Like most things in life, this story began very small. It all began in Selb, Germany in August 2001. While searching the Internet for a project to help her young German pupils understand that English is spoken around the world - the English teacher, Brique Zeiner, added her name to a teacherâ€™s site. The director of Learning and Development Kenya (LDK), contacted her through this website. This contact led to the first two child sponsorships in the project in the Rhonda Slums of Nakuru, Kenya. The basic idea was to finance the education of as many children as possible in the program at the Center in the Rhonda Slums. Education is the only way to help them to help themselves and to change their futures. Soon more and more sponsors were found in the small German town for the children in Nakuru. Together with a good friend of hers, Clara Sikora, Brique Zeiner began organizing fundraisers in order to assist LDKâ€™s work and to make people aware of the horrendous situation in Kenya. Their success proved that people were ready to help if they knew that the work and the organization were real and honest.
Live and Learn in Kenya (LLK) was founded in 2001 in the small German town, Selb in Fichtelgebirge (Bavaria), which is a small town but world-wide known as the "City of Porcelain" because of its porcelain companies Rosenthal and Hutschenreuther.
The first visit to the Rhonda Slums of Nakuru, in the year 2002, opened Briqueâ€™s eyes and the heart to the situation in the Rhonda Slums: devastating poverty, hunger and thirst, desolate living conditions, unemployment, disease, AIDS and death on the one side - on the other: a community of life loving, friendly, deeply religious and appreciative people who readily shared all that they received. During this visit Brique Zeiner made the life-changing decision to build a complete Center where only a wooden shack preschool and an adobe hut kitchen existed. She decided that the first step was to build an orphanage with LDK for the many orphans; most of them were AIDS orphans, so that they would have a place to live and be able to continue their education.
" Virginia M. Buena wasnâ€™t a social leader, a saintly person or even famous in any way. She was a mother just like millions of others before and after her. Through her own kind and caring way, she taught her own children to be kind and caring people. Her memory stands for the warm-hearted women around the world. The Center in Nakuru was named in her memorial and in the memorial of all mothers who teach their children to respect life and the lives of those who cannot easily help themselves. She was my mother."
Once she returned from Kenya it didnâ€™t take long before a small group of caring people was formed. They wanted to do more than just pay for the education of the children at the Center. They applied to the state for registration and became a non-government organization - Live and Learn in Kenya NGO (in german: Leben und Lernen in Kenia e.V.).
Purpose of the organization is the support and assistance to impoverished children and young people in Kenya. Through fundraising events, donations and sponsorships LLK provides 100% of the intake for the sole purpose of providing the needy children and youths in the LLK program with free welfare services, in particular for their educational necessities, the feeding program, HIV/AIDS and Hygiene Awareness seminars, medical/dental care, clothing and the foster child program. Our highest priority is providing the basis for dignity and self esteem.