Wow, time goes so fast doesn’t it? We have been back in Kenya now for well over 4 months so think a quick update is required!
We now rent a house in a suburb of Mombasa called Nyali which is much safer for us and also nearer to the family home and our Stepping Stones Centre. The house is currently on the market so we rent on a three monthly basis, however it means our rent is a lot cheaper than it would normally be here. And it is a lovely house so we can have people come visit us and stay here.
We continue to visit the children on the Mwakirunge refuse site – we now give them bread with margarine along with the fruit juice. A small improvement but again one that the children and adults there really appreciate.
The children continue to attend our Stepping Stones Centre twice a week. Just before Christmas, we took them to a small hotel for their Christmas outing. They ate sausage and chips, swam in the pool and played football and they all had a wonderful day.
We also held a New Year Party at the centre where the staff and children joined in with outdoor and indoor games. The children loved seeing the staff in the 3 legged and the tomato and spoon race!
We also open the centre one day a week for some older boys who were looking for someone to help them leave street life. We originally began with 8 boys but now have 4. One boy, Geoffrey who is 16 was taken into our home and is now attending school. Another young man, Musyoka has begun an apprenticeship with a plumber – 2 boys stopped attending which is sad for them but we need to have boys who are willing to change their lives totally and commit to working hard to achieve their own personal goals of a future off the streets.
We now have 3 more boys in the family home, Abdallah, Geoffrey and Kassim. They all started school this year, Geoffrey in High School and the younger two in primary. We now have 6 children in St Mary’s school in Bombolulu. Eli, who has been with us since 2011 is now working full time for the charity and provides us with much valuable insight into street llife. And Evans, who joined us at the same time as Eli is now at the University of Mombasa doing technical engineering.
Dan did very well in school last year and finished top of his class – well done Dan! Joseph and Paul are now in Kindergarten 3 and are doing well.
Celia has come to work with us for a couple of months. Normally she works as a midwife lecturer at Sheffield University but has swapped her students for street children.
If you are interested in visiting or working in the charity for a week, two months or anything in between, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with you.
We still have so much we want to do here to help these children. We continue to look for suitable land which we can afford to buy to build our village. We are looking for premises to use as a second centre close to the Mwakirunge refuse site which will aim to train the women with young children and babies with a skill so they can leave the dump and find a house for themselves. And we really need a second family home – either one we will rent or one we can build if we find land.
Lastly, we want to thank everyone who supports us, either financially, by prayer or by encouraging us especially during the difficult times here (and believe me, there are a few of those!)
Without this support, we would find life here so much harder, the work would be so much less and the street children so much poorer than they are today through your generosity.
So here is the final few words from some of the children at Stepping Stones – Happy New Year!
We are thrilled that Evans Kipruto who came to us from the streets in 2011 will shortly be studying Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Mombasa. Evans was repatriated home to his parents in Eldoret in 2013 and Gap Kenya have continued to pay his school fees until now so he could complete his education. He has been able to secure funding to attend university here in Mombasa, so during term time he will be back in our family home with Timothy and Brigid. We know that Evans will be a great encouragement to all the children in the home, but especially to Eli who came to Gap Kenya at the same time as Evans.
So often, street children are written off but Evans (and all our children in the family home) prove this is not the case. Each child is special and has their own unique abilities which a little love, hope and someone who believes in them, allows them to flourish.Details
We are so excited to announce we have two new supporters! St Helens Wigan Gospel Choir will be supporting us from September and Home Estate Agency based in Tameside are going to make a donation for every house they sell starting in September also!
A huge thanks to both – every penny makes a difference to a street child’s life!Details
Back to feed the kids on the dump site with our friends from the UK, Irene and Alick.
The kids had found a black bag full of waste food from a hotel and were gathered round it, stuffing it into their mouths as fast as they could! It turned my stomach to see them eating this…..Some of the people nearby were angry at my taking the pictures and were throwing sloppy, dirty food at me – I know I am doing this to share with others the plight of these kids, but they know it isn’t very dignified to be scavenging for food and eating it and would rather they weren’t seen!!
We so want to be able to take these kids to our Stepping Stones Centre for showers, proper food and some fun……..no child should have to live like this!
In March, we went to see how Brian Carter was settling into High School. He is the 2nd boy on the front row and his teacher is called Mr Wilson. Brian says he is really enjoying school again after his time on the streets and has made some new friends there. He has also settled into our family home well and we really believe he is going to do well……..he has a great future ahead of him!Details
Crossroads Church are encouraging people to write on the wall a verse which means something to you. Was thrilled to see the two Brian’s and Martin writing on the wall! They are pictured here with young Joseph and Henry Victor. Please note that the temperature is in the early 30’s yet Brian and Martin have chosen to wear sweatshirts!! With shirts underneath!!!Details
I really love Kenya. Driving home from the family home today, two young boys came running up to the car. Hussein and Brian had attended Stepping Stones for a couple of weeks unti we discovered they were not street children at all and were supposed to be at school!
They jumped into the car for a ride to the end of the road, closely followed by a young girl. Before we knew, there were around a dozen kids all trying to get in the car for a ride! Then as we drove to the end of the road, they shouted through the windows to all their friends, showing off that they were in a car! They were so thrilled, we just had to smile!
We have found the perfect place to sit, to pray and to plan. So this was our office this morning – just a 15 minute drive away. Yes, we have to take our own coffee (or coke!) but it is the best setting in the world to just chill out and plan the next steps for Gap Kenya.Details