Fun time at last at the orphanage – June 2019
With an improving food situation we were able to focus on play and fun for the children during their school holidays.
We visited the Orphanage again in June. This visit, as usual, we took clothes and school uniforms, but we also took some extra play equipment for the children as supplies are very limited to buy locally. We also took some additional tools to undertake maintenance jobs around the building and grounds.
The climate in Kenya has been immensely challenging over the previous six months, with excessive periods of drought, which had caused considerable problems in terms of lack of clean water. This has affected our crops too as we planted at the early part of the year and without the rains, sadly, it all went to waste as the expected maize and beans crops didn’t happen. This meant we had to purchase sacks of both to maintain the provision of the two primary staples of our children’s (and staff) diet. This situation also necessitated us providing money for water tractors to fill some of our water tanks. The tractor goes to rivers and lakes to fill up, so it is a costly addition to our running costs. We then provided funds to plant for a second time, which were growing well as we saw during our visit. We have over three acres to plant as well as growing vegetables within the orphanage grounds. The beans from this second round of planting are due in August with maize expected to be harvested in October. Climate change is affecting us all.
Our ongoing support of any medical attention the children need continues. We have sent funds for all children and staff to have an anti-malaria injection during their August holidays.
Fortunately, with an improving food situation we were able to focus on play and fun for the children during their school holidays.
We took out the usual supply of balls: soft, inflatable, tennis and footballs, and we also found some hula hoops which split into six pieces for easy transportation. Also, we took some plastic “sacks” to have sack races, and these were enthusiastically undertaken by both the children and our staff. The children always welcome that we spend time with them doing crafts and games. This visit we took two snakes and ladders games which they hadn’t seen before, but they soon got the hang of it, and at times it got very competitive; picture & number dominoes were another game they enjoyed learning. Crafts always go down well and we introduced playdoh modelling, making people and animals; and, of course, we took hundreds of beads to make bracelets and necklaces, which is a firm favourite. Marston Moor youth club sent personal cards for everyone and the children enjoy reading about their hobbies and school subjects.
As always we play games in the evenings; we have an interactive bible story and ask the children to participate in the storytelling, 30 children roaring like lions from Daniel in the Lions Den can be quite loud! We finish with songs, ‘I am the music man’ is a definite favourite, and prayers.
Regarding our two young people who are currently not at the orphanage. Regrettably, there is no update on Faith who is still on a trial period at a hospital undertaking administration work. This does mean she remains on half-pay so we are subsidising her upkeep. With youth unemployment at ca 45% for this age group we do still hope and pray that she gets a permanent job. Isaac is undertaking an internship at a TV station in Nairobi which his university has arranged for him. Our expectation is this will run until November (much longer than initially thought), and we hope that it will then enable him to be offered permanent employment. He is living independently in Nairobi and we are subsidising his expenses to do so.
We ran a Messy Church in the local St Dorcas Church, which our orphanage children attend. Over a hundred children participated at the service, which was based on the parable of the Lost Sheep. The children made sheep sock puppets and sang ‘welcome everybody it’s good to see you here’ (our Messy song) which is just so enjoyable and rewarding to listen to. After the service we all went back to the orphanage to enjoy juice and biscuits and a balloon to take home.