We wanted to update you all on the latest news from Mtwapa.
The boys are now back at school and are enjoying all their lessons. They have all progressed to the next class, with top marks!
The children’s home had some wonderful celebrations at christmas, and the boys spent one week in their hometown of Takaungu with their uncles, aunts, sisters and cousins.
We are planning our next trip to kenya in March and will have lots more news and photographs for you while we are out there.
We are hoping to take details of all the boys sponsors to them in March when we go, so if it is possible we would love sponsors to prepare a letter, photograph or some sort of greeting to their sponsored child, we will then be able to help them prepare their first letter and bring it back with us. Please contact us at email@example.com to arrange this!
On our last day in Kenya we took the four sponsored boys Charo, Safari, Kaingu and Emmanuel to visit their family in their rural hometown of Takaungu.This is a coastal town, but it is very sprawling and much more spread out than many of the more urban areas closer towards Mombasa. Poverty is extremely prevalent here and there are many fundamental issues and challenges faced in normal daily life for all the families living here. For our part, the determination and cheerful optimism of everyone you meet inspires and deserves the utmost respect and admiration.
This was also our opportunity to say hello to the family, for Rich and Fai to become more familiar with the background and tribal culture of our boys and for us to let the family know all the details of their sponsorship.
They were very pleased to see us all and very proud of the boys when we told them how well they were all doing in class and how hard they are working. Charo settled into his role of photographer yet again and lots of funny photos with fingers over the lens ensued, just as at Riziki!
The boys rural home is still dilapidated, although the walls of the house have been partially repaired. There is still no furniture to speak of but there appears to be slightly more food with less mouths to feed and the boys’ older sisters, Mariam, Mpenzi and Kadzo, all seem healthy and strong. They are also all attending school, which is some improvement, although we got the impression their attendance is not very consistent and that the school is far from ideal.
The boys really enjoyed meeting with their Aunts, Uncles and sisters again and we encouraged the family to be visiting them in New Light Childrens’ Home as regularly as they possibly can. It was a wonderful way to spend our last day and gave us some true perspective on the trip before we returned to England. I really hope some of the brilliant atmosphere and the pure honesty of Takaungu itself has been translated in these photos.
We gave Charo and Kaingu bags of boys and clothes to distribute among their sisters and cousins. They clearly adored this responsibility and we hope you enjoy the photos of it as much as we have!
Thanks again, congratulations to those of you who can spot the toys and clothes you have donated personally among the chaos! Im sure you can tell how well used they will be!
We thought you might be chomping at the bit for more information about the first four sponsored boys on the programme, so we thought we would give you a bit of background to them and why they are sponsored now.
When we first met Charo, Safari, Kaingu and Emmanuel they were four brothers in a family of 11 children, all staying in a dilapidated mud hut in a rural village called Takaungu; about 40 minutes north along the coastline from Mtwapa. The family consisted of 7 girls and 4 boys, their (estimated) ages ranging between the eldest at 15 years and the youngest at 2 years. The ages are all estimates since the children don’t know their dates of birth and because they were not born in hospitals but in the village they do not have formal birth notification cards!
The boy’s father had recently passed away, and his three wives, the mothers of the children, had all abandoned them. They had one uncle who was attempting to help them with food and clothing, but who was also struggling to feed his own family. Consequently, they were living alone. The boys were working in a local quarry making bricks to earn a small amount of money for food, but the family were struggling to make ends meet. The house they were sleeping in was impossibly small, with almost no furniture and all four walls were in a state of severe disrepair; it was clear they could not remain in this situation any longer.
We began to look for alternative accomodation for all the children, hoping to find them stable places to live where they would recieve food, water and access to education. The chief of the village and the district childrens officer along with some relatives of the children we traced in Takaungu all suggested children’s homes to be the best option and the search began!
After finding many homes full to the rafters we came across Riziki Children’s Home, and New Light Boys Home. The guardians at these homes were happy to accept the 8 youngest children and so four of the girls are now staying in Riziki and attending school there. The eldest 3 girls are now living in the village with their uncle, but without the babies to look after, are able to go to school and feed themselves more easily.
1 year on, Charo, Safari, Kaingu and Emmanuel are now fully settled into the New Light Children’s Home in Mtwapa and are firm friends with many of the other boys living there. They are also now attending Mtwapa Academy, one of the best schools in the area, and are newly sponsored as part of Milele.
We are intending to help New Light and Riziki Childrens Homes in their respective endeavours to begin a regular connection and link the boys and girls together again. We also hope to instigate visits between the boys hometown of Takaungu where the eldest sisters are staying and the two homes so the connection between them does not weaken.
Over the next few days we are hoping to post some individual profiles of the boys so you will get to know them with us!