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Child Spotlight

Winney Jemutai

Winney Jemutai is a girl with big dreams, but she didn’t always see potential in her future. Before she came to our Ilula Children’s home, she was surrounded by poverty and devastation, which caused her dreams to crumble.

In 2005, Winney was born into a family of five, followed by the arrival of her baby brother a few years later. Winney and all of her siblings lived with their single mother Lilian, who constantly struggled to make ends meet and provide for her children. Because of this, Lilian decided to send her three eldest children to live with their grandmother, while the youngest two, Winney and Geofrey, remained with her. Overwhelmed by poverty and desperate for an income, Lilian soon turned to brewing illegal alcohol, which quickly led to her own personal addiction. When Lilian was off brewing and taking care of her customers, five-year-old Winney was left alone to look after her baby brother, often for days at a time. This forced Winney to sacrifice a dream-filled childhood and assume the role of a caretaker.

At such a young age, Winney only saw hopelessness and uncertainty ahead of her. This reached a peak when her mother was hospitalized in 2011 due to the extensive damage caused by her alcoholism. Despite treatment attempts, Lilian’s condition didn’t improve, and she sadly passed away. Winney, now living with her elderly grandmother and other siblings, had lost her mother.

Although hope seemed lost and her dreams erased, God was not done writing Winney’s story! One day, her grandmother heard about the Empowering Lives Children’s Home in Ilula and quickly requested assistance. Then, in 2014, Winney joined the Children’s Home at the age of eight along with her four-year-old brother Geofrey. Now living in a safe home and surrounded by a loving family, Winney began to remember those big dreams she once had, and she knew that she could “make it BIG someday!” 

She was determined from the start to not take these new opportunities for granted. For example, as she began attending school, Winney didn’t want to just show up to her classroom but wanted to excel within it. This year, she accomplished just that by scoring in the top bracket for her final exam as an eighth grader! Winney also saw importance in strengthening her English speaking, so she began reading story books in her free time. Before long, her mind was sharper than ever, and her English was improving rapidly! Winney also thrives outside of the classroom, using every opportunity to grow in her relationships with her siblings and parents. Winney especially enjoys when they have family time together, learning new skills such as weaving, calligraphy, and art!

As Winney’s dreams have been restored, she has reached goals she once thought impossible. Her life is a beautiful example of the hope and healing that comes from the Lord, and we couldn’t be more excited to see what she will accomplish in the future! Winney is a girl with big dreams, and we are confident that she will make every one of them a reality.

Vincent Kipsang

Kevin Teriokoo

Allan Kipkemboi

Dennis Kipchirchir

Flovia Jepng'etch

Viola Jelagat

Omari Kisanya

Jotham Oiko

Caroline Jeptoo

Sharon Chelegat

Leah Naeku

Justus Kiplagat

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