Saturday, January 29, 2011

About Erick

I got the paperwork on Erick yesterday. I'll be writing him a long letter today.

"He makes his home with his father and mother and 2 siblings. Carrying water and gathering firewood are his household duties. His father is sometimes employed as a farmer and his mother maintains the home.

For fun, Wainaina enjoys soccer. He attends church activites, Bible class and Vacation Bible School regularly and is in primary school, where his performance is average."

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The latest borrower to whom I've made a micro loan through Kiva is Naomi, in Kenya, who wants a loan to buy carrots, potatoes and "farm inputs." This is my 29th Kiva loan and the first loan to someone in Kenya.

Naomi is a married lady with two children. For twenty years, she has been operating a food stall so as to earn a living. She also does dairy farming for extra income.

Naomi is a God-fearing lady who believes in hard work. Hence she puts a lot of effort in her business. She is a member of Githunguri Neema group in Faulu Kenya. In the group, she is able to save her money on weekly basis. The members of the group also guarantee each other's loan. She has requested a loan of 50,000 Kes to buy carrots, potatoes and farm inputs.

About Faulu Kenya:

Faulu Kenya aims to empower Kenyans by providing relevant financial solutions. Faulu is a sustainable and profitable microfinance institution that offers savings and credit services to over 225,000 Kenyans. Faulu recently became the first MFI in Kenya to be licensed as a Deposit-Taking Micro-Finance Company, which will enable Faulu to better serve its clients.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Letter from Fred

In September, I wrote to ask Fred's mother to call me something other than "Mrs. Sykes." I was thrilled when she finally came up with what she wanted to call me, though it takes a little adjusting to!

Dear Auntie Sykes

Have a blessed day! May God continue to shower you a blessings every day and I hope as you read my letter you are smiling.

It seems so nice to call you Auntie Sykes and I am very happy to call you that. It sounds that we are one family that have a strong relationship for both of you and to our family.

Where d id you spend your Christmas vacation?

Fred is really studying hard and one of his inspirations is you "Auntie Sykes." That's why he is doing so good to his school activities, especially to his lessons to increase his grade.

Thank you for the calendar you send here. Fred and I like this place so much. It has a wonderful view and we believed that California is one of the most beautiful place in the world.

We always pray you and your family, Auntie Sykes, hoping that you are doing good in your business. Don't be too stressed, Auntie Sykes. Take care of your self! We love you and thank you very much! Pray for my whole family for the safety and good health.

Love, Lyra Cardinal (Fred's mother)

A Letter from Fred

Dear Mrs. Sykes,

Christmas greeting!! Hope that you are in good health. By the Grace of God. We would like to tell you the improvements of Fred in his schooling. He is doing well. He knows how to read, he can know how to spell it. He study very well because he want to get a high grade and passed in this year so that he can practice reading to become a good reader at the center.

He always excited to go to the Center every Saturday to learn something special. Gospel songs and Bible stories. He is faithful every Sunday. He goes together with his younger sister.

Fred is a very good child. He is responsible and lovable to his sisters. He is helping with me if his father has work. He's the one to taking care of his sister Lyka.

What preparation do you have this coming December? Here in us we are also excited for the next year for what God has done in our lives. So please pray for family to become more faithful to God, especially Fred.

Once again, God Bless you.

Love, Lyra Cardinal (Fred's mother)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meet Erick

I read the blogs of several people who also sponsor children through Compassion International. That's how I learned about Erick.

It was a woman named Michelle who had written an entry about the plight of older boys in finding sponsors. The desire is for younger children, and for girls rather than boys.

She printed this picture of Erick, from Kenya, who was born in 1987 and who looks rather stern. He is the kind of child who is more likely to be passed over in favor of a cute young little girl.

My heart went out to him instantly and I knew I would take him on as a sponsored child. I have figured all along that I could afford to sponsor four, but that would be my maximum. Thinking ahead to the possibility that at some point Fred's sponsor would stop sponsoring him, I saved that fourth slot for Fred.

But I know nothing about Fred's sponsor and for all I know he or she will follow Fred through until he graduates from the program. So I decided to use that fourth slot for this boy, who may need me now.

So I will be sponsoring Erick and I will eventually be adding more information about him, as it becomes available. Right now I'm just excited to get his information and to write that first letter to him.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Letter from Esther

I had a letter from Esther in Indonesia today. Esther lives in one of the countries which prints colorful stationery for their children to write on. Esther's letter reads:

To: Beverly Sykes

I'm doing well here and so glad to grow up as a 15 year old person. I hope to be a better person than before. I have been 2 months being in grade 6 at school and soon I'll be facing the middle semester examination. Please pray for me so that my marks will turn out good.

By the month of September my country just celebrated the day of Idul Fitri (the celebration marking the end of Ramadan) and I spent my holidays at home along with my family, though not all my relatives were there, but we had a great time.

This is my letter for this time. God always be with us. Thank you for the birthday gift.

God bless,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thank you from Anjali

I sent a check to Anjali for her birthday and this is the response I received. As usual, the translator presents it as if she is transcribing an interview, which removes a level of "intimacy" from it, but I loved the photo, and Anjalil did write a little bit in English. I suspect writing is not her "thing."

She wrote:
Two frocks with the birthday gift that I received in the month of October 2010
Your loving child,
M. Anjali

and the translator wrote:
She sends greetings to in the name of Lord Jesus Christ. She asks you how you are? She tells she is fine, and she hopes the same with you. She says that she prays every day for you and she studies well.

She is expressing thanks for your gift. She says she bought two frocks for the gift. She says that she likes white and yellow colour. She once again thank you for your love and support.

On behalf of M. Anjali, [name] Sponsor Relation assistant