Last year June while working with OLPS, Kisumu ( Education Department) as Education Advisory Personnel and "Career counselor" for sponsored children under a EGPAF funded program, I came across an advert on Mama Hope International Website . Mama Hope is a women led organization with it's headquarters in San Francisco but works 6 countries in the world which include Kenya,Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia &Guetamala . At the organization where I worked, OLPS Mama Hope funded Sustainable Programs and other projects which included the building of OLPS Kisumu Children Rescue Center, Rita Rose Sustainable farm and Garden and Chiga Community Water Project.
In the advert , they wanted three youth to join their "Class two" of East Africa Global Advocates for a one year fellowship program 2017/2018. I thought this would be a nice opportunity for me to serve my community in a special . After going through my application and doing a Skype interview, I was successful to join the fellowship. One of my assignment as a Global advocate was to help Kisumu Children Rescue Center School ( CRC Academy) source for funds to build at least a classroom and buy a learning materials, a campaign I dubbed JOURNEY OF HOPEhttps://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1042114 . Before this , I was already working with the Rescue center, helping them in developing curriculum and setting up sack garden for the CRC kitchen.
At Kisumu Children Rescue Center, we have a total of 54 children who are abandoned by parents, victims of Domestic Violence andorphaned children who are mostly affected by HIV pandemic. Here we provide them with Shelter, Food, Education, Psycho social and spiritual support. Now, a Rescue Center is different from an orphanage, here we keep the children for sometimes as we seek for ways to reintegrate to the society by connecting them to responsible relatives or link them to some of the orphanages we work with.
The stories of these beautiful souls sometimes make me shed tears. Some of the kids even cry when it is time to move them to orphanages because of the attachment they already have with the center.
Working here, you'll basically have to humble yourself because you are working with beautiful but "fragile" souls . The center depends on a farm, Rita Rose Sustainable Farmand garden for food and to pay workers. During drought , the center has to resort to alternative ways of survival. Our Director , Sister Anastasia Juma sometimes go an extra mile to borrow food from local shops so that these kids don't go hungry. I think, I came to appreciate women more through her, her struggles , her persistence, perseverance , sacrifice and how she hold hopes of these children.
I have come to learn that life is not about being self centered and ignoring the plight of others . You can basically achieve happiness by being selfless and serving the less fortunate in the society. That is I "harvest my happiness".
Seeing these kids smile, I also smile. It is a special way of turning other people's desperation into happiness and you equally become part of that happiness.
It is a way of making simple miracles happen!https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/1042114