Cindi’s Hope, founded in 2011 by Dr. Cindi Mendoza and Mary Owinyo, is a rescue center established to serve young Kenyan girls who have been physically or sexually abused. The center offers a safe haven where these girls are housed, fed, clothed and educated. Originally serving just 14 girls at one location in 2009, the program has now expanded to two locations in Kenya, serving nearly 200 children. An additional site in the Eastern Province’s Burgesera District of Rwanda has also been established–the first of seven schools to be built in Rwanda over the next five years. The school in Rwanda opened in January 2019 serving 100 students in the primary grades.
The program utilizes Direct Instruction as part of their Pre-unit through class 3 curriculum in order to more efficiently and effectively teach reading, language, and math, despite the fact that most incoming students are not Native English speakers. This programming allows teachers to best assist students who previously had large gaps in their learning and development. Cindi’s Hope trains Rwandan teachers in Direct Instruction programs–including Direct Instruction for Spoken English (DISE)–in an English speaking environment before sending the teachers back to the sites to teach.
The Engelmann Foundation has assisted Cindi’s Hope through staffing, training and textbook purchases and is proud to support the work of Dr. Mendoza and her colleagues as she continues to make a profound impact on the children of Kenya and Rwanda.