|Kirsti with Gabriel, whose birth she attended|
the last time we were here
|Teacher Evelyn (left) and community worker|
Hendrika (left) with student Brian
Today we arrived at the Little Ray of Hope in Kwangware. This is where Glide teams have come for the last three trips. The agenda for this trip, however, is much different. Instead of providing programming, we are here to listen and learn. There have been many changes in the program since we were last here, and we want to understand the changes better, so we can best support the amazing work that is being done here.
When we arrived at the learning center, we were greeted by four of my heroes: teachers Alfred and Evelyn, community health worker Hendrika, and cook Agneta. These four have committed their lives for caring for vulnerable children: orphans and those who are HIV+. When a child loses a parent, or the parent abandons the child, these four think nothing of welcoming the child into one of their (already overcrowded) homes. Every additional child means a greater strain on their already meager resources, but that does not deter them one bit. Their understanding of family and community is far wider and deeper than anything I have ever seen anywhere else. Resources are meant to be shared, not hoarded or stored up. We at Glide say, "If someone is hungry, you feed them." Here at the Learning Center, if a child is hungry, an adult will make do with less to make sure the child has some food. Imagine a world where we all made that kind of commitment to each other!
The children welcomed us with song, as they always do. There were so many new young children! Most of them do not yet speak English, so we had fun communicating beyond words. We played together and then in the afternoon, Kirsti led them in a craft. She had brought plain t-shirts for the children to customize as their own, using magic markers.
|Our newest Glide enthusiast!|
It was great to see him and hear of all he is learning here. He will stay down here while we in Nairobi, so look forward to having more time with him.