We started the day by eating breakfast at the hotel and then traveling roughly 45 minutes to the Abandoned Baby and Children’s Center in Dagoretti, Kenya. This is the place that Feed the Children has established for kids who have been abandoned or orphaned. Since the poverty is so devastating here, there are many children who need a safe place to live and go to school. The center is located just outside of a slum and therefore, there is a great need for a safe place for the children who live there.
Once we arrived at the ABC Center, Mr. Nazareno Ngare, the FTC Kenya program manager, welcomed us. They were anxious to give us a tour of the entire compound. It was wonderful to see the many buildings that existed there and learn of their purpose. I wish we could remember the exact statistics regarding the number of children that are helped at the center but nonetheless; the effect that FTC has had on this area is nothing short of astounding. We soon learned how proud the children are to have the privilege of living there but every child here deserves that chance at life and the ABC Center is responsible for giving them that opportunity.
During the tour, we had the chance to love on some kids while we were traveling from cottage to cottage. The compound is divided up and there are cottages for children of specific ages and abilities. There is also a dining hall, guest house, and plans to build a chapel are in the works.
We then were able to go and visit the babies, toddlers, small children and teenagers. The moments everyone had with these children were priceless and it’s safe to say that we are so thankful these children have a safe place to live. The majority of the children are unable to be adopted since most are HIV positive. Therefore, many live at the center for most of their lives and we even got to meet some of the staff who were brought as children and now work for FTC. Some were full time nurses and others community outreach employees and hearing their stories about how FTC saved their lives was heartwarming.
Today was a special day in that it was the grand opening of the new boys dorm. We were so lucky to be there today when they had the ribbon cutting and then we saw the children all perform a beautiful program. They said the most profound things and were so incredibly thankful for what they’ve received. Atlanta Flacons running back, Jerious Norwood, gave his support to the children as he displayed his admiration of their strength through these difficult times in their lives. Many of the children had physical and mental disabilities and seeing their smiles and watching them shine as they sang and dance was nothing short of amazing. They worked so hard to welcome us with this program and it was an honor to be there.
After spending time visiting, everyone had the chance to go back to the individual cottages and love on the kids some more. We got to learn names and stories. The children are so polite, smart, gracious, and driven to succeed in all they do. The staff was friendly and inviting. They are so compassionate and dedicated to their job.
We spent as much time as possible at the center and then had to say our goodbyes. I think many people are anxious to come back again and be touched by these children. The drive back through the slums was tough as the true poverty was evident even on the outskirts. We will be visiting homes and helping with the feeding program.
We then drove to see the new property of the ABC center and were wowed by the size and location. Feed the Children was very lucky to find this property and looks forward to renovating the building there and expanding so a school can be built and they can begin to store food in the warehouse on the property. There is so much ahead for Kenya and it’s wonderful to look forward to the future and be a part of the help that’s taking place here.
I think most of us would agree that it doesn’t take much to help another person. Imagine what could be done here if everyone was a part of eradicating the poverty. With the help of people around the world, relief can be brought to the people here and by educating them about healthcare, nutrition, money management, job coaching, etc. a positive change will surely take place. FTC has a vision that starts with providing food to hungry children so that their medicines will work and they will be healthy to learn. We look forward expectantly to what is to come for Kenya and remain hopeful that people will be willing to serve here to help the people in need. FTC is committed to bringing relief to people in need. If you know anyone willing to donate food, medical or school supplies, clothing, money, etc then please let us know and we will contact the right people for you.