The Candlelight Program was started in 2004 by Pastor Fred Afwai and his wife Alice, in response to seeing many children unable to access the formal school system. They founded the Candlelight Primary School, to serve desperately poor and orphaned children in Matopeni, an informal settlement (i.e. slum) in Embakasi Central Constituency, Embakasi Sub-County. The area is located in the eastern parts of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Nairobi, Kenya. At inception, the school was catering for 3 children. The number has since increased significantly to the current enrollment of 389 children. Of these, 120 children are orphaned.
As they noticed that many the children were orphans and had nobody to take of, they decided to start a safe house for them, which became the Hope Children's Home.
About the area:
Embakasi Central constituency has an estimated population of 621,000 according to the 2009 Kenya Population and housing census conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Of these, 69% are children. Only 12 % of the population in this area is involved in any meaningful economic activity that creates income, while the remaining 88% constitute the majority of the poor who barely eke a living. The poverty levels among the households in this area are alarmingly high. This has a direct impact on the ability of such households to sustainably meet the needs of their members, including food for their children, access to competent healthcare and quality education.
Fred and Alice Afwai, together with Sahaya International board member Leslie Anastassatos.
© Sahaya International, 2017