Nurses Roli Parker and Dee Fouraker, supporters of our education program, have been friends for many years since meeting in St. Luke's Recovery Department. Roli and Dee jointly sponsor John, a young man from Bahati, Kenya, who graduated high school last year. Here is how these three lives came together.
As a teen growing up in L.A, Roli helped distribute food on the streets of Mexico and Dee built houses there on mission trips. Roli remembers a man spitting on their bus as it rolled by. "Maybe a hand-out wasn't something that made people feel good about themselves," she thought. Later, when Roli was introduced to Expansion, she experienced a different approach to helping others. Instead of hand-outs, Expansion offered a hand up.
Dee had been looking for something to be a part of after retiring from nursing, "So, when Roli told me about Expansion's medical mission trip, I jumped on board."
In 2018, the friends left with a medical team for Kenya. Each woman thought they'd use their nursing skills to help others, which they did. But while visiting a nearby school, they learned about the difficulty families had keeping their children enrolled. Their hearts were moved.
John, a young man from Bahati, lived with his family in a small one-room house. His parents worked hard but didn’t have enough money to keep him in school consistently. Because John loved school, he applied to E.I.'s sponsorship program and was accepted. But he had to wait for a sponsor to become available.
Moved by what they saw during their time in Kenya, Dee and Roli decided to sponsor a student together. This decision enabled John to remain in school and eventually become a proud high school graduate.
"Education is the foundation of a life of opportunity," says Roli. Education certainly impacted both Dee and Roli's lives for good and has given John that same opportunity. The friends became nurses, and they can't wait to see how John's life unfolds after graduation.
We want to thank Dee and Roli and the many other sponsors like them for helping extraordinary young people, like John, have the opportunity to get an education. You truly are making a lasting difference.