A New Chance for Joy: CFI Kenya’s Impact On One Little Life

July 9, 2018

George Ongere runs CFI’s international branch in Kenya, where one of his primary concerns is protecting children from beliefs about witchcraft. When accused of some kind of sorcery, children are made the scapegoats for others’ bad luck, mistakes, and misfortunes. This situation led George and CFI Kenya to establish the Humanist Orphans Center, dedicated to helping children whose lives have been upended by witchcraft accusations get a quality education, along with food and supplies.

For children with albinism, the situation is especially dire, where albino children are sold to witch doctors and killed so their hair and bones can be sold to those who believe they have magical properties.

George recently told us about his experience with a little girl with albinism named Joy:

“Joy was born with albinism, and because her father could not understand the science behind albinism, he accused Joy’s mother of cheating on him with another man and completely ignored the child. Joy’s mother was left to see how the child could survive. She tried approaching various institutions for help, but people stigmatize albinos. They believe they can bring them bad luck. At one point, someone approached Joy’s mother to sell the baby for $5000(US), but she loved her child much and believed she would one day get help.

“She approached me as a desperate mother who had lost hope. I listened to her story and I was moved. I knew that if I could not act, Joy would fall to the fate of other children with her condition: she could be sold to witch doctors. I started looking for a school that would admit the child. After a long search, I found Aluor School for the Special, a school that was meant for albinos. I took the letters of admission and the fee structure. I made sure I paid for the fees.

“I hosted Joy and her mother as she was reporting to school today. Joy will be amongst the Humanist Orphans that we will support.”

“I thank CFI for their continual support,” said George, “for I get the chance to impact the lives of people in need!” And that’s exactly why we’re so proud to have George and CFI Kenya as a part of our global family.

George also updated us on the status of another initiative of CFI Kenya, one that is quite special to us for entirely different reasons: The Ron Lindsay Library. The only library in their village, it is of course named for CFI’s previous president and CEO, and current research fellow, Ronald A. Lindsay.

George told us, “The Library has even been recognized by the County Government of Kisumu and the County Ministry of Educationfor the impact it has in the community.” This summer, the Ron Lindsay Library will host a special Education Day involving schools from around the community.

# # #

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.