April 2015 Visit
School bags, school books, chickens & more!
In April 2015, Karen Stobert, Children & Youth Leader at Tockwith Church flew out with Angela Hall, MD of H&A and Tockwith Church Warden. Here is Karen’s overview of the trip.
It’s an eight hour flight to Nairobi, a 40 minute domestic flight to Eldoret and a three hour drive on some rough terrain to reach Kipcheria. Between us we took 93kg of luggage consisting of clothes, balls, skipping ropes, tennis rackets, colouring books, stationery, new school bags and sweeties.
The orphanage moved into a new building in August 2013 with a matron and two security/handymen living on site. Solar panels were put in last year and there is piped running water (sometimes!) and water tanks for back up.
There are currently thirty children, fifteen girls and fifteen boys, and the building has the capacity to hold up to fifty. There are three girl’s dormitories, three boy’s dormitories and separate shower rooms. The ages of the children range from 7 to 22 with the majority between 10 & 12 years, however not all ages are accurate.
All go to school but as school fees have to be paid this means many local children don’t have the opportunity to attend school. Interestingly, school years depend on ability not age, so children do not move up until they reach a certain standard.
The work ethic is amazing. The children rise at 6am weekdays for school, homework is completed every night after supper, with the older children helping the younger ones. Every Saturday is spent washing their own clothes, washing floors and generally tidying up.
Chickens were purchased initially in 2014 and all the children now have eggs for protein. We purchased new flip flops for all the children whilst we were there with money donated from a local business, and some new school books with money donated by Tockwith Church.
I was asked to lead the Sunday School Service but they forgot to tell me that this is attended by 120 children from local villages, a bit higher than the 25 I normally have on a Sunday at Tockwith Church.
All the children in the orphanage are happy, even though they have all recently suffered with chicken pox and malaria. The is no rough and tumble fighting and very very little crying, sharing comes naturally. They adore the time we spend playing and teaching English songs and ways. It is such a pleasure to be with these little folk.