Hope Story, a non-profit based out of Canada, sent me on an independent mission to Creation of Hope, the orphanage in Kikima. I spent three weeks with a beautiful family and 79 children. I went with the goal of collecting materials the foundation could use to raise awareness and find sponsors for the orphans. To my surprise, I came back with that and much more. I learned more about myself in those three weeks than I did about the orphans and the villagers. Their condition was clear. Their suffering was evident. However, it became painfully apparent that my two hands could do very little to alleviate the suffering of so many. A much bigger, collective effort would be necessary to make a difference in their situation.
The hearts of the kids I encountered exceed our concept of innocence immeasurably. They have no concept of the limitations and confinements within which they live. Many of them have little knowledge about life outside of Kikima, let alone outside of Kenya or Africa.
Massive changes need to be made to create a significant positive impact in these kid’s lives. But, as I discovered while I was there, the one place we can start, as with many things in life, is in the moment. As you’ll see in many of the photos, the only toys these kids have to play with are bottle caps, sticks, and the buckets they use to wash their clothes. I asked the founder of the orphanage, Ruth Kyatha, “What would bring them the most joy?” Her answer was fast, “A playground!” In my time there, I also found that the most successful means of connecting with the kids and facilitating their connection with one another, was music. When they used their limited toy selection to create rhythms, it was innate for them.
Thus, my goal is to raise enough funds to send them a playground and musical instruments.
Many of us have been both fortunate, and unfortunate, and know in our hearts the impact another person’s generosity has had on our lives. We all have the capacity--whether through our wallets, time, skills, or energy... whether it is minute or grand--to give in a way that creates real, tangible impact in the world around us. This is not just a call for donations. This is a call for action. If anyone has the desire to jump on board in any capacity, please reach out.