Earlier this summer I blogged about courageous straight allies Rev. John Makokha and his wife Anne Baraza of Other Sheep Afrika-Kenya, and their charity Children of Africa Hope Mission, which offers food and education for the poorest children in Nairobi. The mission school was founded in 2009 by the women of Riruta United Methodist Church. In addition to providing free education, this school is often the children’s only source for regular meals and health care.
Their web presence is currently under construction so no online donation page exists. Carol Berg from First United Methodist Church of Wabash, Indiana is their U.S. relief coordinator. Donations can be sent to Carol at 529 Bryan Avenue, Apt. C, Wabash, IN 46992. She is working on setting up a direct bank account for the school. Below, Carol shares her thoughts about the mission and its needs:
“One of the things that some people do not understand is that without food, there is no school. Some of the kids at the school have nothing to eat from the time they leave in the afternoon until they arrive again the next day. I would imagine there are a few of them who have nothing to eat from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.
“As I see it, those kids need more than rice, cornmeal, oatmeal, kale, and tomatoes in order to thrive. I have not yet figured out how a child can grow a good body, let alone a well-functioning brain, without proper nutrients. As we both know, it cannot happen. I am hoping that we can send enough money for good, nutritious food so that Anne does not need to worry about feeding the children. She will have the opportunity to worry about other things. I think that people of good will can feed those kids and lift that burden from Anne and company.
“As you probably know, the school needs everything…including a floor that doesn’t get muddy when it rains. Everyone understands that the ultimate goal is self-sufficiency, and step by step I believe that will occur…and I pray that it happens. The kids deserve good food and an education. They have no chance at all without both….
“I have a number of people who give $10.00 or more a month so that the school has money for food coming in monthly. Without food the school cannot exist. I send the money to Anne Baraza, the director of the school at the beginning of each month. I ask the monthly givers to get the money to me by the last Sunday of the month. I consider the money well spent. We are not only feeding the children, but we are also making certain they get an education as well. Without food, the school closes. It is just that simple. God has given me this task…to feed these kids so they can learn. It is difficult because people give for awhile and drop out. Therefore, I continue to search for giving people just to keep $200 a month going to the kids for food. Of course, they need more than that to have a nutritious diet which they deserve in order to have healthy bodies and brains. They also need mosquito nets because of all the malaria. The school needs all the school supplies you can imagine…especially paper and pencils including some of the larger ones for little hands….
“It seems that it wouldn’t take too many people of good will to feed those kids and their teachers well. I received a message from a kid named Melvin. He said that he likes to go to school because that is the only time he eats….from one day to the next day at school he doesn’t eat; from the end of the school on Friday to his return to school on Monday, he doesn’t eat. Melvin isn’t the only child in that situation, but he is the one who wrote about it in such a specific way. Other kids said they liked to come to school because they had something to eat.”
Thank you jendi and carol for highlighting the plight of these kids. We are giving face to these kids. Thank you for putting a smile on their otherwise miserable faces.