In 2007, Fredrick and Miriam, both Kenyan, started the day center ‘Hope Orphan Pre School Youth Group’ or shortly ‘HOPSYG’. They noticed that many children lived on the street during school hours. Despite that primary education is free in Kenya, parents still have to pay a lot of money for school uniform, books etc. Therefore many children from poor or one-parent families as well as orphans who live with other family members, don’t get to sit at school desks.
Fredrick: “After my studies, I didn’t immediately find a job. So I felt bored. Some children, who were hanging around in the streets, gave me some distraction. But then I realized that those children should go to school. Some of them were begging for money and food. It really kept me going. These children had no future! I compared them to some of my friends, who didn’t get the opportunity to go to school either and unfortunately ended up committing crimes.
Over and over again I asked myself: ‘Can I be of any meaning for these children? Can I do something for them?’ I realised it wouldn’t be easy. Finally I decided to share my thoughts with my friends, and this brought me to Miriam. She understood my message immediately since she was one of the happy few who had escaped from this viscous circle of poverty. Together we came up with the idea of HOPSYG. Our goal is to give these children some background, so that, as soon as they are grown-ups, they will be able to walk down their own happy path of life.”