Saturday, August 27, 2011

Off the Beaten Track

Taking a ride in a packed rickety matatu, I ventured off the beaten trail, to Soweto, a slum area eastern outskirt of Nairobi. I had earlier met C, a French lady who volunteers in a children home and she invited me to visit the home, Good Samaritan Children Center. There are about 50 children here, age from a couple of months to mid teens. The home manage to raise enough fund to renovate and refurbish their place and the 50 children along with the 2 caregivers are now housed in 2 tiny flat units rented nearby.
Some of the stories of the children are heart wrenching. Some kids their parents are too poor and not able to care for them. Most of the kids lost at least a parent. There's a baby girl who was sent here after being discovered by the sewage. Then there's a baby boy who was left at the doorstep of the home.

As tragic as the stories, there are hope and joy. The baby boy who got left at the doorstep is now a healthy 2 months-old, aptly name Gift. The older kids stay in school, one boy making to the boarding school. And then the smiles of the kids, so bright, so cheerful, so infectious.

Spending a couple of hours with them was fun and precious, as well as humbling. I brought them some sweets and they gave me a lesson in the meaning of gratitude and thankfulness. What a trade!

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