Don Rogers (International Director) and Samuel Teimuge (Kenya Director) look over the Kerio Valley in Kenya. (photo: Micah Albert)
There was an air of excitement Sunday morning as I walked over to the Ukweli Chapel for service. Men were occupied on their cell phones, children were running here and there and I even saw some boys wearing red sashes. I heard joyful singing as I proceeded to the front door where I was greeted by a young man named Apollo, wearing the same red sash embroidered with the word “Usher”. He motioned for me to sit in the front row, which was considered a place of honor. When I looked to where he pointed I saw only three people sitting in the entire front half of the sanctuary. I immediately looked to the back of the church and found the regular congregation squeezed in the back of the room. I graciously declined the offer to sit in front and took a seat in the back with the others. It was still unclear to me what was happening, so I sat quietly and waited for the answer to reveal itself. Almost twenty minutes passed by before the answer showed up in a big white bus. Through the windows of the chapel I could see those doors open and within seconds, children were pouring out one by one over 80 children and adults walked single file into the front of the sanctuary. We soon learned that these children had come from the Kapkenda Primary school to spend the day with the children of Ilula. I have never seen a church so full, children were sharing seats and some were even sitting on the floor. Yet, it made no difference to those who congregated in that room, for all those voices rose as one and the Lord was worshiped in a beautiful and memorable way. This set into motion a day of fellowship between the children of Ilula and Kapkenda. Immediately following the service, our guests were invited to take lunch with the Ilula children before spending the afternoon playing a variety of sports. This leisurely time gave the children the opportunity to get to know one another and to make many new friends. Before our visitors departed, they presented the Ilula Children’s Home with some very special gifts. Potatoes, cabbages and wheat flour were given in appreciation for the time together, as it was a day thoroughly enjoyed by all. The children were sad to say good-bye, but know they will see each other again.
Children at the ELI school in Bukavu, DR Congo line-up for their daily lunch, provided by our generous donors! (photo: Micah Albert)
In an effort to bring life-sustaining ideas to the Children’s Home, we invited an instructor from ELI’s Sustainable Agriculture programme to present a composting seminar at the Children’s Home this weekend. It is astounding how much trash over 100 kids and 14 adults generate in a few days!
The make the seminar “kid friendly” the Ag teacher and student taught the children about categories for garbage – trash that comes from things that were once alive, and trash that is non-organic. After learning about “living” and “non-living” we brought our own trash bag out and the sorting began!
We hope in the future as the children start to use the rich compost soil on the gardens near the Children’s Home that this compost lesson will remain with them, even traveling to their home villages and be taught to others!
Our great kids in the ELI school in Bukavu, DRC.
Daily life on Lake Victoria, Tanzania. (Photo: Micah Albert)
Form 2 students practice their French lesson in the ELI school in Bukavu, DR Congo. (Photo: Micah Albert)
Last year, in a controversial presidential decision, Kenya signed into law a bill that legalizes the traditional home-brewed spirit called changaa.
Changaa, translated literally means “kill me now”, and according to studies, kills more than 100 people annually in Kenya.
But changaa is less of a problem of physical health than it is social, mental, and familial; tearing apart families and destroying local economies due to lack of productivity. The government admits that the country is sitting on a time bomb unless the problem of idle youth is dealt with urgently. ‘When the youth are idle they are easily lured to crime. We have seen the consequence of having idle youth. The post-election violence was mainly driven by idle youth.’ Kenya’s youth are treading a dangerous, increasingly alcohol-fuelled path that is leaving them vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. (more…)