Stephen and James from Kenya

Stephen and James in front of their school
Stephen and James in front of their school

Stephen and James were born in Kenya’s Kibera Slum. While its makeshift shelters and crowded conditions made life challenging, it was the only home the brothers knew.

Their single mom struggled to take care of Stephen, James, and their younger brother and sister. She wasn’t able to find steady work in the slum and her lack of employable skills made looking outside the slum fruitless.

In December 2007, the family’s already desperate situation grew even more dire. As people contested the winner of Kenya’s national election, protests and ethnic violence swept across the nation.

Suddenly, the place that Stephen and James had called home all their lives became incredibly dangerous for members of their tribe. The brothers and their family were forced to flee for their lives. They found temporary refuge in a tent city with other displaced families and finally made their way to Nairobi.


Shortly after their arrival in Nairobi, Stephen and James were introduced to International Needs.

Through the sponsorship program, these gifted and hard-working young men enrolled in a local high school.

Stephen discovered a passion for the culinary arts and enjoys preparing meals for family and friends. After graduating from high school, he plans to pursue a career in catering.

After stumbling upon a natural talent for music, James began writing Christian rap music glorifying the name of Jesus. He aspires to a career in music when he finishes high school.

Stephen and James are like so many children around the world: blessed with intelligence and talent, but born into situations of limited resources and little hope. But now, thanks to International Needs and its partners, these brothers have the freedom and the means to pursue their God-given gifts to their fullest potential.

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