The Story of New Hope School by Sarah Olonde
My name is Sarah Olonde. I am 45 years old. I am from the Lake region of Kenya. My husband Thomas Olonde and I came to Mombasa to start mission work. When I got to Mombasa we found a place to live in, which was in one of the slums known as Ganahola. I was shocked to see many children not going to school. Some were helping their mother to brew and sell the traditional alcohol, known as Changa. It was bad. After seeing what was happening in this community I started feeling a push that I should do something to help these children get the needed education. I was thinking of how they will be without an education and this made me remember how I couldn’t proceed with my learning when I was a child because taking a girl child to school was believed to be a misuse of money.
I got over burdened so much that I could not sleep. Anytime I was alone I was seeing myself teaching these children. One day I woke up very early I went around the neighborhood because I wanted to know why these children were not going to school. The answer I got from the parents was that they had no money to pay for their children to go to school.
I had nothing. I didn’t have money or a place I could call a school but I felt I should do something to help these children get an education. I started under a tree with 2 children. I shared what I was feeling with one pastor who had a small room that they were using as a church. He gave me permission to use it as a school. God gave me grace and all the children I was teaching were performing very well. People started bringing their children and the number was increasing every day. Within three months the number increased from 2 to 25 and today, in 2017, the number of children is 750.
New Hope School was started to give hope to the hopeless in the year of 2002, on January 7th. After seeing the kind of life the people in this area are living I invited their children to come to church and this made a lot of parents to come and hear the Word of God and many were saved and baptized and are now members of the church. Through New Hope School many have seen the light.
In addition to the 750 students at New Hope Primary School, there are over 150 students at New Hope Zelma Moore High School and New Hope Primary School in Magongo and Ramogi. In total, there are four schools that make up the 900 students that are being educated, fed and receiving the Gospel through New Hope Schools. I still have a burden for the less fortunate and the orphans at my school. The orphans have a lot of challenges. Some are depending on the meal we serve at school during the day. Some are being mistreated by the people they live with. I feel I should give them a place called home but I can’t accommodate all of them in my house. I love them so much and I am praying to see them prosper in their education.
Edited by Ashley Lawson. April 2017.