The Rymal Family and Mary Loyland are featured sponsors in our article today.
We’ve heard from several grandparents and parents that they want to teach their children about the world. They want their children to have empathy for people with less than they have and understand how privileged they are. Sponsoring a student is the perfect opportunity as it is grounded in the relationship that can grow between the sponsor and student.
Some of our sponsors have started sponsoring a child with the intention of their own child or grandchild developing a relationship with the student in Kenya. Their child or grandchild learns that some people live in one-roomed homes with five other people. They have to walk to get their water and sometimes can’t afford to go to school.
The Kenyan children learn about life in the U.S. – about winter and summer (a mystery to these children living near the equator with very few seasonal variations) and birthday celebrations. It is a long-term, meaningful learning opportunity. Importantly, it’s rooted in relationships for both children.
Christa and Travis Rymal
Christa and Travis Rymal have known about Friends of Ngong Road since nearly the beginning of the organization. Travis’s mother is a friend of Friends of Ngong Road Founder, Paula Meyer, and was one of the first sponsors.
When Christa and Travis’s two youngest daughters were able to draw pictures, they decided to sponsor two students and chose Griffin and Sarah. Their daughters kept the pictures they received from Griffin and Sarah near their beds and prayed for them at night.
Four years have passed, and the pictures have turned into less frequent letters as all four children are growing up. But the Rymal girls know more about their global community now and have a connection across the world. They’ve learned that their family values include education and giving all children a chance. Griffin and Sarah in Kenya know that they matter, and they are getting an education.
Mary attended an event sponsored by Friends of Ngong Road where crafts made by mothers and aunts of students were sold. She was impressed by the presentation and started sponsoring and corresponding with Vivian, a 14-year-old student.
An educator by profession, Mary recognized that sponsorship would be a great opportunity to teach her three young grandsons from Pittsburgh the importance of learning about young children in other parts of the world and the good feeling you get when helping those who are less fortunate than you. Mary and her grandsons started sponsoring Isaiah in 2017. Isaiah, who is now 13 years old, has corresponded a few times and is still learning about one another.
She brought some of the handicrafts to her grandsons to explain more about Isaiah’s life and family. The boys are growing up and everyone’s schedules are getting busier. But, Mary is hopeful they will have an increased sense of empathy and compassion with Isaiah in their life.
Do you have a special child in your life who could write with a student in Kenya? Take a look at the students who are waiting for sponsorship. If you want more information about any of the students or have any questions, contact Lacey Kraft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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