Bethel Presbyterian Church (USA) - ministries world-wide: Grace School in Limuru, Kenya


Grace School - Limuru, Kenya

Bethel is in relationship with a private, Christian primary school in an economically deprived area in Kenya. The interaction includes regular communication and prayer, occasional visits to Kingston by members of the school taff, and budgeted and special financial contributions to the School from the congregation.

Grace School was founded in 1997 by Monica and Rev. Samuel Wambugu (deceased). The married couple had lived in East Tennessee for the prior year while Samuel was a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, and Bethel came to know them through the Presbytery of East Tennessee.

The school's mission is to bring light to a dark corner of Africa about 30 miles west of Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya is a country of 30 million people. The average annual income in US$ is $360. Life expectancy is 48 years.  In the slums of  Limuru -- known as Misery or Little Egypt -- the school provides an education and a noon meal for 110 children ages 4-14. A third of these children are orphans in the care of grandparents or other family members. The school's curriculum includes English and Kiswahili, mathematics, science, geography, history and Christian religious material. The education provided is intended to be of higher quality than that available from the government-provided school system, and providing for the nutritional and other related needs of the children is key in achieving this goal.

The Wambugus began with a one room clay house, and with $1200 constructed a small, two-room concrete structure. Today, the school's facilities include the original building used for administrative purposes, a 3-story classroom building, and a dining and assembly hall that includes a kitchen. From its original size of 3, the school's staff increased in size to 10 or 12 to accommodate the larger student body. With Samuel's passing in June 2011, Monica assumed his role as Director, and Stephen Karanja joined to oversee the day to day operations. The operating budget has grown with the student body and is now approximately $45,000 (US) annually. From the school's inception, the surrounding school grounds were used for gardening, and that tradition continues with vegetables, poultry, and dairy cattle at the school and Monica's home helping to provide food and financial income for the school.

You can contact Grace School through the Service Team at Bethel.

Bethel has adopted a formal written statement describing the church's commitment to the school. Click HERE to view the document.