Along the shores of Lake Victoria, hidden from the tourism madness, lies a small town called Mbita. The hills and the lake embrace this town and have played a big role in protecting it's innocence and rustic charm. In this little town, is a group of young and passionate individuals who have dedicated their lives to empowering their community by eradicating the challenges such as poverty, lack of education and lack of healthy environment. For a town that lacks supply of fresh water, electricity, good schools and basic infrastructure, this task is not easy. But that has not stopped these beautiful souls. Everyday, they spend most of their waking hours working on projects they have established to achieve their goals.
In 2007, group of these individuals decided they had to take some drastic steps to bring about change in their community. That is how HOPE LINK CHILD, KENYA (http://hopelinkchild.wix.com/rusinga) was born. They have come a long way in this eight years. They run a school called Hope Link School that aims to fulfill basic health and education needs of the underprivileged children in their community. They are running an Organic Life Response Project, which aims at implementing organic and sustainable techniques to grow food and improve the lives of locals by teaching and providing them with healthy alternatives. They also have a Community Capacity Building Program that organizes workshops and classes to empower the locals with leadership and other skills. Two of their members craft beautiful baskets and wooden sculptures that they plan on selling and teaching how to make.
David Orato, the project coordinator was my point of contact for our visit to their town to help this organization. We spent some time with him and his group, learning about their organization, visiting their farm and discussing the goals and future of HOPE LINK CHILD. He was kind enough to invite us to have delicious home cooked meal as well!
As many other non-profits, their organization struggles to achieve financial stability that will enable them to continue working on their goals. That is where we all can help. It is the small organizations like this, who dream big and are not afraid of failure, that can help resolve many major issues faced by our communities today. I invite you to check out their organization and support them. This support can be monetary or by spending time volunteering or even sharing information about this organization with your family and friends.
Below is the important information-
HOPE LINK CHILD website - http://hopelinkchild.wix.com/rusinga
Please make donations to -
Name: Hope Link Development ProjectAccount number: 0760196475894
Bank: Equity Bank / Mbita Branch
Swift Code: EQBLKENA
Branch Code: 076 / Bank Code: 068
We spent a day with these beautiful children living in an orphanage in Nairobi. Some of them were in this orphanage because they had lost their parents and some because their parents could not support them. As much as it was heartbreaking to see these children not being able to live with their family due to some unfortunate circumstances, there was not a moment we felt any ounce of sadness in them. The love and smiles they showered on us was tremendous. They all were joyful and sometimes mischievous. They shared with us their dreams and aspirations, like any other kid of their age. They had the same innocence as any other kid would during childhood. They danced, played and sang with us. When it was time for us to leave, they sent us off in such loving manner that our hearts felt heavy with sadness.
On our way to the orphanage, we requested the cab driver to stop and help us buy fruits, bread, biscuits and juice for these children. Most of the times these children are able to eat chapattis with beans or sometimes just chapatti. Occasionally when they have visitors who bring fruits, juice and bread, it's a treat for them.
Someone who was kind and passionate about helping underprivileged children opened this shelter to provide them roof and food. But due to lack to continuous financial support, the living condition is not very hygienic. Education is provided but very basic. And this is one of the many orphanages in this world. Some are doing better, some worse.
Such experiences make me wonder what kind of a world we live in. On one hand we have children who are picky about anything and everything they are provided and on the other hand there are children like these....who long for moments when they can demand something from a loved one. Why such contrast exists in this world is beyond my understanding. Can someone explain?
Our last four days of 10 day safari were spent in Lake Naivasha and Amboseli National Park.
Lake Naivasha is a part of the Rift Valley and is a freshwater lake in Kenya. And Amboseli is a national park, which due to its swamps and lush greenery has huge number of elephants and birds, in addition to zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and ostrich.