Kenya Re-Visited 2012
September; our team traveled to East Africa to pursue our organization’s focus on program development and continuing involvement in Kenya. As usual, the group carried as many items as possible amounting to approximately 250 pounds of luggage. There is a serious need for second hand clothing, educational materials and everyday medicines. The group’s destinations included visits to several orphanages, the Langata Women’s Prison, Variety Village (a school for handicapped individuals) and finally the Children’s School for the Blind located in Thika.
Additionally, this year as a follow up to our previous activities we sponsored a three day Children’s Conference. The event was held at a nearby Boy Scout camp where 106 children from the Kibera slum gathered to learn from a staff of trained counselors, to worship in song and enjoy God’s goodness. The event and its rewarding success went beyond our expectations. The program included discussions on the following topics: sex, HIV/AIDS awareness, peer pressure, plus bereavement since death is such a part of a child’s everyday life in Africa, team building, the dangers of drug addiction and finally hope for the future. The children responded with enthusiasm to the planned activities while enjoying hot meals (a rarity) and snacks throughout the day. When the event ended the adults had difficulty rounding the youngsters up for the ride back home. Nobody wanted to leave. And if you ever visit the Kibera slum you will understand why the boys and girls felt that way.
Thika, an industrial town approximately 25 miles from Nairobi, houses the Karibu Orphanage where our organization has minimal involvement. Needless to say, however, we were greatly saddened to learn that there had been a significant increase in the number of abandoned infants from five last year to twenty five, eleven of which had contracted the measles. These babies are typically abandoned by young women who cannot provide them with even the basic necessities. In Kenya, single women who give birth to a child, even in rape situations, are put out of the community with no means of support. The team distributed clothing, sports equipment and treats to eager little hands. Afterward, we met with an AIDS group in a nearby church and presented them with an empowerment program since people with HIV face serious discrimination in all parts of Africa.
A befitting end to our efforts was an opportunity to purchase much needed playground equipment for the Children’s Home for the Blind.