Meet Sandra Cherop Were

November 7, 2013 by Diana Coombs

By Colleen Costigan, Professional Volunteer


Meet Sandra Cherop

Sandra and I bonded right away when I was in Kenya for one month last year. Why? I carried her on my back from the medical clinic to the Children’s Home. She was so ill with malaria she couldn’t make the two-kilometer walk.

From that point on, we were good friends. And I think we would both agree that saying goodbye last year was difficult.

Sandra and Colleen

Sandra became an orphan at the age of one when her single mother died of AIDS. She was brought to the Children’s Home in 2006 and is currently in class five. She loves to read storybooks. In fact, when we sat down to do our interview in the Children’s Home library, her eyes were fixated on the books surrounding her.

Second to storybooks, Sandra’s love for math fuels her dreams to become a pilot. I inquired about her dream job by asking what it entailed and if she knew anyone who was a pilot. She stared at me with a blank look. Admittedly, asking her if she knows any pilots in the small village of Kipkaren is not fair but my hope was to encourage her to think more deeply. Does anyone know a pilot? Maybe we can help Sandra learn more and encourage her in this dream.


Regardless of the path her life takes, Sandra will be successful. She is one of the most hard-working children I know. Whenever I come up to the Children’s Home, I see her helping with different chores from cleaning and organizing to caring for the little ones. The heart God gave her for service shines through with her huge smile.

Sandra’s favorite part about the Children’s Home is making good friends, having good parents (Mark and Edna Kimei are her house parents), and her education. I also asked her the most challenging part about being at the Children’s Home to which she responded, “when friends leave and I feel lonely.” When I asked her how she copes with the loneliness, she admitted to keeping herself busy with chores.

Dealing with loneliness through distractions? I think we can all relate.

Sandra also said she talks to God during those lonely times and asks him to keep her friends safe. Her selfless concern for others is evident even through her prayers.

I ended with one question for Sandra:

“Sandra, what is God like?”

“He’s like us,” she replied in the softest and sweetest voice I have ever heard.

I’m pretty sure Jesus had a big smile on His face as He heard her say that. He must have thought, “Yep, that Sandra, she sure gets me. I am just like you.”

Hebrews 4:15 reinforces this concept, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin.” He gets us. He understands our pain. He understands our loneliness. He knows how it feels to miss friends.

Thank you Sandra for being a hard-working, welcoming, loving leader in the Kipkaren Children’s Home and most of all for reminding us that Jesus is, Just like us!”


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Categories: Daily Life Education Intern Voice Kenya Vulnerable Children