NEHEMIA LENOI’s childhood memories are defined by the many sleepless nights he had because of sleeping hungry. He knows poverty first-hand but also remembers the many times well-wishers came to their rescue. He tells SILAS NYAMWEYA how his experience inspired him to start a foundation that now feeds over 200 families.
Who is Nehemia Lenoi?
I was born in a place called Kumpa sub-location, Purko ward in Kajiado central. I am a family man with one wife and two lovely children.
I was raised in a single-parent home after my dad passed away when I was still so young. Our mother who was a housewife didn’t have any source of income when my dad died. We could go without food and many other basic needs that a child need when growing up. We slept hungry for so many nights.
You run a feeding foundation in your community; is this what motivated you to start one?
Absolutely yes! As someone who has slept hungry several times and with firsthand experience of what being poor means, I felt the urge to start a programme in my community that focuses on putting something on the table for the poor members of the community. I have a clear picture of the poverty situation of my community members and I wouldn’t want a situation where individuals and children cry on end because of hunger.
My feeding foundation is called Mepukori Self-Help Group, which means we cannot live without food. I started it in 2019 in partnership with friends and well-wishers from Enroi Children’s Home who encouraged and empowered me in different ways. When I flashback on how hard our nights were after we went to bed hungry, I decided to not let any other child go through that.
Where do you get the resources to run this programme?
Mostly, I get the resources from friends, well-wishers, and organisations but sometimes I have to dig deep into my pockets to ensure the foundation does what it was meant to do. Every three months, my organisation purposes to reach more than 200 families.
What future plan do you have for this foundation?
My dream is to reach millions and inspire hope in them. If you can’t feed 100, feed one and we change the whole world - that is my life’s mantra.
What have you learned from this experience and how has this changed your life?
The day I started to share whatever I have; I have indeed seen a big change in my life and my family God is providing for us in a big way. We are not rich but if you compare our life today from the day I started to share, there is a big difference because now, there is something we share with others. I have learnt that when you share what you have with others, God gives you more.