thanks to poverty, ignorance and poverty, nor forgetting backward cultural practises.
The ambition of organizations like Save a Village Child (SAVC) and all likeminded individuals or organizations, is to make sure every child gets an education.
That is why SAVC is finding ways to help children in the toughest circumstances to go to school.
Lilian says the plight of the villages in Kikambala, was so dire that she started off with six children last year in October. Today, she is supporting 128 boys and girls and counting.
Having been born and brought up in Kaloleni, Kilifi county, Lilian has seen it all. The plight of the girl child, the village children, victims of early pregnancies and early marriages, child abuse, you name it.
What inspired Lilian’s mission?
“Giving to a cause that makes you reach for your very best gift can bring some of the greatest fulfilments you will ever know,” she says.
Aside from the fact that I come from Kilifi, I have had the opportunity to visit some of the most impoverished areas there. I have been to many villages, to speak to communities and witness the hurdles that prevent them from getting the basics of needs.
But what I will never forget, is the first hand generosity of people giving out their own poverty.
Spending time in these villages, saw those who you would consider ‘better off’, come to lead by example and even though they have very little to spare, maybe an old dress or an old utensil lying around somewhere,
Such gestures gave me the strength to go out there and do something about the situation because these families sure do need help, even though the urge to get out of poverty and the thirst for education is so evident in their faces and their words,
The urge to be that change that those children need, saw be start off SAVC with only six children last year in October. I remember when my son (Lamas) who is 4 years old approached me and told me, ‘mum, I don’t wear these anymore. These other ones are very tight and also my old toys; please send them to the children in the village’
With such a supportive son and the unconditional love from my mum (Mary Lessen), sisters (Susan Kahathi, Eva Zale and Flora), what other inspiration would I need to give back to the society, the only way I know how?
“Well, I feel that no child should go hungry, without clothes, education or a future. If we all do our parts, then these children will not need to be helpless and always facing hardship. These children had no choice when they were born in a poor village with no one to provide their basic needs. By having sponsors, we are giving them the choice to live a normal life
The CCW’s message to area MP Ken Chonga and especially area MCA Victor Gogo.
Both leaders were elected on a popular platform of change and service to the people. So far,
they have done a great job, but this is a call to them too, to be part and parcel of the lives of these young children, who are thirsty for education, a better life and brighter tomorrow.
Even though SAVC has invited the leaders to several events and they have yet to show up for one good reason or the other, I believe that the communities are looking upto to you, to be a part of this worthy cause.
And so, Lilian is hoping that Mheshimiwa Chonga and area MCA Gogo, is once again cordially inviting the two, to be a part of the next operation to save a village child, in Maweni B village and its surroundings.
Like minded persons, potential donors and well wishers, are all welcome to be a part of this worthy journey.
“Most givers I have known like to be part of a larger giving community because it’s satisfying, perhaps comforting or reassuring, to know that you are and or will be, one of the many giving towards such a course,
your personal impact can be enormous and your personal journey can be beautifully enriched for the experience. Please join us and be part of this big Kikambala family that is determined to make a difference in the lives of these children who deserve every bit of what a team work effort can achieve for them”