“Umoja is a parent to the orphans.”

Form four student Michael delivered a heartfelt speech to Denise Soltis and Kathy Miller during their March 2018 visit to Chulaimbo. Read the transcript of his moving speech:

I want to speak generally about Umoja what it is to us, how it has benefited us individually and society at large.

To start with, to our students Umoja is more or less like a family. It is a mother to the motherless. It is a father to the fatherless. Umoja is a parent to the orphans. Umoja brings unremitting hope where there is despair. It comforts the bereaved. It is an orphanage, a light from Almighty God to shine and illuminate through the dark and desperate heart of the orphans and widows, those who have been considered less fortunate in the society, those who have completely lost hope, those who have been declared poor among poor people, those who are anguished, despised, rejected, sufferers, and beggars in the society. But Umoja puts a smile on their faces and leaves them jaunty and gives them hope that even if their legs will carry them no more, they would rather crawl on their hurting knees and swear never to lie down and rest.

Umoja gives us the three things needed for one to complete a race, that is, determination, commitment and the urge not to give up. It doesn’t matter how many challenges we face in life; the question is:  Will we finish the race? And here Umoja answers that they’re here to help us cross over to the next stage of life.

Umoja is a Swahili word meaning unity. Umoja is made us to become one family. People from different ethnical backgrounds come together as a family, and from this family, we never lack food to eat at home, we never lack clothes to wear, we never lack paraffin at home, and the most important is school fees. It is through Umoja that the less fortunate in society have become doctors. We have engineers, teachers, nurses, and many more. And people ask, “What is Umoja? Where did these people come from? Who sent them?” And they say, “God bless Umoja.” And those themselves unanimously do support this project and do appreciate this project.

We students believe that persistence is the ability to keep on trying even if the desired outcome is out of sight. It is the elimination of an option. If our minds can conceive it and our hearts can believe it, then we know that we are going to achieve it. And the best is yet to come through Umoja, and we still remain undaunted.

Every successful person has a painful story, and behind every painful story is success without failure. We trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not in our own understanding. Because God has never promised us an easy journey but a safe arrival, and we know that the best is to come through Umoja. And we will still continue pressing on even if the going gets tough.

As I conclude, no word can express our gratitude towards Umoja. No light can illuminate the joy in our hearts towards Umoja. We are so much obliged by your support. The work Umoja is doing is astonishing. May the Almighty God strengthen Umoja to continue pressing on to helping the needy children. As we students, we promise to work hard and stand up to be known as the successful students of Umoja and make Umoja proud of us.

To our guests feel most welcome to Kenya. Have a nice time in Kenya and feel more at home than you feel when you are in USA and kindly do not forget to pass our greetings to our most great friends in Indiana. And finally I thank you all for listening to that mesmerizing speech and giving me that opportunity. May Almighty God strengthen Umoja. Long life, Umoja. Thank you.