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The Viruoso-Upchurch Learning Centre
In 2013 AmericaShare inaugurated its Virtuoso-Upchurch Learning Centre, dedicated to special needs children, gratefully named for the Virtuoso travel network and its CEO, Matthew Upchurch and his wife Jessica. The professionally staffed VULC replaces a brave but hot and overcrowded classroom with an airy, modern new building with bright wall murals, tiled floors, new desks and chairs, separate boys and girls bathrooms, specialized learning materials, and a small fenced courtyard which gives the children a pleasant and safe place to play and enjoy their lunch.
It almost--but not quite--goes without saying that special needs children have a terribly difficult time in an up-and-coming, but still poor country like Kenya. The VULC is a refuge, a solace, a helping hand, a beacon of hope for these children.
Above, a comtemplative moment; below, a frequent presence in the learning centre are AmericaShare's Doreen Orega and Justus Okeyo, a beneficiary of Micato-AmericaShare sponsorship for secondary and medical school.