We like to boast about Daystar alumni and their accomplishments in their careers and service for others; however, Daystar students impact communities long before they receive their diploma. This is the story of how a small group of Daystar students saw a need in the surrounding community and jumped in to meet it.
Daystar’s south campus is located on the outskirts of a Naroibi suburb called Athi River. Next to the university is a small subdivision of homes that comprises a dusty, rural community known as “Lukenya.” According to one student living at the Athi River Campus, this community “lacked social amenities like schools, hospitals, and medical dispensaries. There were water shortages, no established business operations, and the environment was not conducive to positive growth.” That’s when a group of Daystar students decided to take action and become “pillars” of hope to the Lukenya community. They formed a group called the Lukenya Pillars of Transformation in 2009.
Now, the Lukenya Pillars of Transformation (LPT) is an official, community-based organization registered with the Kenyan government. The small group of student founders has grown to over 30 members who regularly serve the community with various mentorship programs, education projects, and other initiatives. The LPT’s main goal is to transform community members into servant-leaders while helping them become self-reliant, leading to increased quality of life in Lukenya.
Since 2009, the LPT has made a major impact on the Lukenya community. The group started the Mulandi Primary School in 2009 and has seen the enrollment grow to nearly 230 students in preschool through 8th grade.
In partnership with the university, the LPT has provided medical care for over 200 community members. The group also established an employment skills training program with a local hotel. The program employs, trains, and mentors local youth in interview preparation, housekeeping, food production, and team building to build their resumes and prepare them for jobs. In addition, the students participating in the LPT work with community leaders to teach people about HIV/AIDS prevention, sewing and tailoring, and other life skills.
Now, in 2016, community leaders are taking a majority of the ownership of these programs to ensure their long-term integration into the community. In the future, the LPT hopes to build a permanent medical center.
The Lukenya community is not the only beneficiary of the Lukenya Pillars of Transformation group. One participating Daystar student said: “I learned to give back to society with my heart—not only with my hands. I learned to do small things with great love.”
Daystar students find that the more they serve, the more they witness transformation—not only in the communities, but in their own lives as well. If as students they are starting schools, facilitating free medical camps, encouraging children to care for their environment, and teaching valuable life skills, what can they accomplish after graduation? The possibilities are as exciting as they are limitless.