The Nadine Griffey Academy of Kenya is a California nonprofit created to provide an education for orphans in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a way for me to honor my late wife, Nadine Griffey, who was a Master Teacher, and to reach out to the orphans living in terrible slum conditions.
Why Kenya? In 2002, Nadine and I began to sponsor a young girl who lives in the Mathare slum in Nairobi. I visited her in 2006 and discovered that she was living in one small room with an aunt and eight other children. The room had a dirt floor with no door, toilet, heat, light, stove or water. All eight children slept on mats with no blankets. I decided then and there that I, personally, could provide an opportunity for a better life for at least some of the thousands of children who face a future of oppressive poverty.
My original vision was to construct a boarding school which would have functioned as both a school and a home for the orphans. But as I became more educated, it became apparent that a more serious need was for a home where the children could live between school terms. Therefore, the Board of Directors has decided to sponsor and pay for the orphans to attend existing private boarding schools in the Nairobi area and to separately raise funds to build a home where the children can live when not in school. This will enable us to begin helping orphans immediately and our first few children have already been enrolled in a private boarding school.
We have selected three boarding schools in which we wil sponsor the children. They are (1) Musa Gitau Primary School which is a Presbyterian-based public boarding school. (2) St. Elizabeth Academy, a Catholic-based private primary boarding school; and (3) Madaraka Primary School, a Catholic-based primary boarding school for girls. Each school also has a secondary school campus. The children selected to attend one of these schools will be chosen by Kenyan educators who are able to find within them the necessary spark of desire and determination, coupled with reasonable academic and social potential, to help in their success.
The Board of Directors of the Nadine Griffey Academy of Kenya consists of both active and retired teachers and school administrators here in California. The nonprofit also has a separate Advisory Board in Nairobi with educators, financial advisors and other prominent individuals.
To reach out to the many orphans that need help, we need the financial support from individuals, corporations, churches, foundations, charitable trusts or others who believe, as I do, that “Although we may not be able to help every orphan, we CAN nevertheless help many orphans escape a future in the slums by providing the essential springboard of a comprehensive, high quality educational experience within a family setting.”
Unlike other more substantial charities, we are not trying to cure world poverty or end starvation. But the Academy does offer a special opportunity to change the lives of at least a few orphans who have lost their parents and, if they are lucky, have an aunt or grandmother still alive to care for them.
If you would like to partner with us, please remember, when you help children, you are making a difference. We CAN change lives, one child at a time. Please feel free to call, write or e-mail me at any time.