At the end of March our Executive Director will head to Kenya with a small team to join Fred and Alice as we meet with birth parents, government officials, education administrators and community members to learn how we can best support community based orphan care in Kenya. Alongside our partners we will seek solutions to keep more children in families, to provide improved emotional support to the children and identify pathways to assist the children in breaking the cycle of poverty.
We will start out in Nairobi where we will meet with several birth families who have relinquished their children into the care of Hope Children’s Home. We will also sit down with families who are considering making this choice. We will listen as they describe to us the challenges they face which can lead to a decision to relinquish. We will listen for opportunities to identify systems of support we can develop to help keep more children with their families, or ways to support family reunification.
Next we will travel to Kitale where we will meet with the Kitale County Children’s Coordinator to hear her vision for supporting orphans and vulnerable children in the area. We will discuss the challenges the community faces to meet the demands of the orphan crisis in the area. We will listen as she helps us understand the complexities of the issue and look to hear from her and the area Chief ways which the community can be supported by Light Up Hope to help their children.
We will listen to the joys and struggles these kids face every day and through them we gain the inspiration that fuels Light Up Hope
While in Kitale we will spend the majority of our time at Hope Children’s Home. We will relax under the guava trees and be inspired by the very children we are there to serve. We will listen to the joys and struggles these kids face every day and through them we gain the inspiration that fuels Light Up Hope – spending time with them is what is most important to us on this trip.
Finally we will travel to Kakamega where many of the high school students attend. We will sit down with them to listen to their hopes and dreams for their future. We will listen to how we can best support them as they approach graduation and post graduation; supporting their efforts to transition into independence. We are bringing a short curriculum with us to help them identify the resources they already have and the resources they will need in the future to achieve their goals including an exercise on how to be aware of healthy decision making and future thinking: how to acknowledge the important role survival skills have played in their lives while also shifting thinking patterns to include logical skills and rational skills when it comes to making life decisions in relationships, education and employment.
We will be posting updates to our blog and to our facebook page while in-country. Subscribe to our blog or Like us on facebook to watch our trip unfold.