Not being with the kids this year has been difficult for them as well as for us. But the time at home has given us time to reflect and remember those precious moments when we are together. The following reflections are from the Mitchell's, a family of 5, who visited Namayiana last summer and experienced the joy of meeting their sponsored child, Ashline.
It is almost certain that most individuals or families who visit Namayiama Children's Home will state that it was a life-changing experience. We were certainly not an exception to this rule. There were so many aspects of this trip that were extremely meaningful and powerful for us as a family.
From the initial meetings with all of the families who were traveling to Kenya that summer of 2019, we started to have a sense of excitement. This was going to be a trip like none we had ever taken before. Gathering supplies and packing them appropriately, being concerned that we would get everything just right, we started to get some insights into just what kind of difference we could make in someone elses life? At this stage, we still did not realize how powerful of an impact the people of Kenya and the children of Namayiama would have on our lives.
When we arrived at the home, we bonded almost immediately with the kids - we were powerless. Their smiles were infectious, they played, they sang and danced, and they embraced us. We got to know each of them individually and certainly had the opportunity to build relationships with many of them that will hopefully last a lifetime.
We found these children to be incredibly resilient and resourceful. They wasted almost nothing and found a secondary use for almost everything. Our family gained new insights and perspectives just by being with them and talking to them. We certainly felt like we learned as much from them as they did from us during our visit. Our favorite time was spent just hanging out and playing. From singing and dancing and playing soccer and volleyball, to playing in the swimming pool, or walking down to the dam and talking, we found these moments invaluable. Being able to share our time with them and truly give them our undivided attention meant something to the kids. They never got enough of it. It was certainly important for us too.
We can still see their smiles, feel their hugs, and hear their laughter.We are forever grateful for the gift of the children of Namayiama. And none of us, to this day, ever take for granted the ease with which we can take a shower, turn on a faucet, or flush a toilet.We look forward to our next visit!
ASANTE SANA! THANK YOU!
We can't begin to thank you enough for how you have stepped up to help the kids and the community this past year. Typically, we would have taken 2-3 teams to Kenya by now with fundraising activities before and after the summer trips, setting us up for new opportunities and projects for the year. But during this unprecedented time, we have not been able to have any of our usual fundraisers and bead sales, eliminating over half of our budgeted income.
But you have ensured that our children's basic needs have been met and that our staff has been paid. You have even helped the community, including the elderly widows.
Like other non-profit organizations, Kenya's Kidz has been severely affected by the pandemic, and we know that you've had many opportunities to help other needy organizations. We feel honored that you have chosen to support Kenya's Kidz. Thank you for helping us support the children we all love, as we weather this storm together.
COVID- 19 IN KENYA
In Kenya, a surge of COVID cases has been reported in the past few weeks, after restrictions were eased in late September.
Their restrictions are similar to ours in regard to wearing masks and congregating in groups. Discussions are now underway to reimpose previous restrictions. Schools are still on schedule to resume in January, where all students will repeat the grade from last year. The borders have started to open to international travel, but it is generally discouraged for non-essential travel. While we miss the kids terribly, we don't anticipate being able to travel in the near future. We are so grateful that our remote little village continues to be COVID free.
OUR MAILING ADDRESS HAS CHANGED!!
While our team activities and fundraisers will continue from Denver, all business and communications will now come from Arizona, where the Schartons have moved.
Please send your checks and correspondence to:
19516 N. Crescent Ridge Drive
Surprise, AZ 85387