May 2020 Newsletter

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.  — Nelson Mandela

Kenyan Pandemic Update

Kenya’s government imposed stringent containment measures in March to control the spread of the coronavirus. To date, over 78,000 tests have been conducted countrywide, with a total of 1,962 confirmed cases and 63 COVID-related deaths reported. Nyeri County, home of the Vocational Training Center, reported its first two cases of coronavirus this past week, and we pray that contact tracing, along with other measures, will contain the spread.

Although the crisis has affected everyone, marginalized and impoverished communities around the world have suffered disproportionately. Learn For Life Kenya, which serves such communities, has taken steps to try to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the people of Nyeri County. In March we launched a campaign to make 4,000 masks for distribution to those in need in the community as well as to the workers building the Vocational Training Center. Our Pandemic Portraits give you a glimpse of this work, which your generous support made possible.

Pandemic Portraits

Vocational Training Center

Construction on the Vocational Training Center has continued throughout the pandemic, albeit with a skeleton crew to help control the spread of the virus. The current phase of the construction entails plastering the entire building and completing initial mechanical and electrical work. This phase is now 88% complete and is expected to conclude by the end of June. Together with our partners, we have raised approximately $58,000 of the $67,800 of the required budget and are seeking about $10,000 to complete this phase.

The next major phase of the construction will include installing windowpanes, applying floor finishes, painting, putting sanitary fixtures in the washrooms, installing firefighting systems, wiring main electrical panels and fixtures, and completing external drainage systems. Stay tuned for the launch of this phase after June.

Call to Action

We are beginning to work with our partners to re-imagine the post-COVID-19 period as the pandemic is redefining jobs and the future of work. While the pandemic has brought about disruption, it is also serving as a catalyst for digital transformation in various industries. We are currently assessing various scenarios for skills-based training that will help individuals prepare for and secure jobs in industries likely to be affected by this transformation. We invite you to share your ideas at


Learn For Life Kenya is committed to combining goodwill with contextually relevant solutions, strengthened by sound economics and grounded in the recognition that all humanity has dignity.

Visit our Flickr account for more photos of Learn For Life Kenya’s work.