As we enter the holiday season filled with the spirit of giving, many families look for a cause to contribute to. With that in mind I’d like to introduce my Aunt, Ainoam, or more commonly known as Mama June. Culturally many Kenyan women are identified using the name of their youngest child, my cousin June then gives my Aunt her name, Mama June. June, who I lived with until the age of 5, is developmentally disabled and, while enormously loved, is a young woman with many care and medical needs. Additionally, my Aunt now cares for 2 grandchildren under the age of three and her mother who is now in her 80’s. My grandmother has lived with diabetes for several decades but the disease does require special care and constant attention.
Along with my parents Beth and Stuart, we would like to ask you to make a donation to my Go Fund Me page to build Mama June a new home to fit these new and additional responsibilities in her life.
I’ve provided pictures of the home that I shared the first 5 years of my life. It is constructed of cardboard, timbers and corrugated metal. There is no indoor plumbing, electricity or heat source. Mama June built this structure fifteen years ago and has made it a loving, inviting home, but it is time to take care of the ultimate caretaker. Mama June hasn’t been immune to the aging process and the tiny house has deteriorated, its current condition is quite bleak.
My parents and I returned to Kenya this past August and while there received several estimates on building a new structure. It will be made of concrete blocks and cement. And, Mama June is amazed that it will include indoor plumbing, solar power and an overall more secure environment. Mama June is a subsistence farmer and owns approximately one acre of land. She plants and harvests, all by hand, corn and red beans. Along with the nourishment one milk cow provides she somehow continues to care for and feed all who share her loving home.
A single parent, Mama June has always been adamant about her independence and has plans to maintain her self-sufficiency. Her goal is to build this new home and, elsewhere on her property, assemble 4 tinier rental properties/homes that will provide income for her and affordable housing to other women and or families.
I’d like to leave you with a story about my Aunt’s humble and giving spirit.
As we arrived to her home one late morning two young children were inside eating beans, rice and ugali with warm Chai. She engaged them in conversation in such a way that we thought maybe they were neighbor children. After they left we asked where they lived. She then told us she didn’t really know but they seemed hungry while walking by. Here’s the point, those children knew Mama June would feed them merely because of their apparent need. She is known for this, generosity merely because it’s needed. She’s likely entertained angels unaware.
Go Fund Me pages are wonderful opportunities to enrich and help others. If you choose to assist anyone thank you for that. But, we assure you; if you do choose to help Mama June you will definitely be saving lives. During our seven visits to Kenya and Mama June’s home she has always kept an iron rod besides the door. It’s her security system. And she’s used it. Her current home built of cardboard, timber and mud does not offer much security for this woman and anyone within its walls. A new home, made of sturdier materials would allow a more peaceful, less stressful environment.
In closing, please consider a donation to our request and whatever you decide we would be most grateful if you would share this Go Fund Me page with your friends and family. We will be matching all donations up to $5000.00 unless you inspire us to match more!!!