Crossroads Springs Africa facilitates secondary and post-secondary education for disadvantaged Kenyan youth so they can reach their potential and become sources of economic and leadership strength in their communities.

TOGETHER WE ARE ONE: FRIENDS OF KENYA RISING

We are excited to announce that over the next few months Crossroads Springs Africa (CSA) and Friends of Kakamega (FoK) will be joining together as one, combining our programs and resources under the umbrella of a new organization named Friends of Kenya Rising (FKR).

As you have undoubtedly noticed, we at CSA have been working closely with Friends of Kakamega over the last few years. We share programs on the ground in Kenya, and we share the mission of assisting students and their families in Western Kenya to rise above poverty. Between us, we currently support more than 350 students in their primary, secondary, and college studies, and we also assist these students’ families, over 1,000 people, through farm support and other family-focused programming.

CSA and Friends of Kakamega were both founded close to two decades ago in response to the impact of overwhelming poverty and HIV/Aids in Kenya which left many children orphaned and without access to school. CSA’s program to support the education of extremely needy children was initiated in Hamisi, while FoK’s began in Kakamega Town only 20 miles north of Hamisi. Students from both organizations hail from all over the region, with no real geographic difference.

In 2004, CSA co-founder Alison Hyde and FoK founder Sukie Rice began to share joys and challenges of doing very similar work. Five years ago, after the Kenyan government had fully stepped up to ensure primary education for all, Alison contacted Sukie to tell her that CSA was working on a change of focus toward secondary education. FoK assisted CSA to facilitate our plan of providing support to needy students so they could access otherwise unaffordable high school education. We’ve only grown closer since.

We’ve been working on this in the background for more than a year. FoK founder Sukie Rice, in a letter that she wrote two months before her passing this July, said that “as programs developed it became clear that they were doing the same thing and that there would be SO much more to offer the work of each organization if they were to combine in some way.” We, the CSA’s Board and our friends on FoK’s Board, could not agree more.

The current CSA Board will continue their volunteer work on the new combined FKR Board, continuing a strong Western NY tradition. A single combined newsletter, website, and donor management system will move our mission forward with the advantage of new ideas, new solutions and new programs. There is strength in numbers. By joining forces with a like-minded entity, we will strengthen our voice and the work we do in pursuit of our mission.

Completing the formal consolidation will take some time. Friends of Kenya Rising is now registered as a nonprofit organization and has applied for its 501(c)3 IRS designation. Currently, CSA’s and FoK’s Consolidation Committees are working on new by-laws and policies, building our joint website and combining our communications. Both CSA and FOK will remain officially intact until Friends of Kenya Rising is well into the process of functioning on its own.

Our work continues whether we call ourselves CSA or Friends of Kenya Rising. Our assistance to students and families in Western Kenya continues and will be stronger than ever as one. We whole-heartedly thank all our sponsors and donors, and we want you to know that we’re as committed as ever to carrying on the work that you have supported over these many years. We envision a smooth consolidation and hope that you share our enthusiasm for this exciting opportunity to become a more robust and powerful voice that fights to combat poverty by supporting needy children and families.

You may contact us at any time to ask questions or learn more. For those who wish, we encourage you to call Alison Hyde at (716) 652-0166. Alison is especially excited about this consolidation because by joining together, she has even more confidence that the organization she founded so long ago will endure, grow stronger, and continue its tireless efforts to assist needy students and their families as they rise above poverty.

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We have started to publish some newsletters that are only being sent via email. They have included helpful links to pdfs, web pages and other online documents of interest such as slide shows. This will save us much needed funding that can be used for our students and their families. And in times of COVID-19, this may be a safer solution. Keep following all of our news but please sign up to receive our newsletters in your email. The link to sign up is in the sidebar to the right. E-mail supporters also receive a link to our monthly crossword puzzle challenge. The winners will receive a CSA Game Winner t-shirt. Here is an example: see the crossword puzzle for this month (CSA Animals Crossword 1). For Crossword Puzzle CLICK HERE. If you would like to be in the running to win the t-shirt, you must provide your email when you are prompted. Only the puzzle master will see the scores. People receive points for correct answers and for the amount of time it took them to complete the puzzle. We are proud to announce that Becka Hyde received a Game Winner t-shirt as she was the Game Winner for the month of August. And Ellen Moomaw received a t-shirt as she was the game winner for the month of September. Judith Bradshaw Brown from Hulls Cove, Maine was the proud winner of a t-shirt for the month of October. gameshirt