The year was 2020. The whole world was brought to a standstill thanks to Covid-19. Governments put in place measures to curb the spread of the virus; top among them being ‘Stay at Home.’ People were advised to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, wear masks while in public spaces and maintain a physical social distance of one meter. A record number of people lost their jobs while others had to agree to a pay-cut just to survive. Vulnerable individuals in the community such as the elderly, the disabled, the poor, widows and orphans had a tough time coping with the pangs of the pandemic. A number of organizations that were dependent on well-wishers experienced a strain in their resources.The situation was no different in our country, Kenya. It was at this juncture that a number of my friends and I in Kakamega county decided to pull our resources together with an intention of helping the less fortunate in our society. We channeled our contributions to a joint account and were able to raise a reasonable amount of money. We then picked one of the orphanages; Divine Providence Home and bought a few food and non-food items. With the consent of the Deputy County Commissioner of the region, we went ahead and managed to deliver the aforementioned items to the home.
On the 20th of June 2020, we visited the children’s home located in Amalemba, adjacent to Kakamega High School, 400 meters away from the Kakamega-Kisumu highway. We were accompanied by the area chief who would be there as the representative of the government as well as oversee that the set containment measures aimed at preventing the spread of the novel corona virus were adhered to. We were however not able to access the premises being one of the preventive measures set by the administration. We promised to go back and interact with the children once the situation stabilized.
At the time, the orphanage had a total of forty children. The oldest was 17 years old while the youngest was a day old baby. some of the children were abandoned at a tender age while others were born out of incest.Majority of the children were aged 1-3 years and their needs are very specific. The greatest challenge experienced by the orphanage was shortage in supply of milk and pampers. A majority of the population in the orphanage were very young children who solely depended on milk before the weaning period. Any future donations that would be made would be of great help if they included the said items.
The orphanage worked in collaboration with the Kakamega police and the child protection center. The area chief also brought to our attention the rising number of cases of incest in the region. It was evident to us that there was a need for an amicable solution to the challenge; increased sensitization, campaigns and education especially to the youth would be the core area to explore.
The orphanage also embraced inclusivity and had three children in the previous year who were living with disability. the children were however transferred to Kilifi since Divine Providence Home does not have skilled personnel to take care of the children seeing as they required specialized services.
The nun in charge received the donations on behalf of the management and the children. She was grateful and mentioned that would help in the running of the home. She also mentioned that they encouraged adoption of the children. Some of the children were also placed in foster homes.
All in all, the day was a success and it became apparent to us that there was need to visit more homes. We then agreed to be involved in more charitable activities henceforth. We came to a consensus to start saving up and visit more children’s homes come December 2020. An individual who is willing to join in helping out can contact us through our official email; firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone on 0726298044.
Let us all experience the spirit of altruism, experience the warm glow effect and make the world a better place, an individual at a time.