As you may already know, Organic Surge is passionate about their ongoing work with children’s charities in Africa and as always has a hands-on approach to help provide accommodation, food, medical services, education and hope for children’s futures through direct contributions from every Organic Surge product sold.
‘An oasis in Nairobi’ talks about this year’s trip to Nairobi, Kenya including life at the children’s home and even a little story about one of the children, Chollo.
For the past couple of years I have been privileged enough through Organic Surge to visit and volunteer at the Thomas Barnardo House (TBH) - Kenya’s children home, in Nairobi Kenya.
It is quickly becoming a home away from home, a warm loving place filled with plenty of life, laughter and VERY excited children.
Functional home units have been formed around a central house mum who oversees the running of each house. There are eight different houses, each made up of 15 to 18 children, from ages of 3 to 18 years old. Each child fills an important role within the house, helping with basic duties around the house as well as looking after their brothers and sisters.
One may think that this what all children's homes should be like, well I can assure you this is an oasis in Nairobi, so much so that I personally believe that the kids have almost lost their predator-like survival instincts that their Kibera counterparts live by.
Life at TBH is certainly different, with a carefully manicured grass football field, well maintained buildings, children laugh and run around knowing that they are loved and that they will be a provided with three healthy meals a day.
Life at the babies home...
A typical life story is that of a child being abandoned on the road side or at a hospital and TBH are called in to assess the situation and hopefully take on another baby into their well equipped and staffed babies’ home. I spent an afternoon between activities at the home with the babies, this day stuck out for me during my two week visit as I found it very relaxing and highly encouraging.
The home cares for babies from days old to 2 years after which they are allocated to a house in the children's home. During our visit a baby was collected from a nearby hospital where apparently the mother informed the nurses at the hospital that she wasn't able to look after her baby and that she was leaving! Apparently this is an unusual situation as most mothers just get up and leave without any communication. Having spent time talking to the average person living in Nairobi and the pressures of increased costs of living I can see where she is coming from, probably unable to feed her own family it is unlikely that she would be able to provide for another mouth.
Fortunately for this baby she struck in lucky and landed up in TBH's baby home, however I'm sure there are many others who aren't as fortunate.
As one came in we were privileged enough to meet Lucy and Edward, a young Kenyan family who had gone through the vigorous adoption process and were able to adopt a baby from the babies home. That confirmed the importance of this amazing home, a life was rescued while another was empowered and hopefully uplifted!
I was put to good use as soon as I had donned my clean white cloak and sterilized shoes, with over 40 babies to feed four times a day. It wasn't long before I took to feeding a couple of the warmly dressed babies a hearty plate of mash potato and spinach in no time. Followed up with a bottle of warm honey they were set for yet another nappy change. I could have been there all day with the soothing music and hungry mouths, however the older kids beckoning to play brought me back to reality and once again I became a 'bull' human jungle gym!
One of many children's stories...
Chollo is an 8 year old kid who suffered injury to the brain when he was a young boy which resulted in him losing his sight. You might think that this would stop him running around with all the other kids, you might even expect him to have another kid leading him around. But his nature is such that he will lead you around! Clinging to your arm, he will confidently lead you up the flight of stairs to his house, to the book shelf and into his room where he will very politely ask you to please read him a story. The other boys and girls in his house treat him like anyone else, and when visitors hand out sweets they stick their hands into the packet and grab a treat for their brother Chollo!
Kids & babies have an incredible step up in life and are very fortunate to have gone from being abandoned to living within a functional home environment where they are loved, supported and given the opportunity to fulfill their dreams! Organic Surge can be very proud of their contributions and the real impact that they are making to these children's and babies lives.
Haj – Organic Surge sponsored volunteer.