Reason2Smile wishes you all a Happy New Year 🎉 and better times ahead in 2021.
We are happy to report that the Jambo Jipya School has reopened after being shut down since March 2020 due to the pandemic! The students are excited to be back and are eager to learn. We are confident that being back at school will provide a positive and enriching environment for them.
More updates about Jambo Jipya coming soon
This past month, two awesome librarians taught their students about Reason2Smile and our work at the Jambo Jipya School in Kenya.
Nicole Taormina, librarian at Boyle Road Elementary, and Melinda Alford librarian at Unqua Elementary School used Neema's Reason to Smile by Patricia Newman and our curriculum trunk to inspire their students with lessons and research materials.
Students shared their thoughts and dreams in a lively discussion and afterward participated in a recycled paper beads bracelet workshop. The bracelets were proudly worn by the students as a reminder of the educational opportunities they provide through Reason2Smile's work. Students could also choose to gift the bracelet to a special someone this holiday season - giving someone else a reason to smile.
World Kindness Day 2020
World Kindness Day is a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself, and to the world. Celebrated annually on November 13, World Kindness Day highlights that positive power and compassion for others is what binds us all together. Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race, religion, politics, gender, and zip codes.
In the book Neema’s Reason to Smile by Patricia Newman and illustrated by Mehrodokht Amini, Neema is the giver and receiver of many acts of kindness that are a testament to her character and motivate her to fulfill her dreams.
Please consider having your generosity continue in perpetuity through a legacy gift to Reason2Smile. Legacy giving (planned giving, deferred giving, estate giving) is a donation made by an individual through a will or other formal designation. They are meant to reflect the values and desires of the donor. As the name suggests, most donors want to leave a legacy or memory of their life through their posthumous giving. Please consult with your Financial Planner or Estate Planning attorney to establish a meaningful legacy to Reason2Smile.
You may leave R2S:
- A stated dollar amount
- A percentage of your residual estate
Greetings to all and Happy September,
We hope that everyone is doing well in this unprecedented time. We wanted to share an update on how Reason2Smile and the Jambo Jipya School have dealt and will deal with this pandemic moving forward.
Kenya like the United States shut down due to Covid-19 in March. Thankful the virus has not spiraled out of control and we are hoping that the situation will remain relatively stable. All schools and universities closed as of March 20 with plans to reopen in June which became July, which became September.
In August the government announced that instead of trying to make up the months lost, they are canceling the 2020 school year and only reopening again in January 2021. This means that all students will need to repeat the school year. While we were upset by this announcement and the fact that our kids would lose the opportunity for education this year, we have come to grips with this decision. Jambo Jipya and most of the schools in Kenya are not equipped to provide online learning or the ability to support this learning platform. Even our University of Nairobi student just finished taking exams that she was scheduled to take in May.
Looking for an activity that is not only fun but promotes social action and awareness?
Melinda Alford, a school librarian at Unqua Elementary School and board member at Reason2Smile shares her thoughtful initiative and how she has adapted the program during the quarantine
I started the Kindness Club for the fourth and fifth grades this Spring. The idea was to meet four times to create projects in a MakerSpace format that would benefit various groups. The projects were funded by a grant I received from the Long Island School Media Association (LISMA). Our first meeting was in March and the club made gift bags for a homeless shelter, John's Place, in Greenport. Our second meeting was planned to make dog and cat toys to be donated to an animal shelter and our third and fourth meetings were planned to make recycle paper beaded bracelets (the beads are from Kenya) and develop a school-wide fundraiser for Reason2Smile.
All of us at Reason2Smile send out heartfelt wishes that everyone is safe and healthy during these very difficult times of COVID 19. Our prayers are with all of the health care professionals and all workers on the front times. I am hoping we will see better times soon.
Kenya is also experiencing the quarantining and social distancing that COVID 19 requires. While certain areas can do this, much of the housing environment in Mtwapa makes social distancing impossible. Even more difficult is the lack of services that we in the United States have available such as skilled and qualified health care, unemployment payments, small Business stimulus loans, Hunger relief agencies/food pantries as well as online shopping and home delivery.
Please read this lovely update about a former Jambo Jipya student who is now attending the University of Nairobi. To reach this milestone one needs the desire, the motivation, the intelligence and of course the resources.
Executive Director, R2S
As we head into the holiday season of giving, we are reminded of all the important causes and charities doing wonderful and meaningful work. Whether it is supporting those in need or raising money to fight life threatening diseases along with money for the research for cures. Knowing the plethora of worthy organizations to choose from, Reason2Smile is extremely grateful that you support us – whether it is large or small, new or long term. Since we are a small grassroots organization every dollar counts and we are proud to say that most of the money raised for Reason2Smile is sent to the Jambo Jipya School and Children’s home.
We help to subsidize the school so the tuition is reasonable for a low-income family and provide scholarships for certain students unable to pay. The funding from Reason2Smile helps to pay salaries (teachers and staff), provide food, school supplies, books as well as pay the rent and expenses for the children living at the Jambo Jipya Children’s home.