In the summer of 2018 one of our families moved to live in Kenya. Their little girl had been attending Elswick House for some time and when they arrived in Kenya, she was enrolled at the Stepping Stones Kindergarten in Nairobi.
We then learnt that Stepping Stones is a social enterprise that helps to fund early years education for the Angel Kindergarten in the nearby Kibera slum. The Angel Kindergarten seeks to provide early years education and one meal a day for the neediest children of Kibera. We were moved by the plight of these children and decided to sponsor two of them, Jackson and Roselyne, through the Lunchbowl Network.
The Lunchbowl Network is a UK based charity, which was set up in 2006 in response to the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children living in Kibera, Nairobi. Since then the Lunchbowl Network has provided funding for a dinner programme for 450 orphaned children. These children endure the harsh reality of life in Kibera, including lack of access to clean water and very poor sanitation, compounded by an inadequate education that causes them to be severely disadvantaged. The children in the programme have been selected because of their vulnerability and high needs and rely upon the nutrition that is provided daily by The Lunchbowl Network.
Jackson was born in 2011 and suffers from severe mobility issues impacting his entire body. He was found with his grandma in their small shack lying on the floor with no stimulation around him. This is how he was forced to live his whole life due to his acute disability, because no school was able to accommodate his level of need. He now attends Angel Kindergarten.
Roselyne was born in 2014 and lives in a one room shack with her mother, grandmother, brothers and sisters. Her mother is unable to find a job. The young family fully depends on the grandmother. Roselyne’s mother became pregnant at a very young age, as a result of abuse. Their shack is without electricity and other basic necessities. Roselyne now attends Angel Kindergarten.
Both children are prospering at the Angel Kindergarten. Roselyne is a very happy girl despite the poverty in her home. She loves playing with her friends; she is developing academically and thriving physically from the daily meal she receives. Jackson is a cheerful boy fighting to overcome his disabilities. He has a special mobility chair and standing frame for his use in school. He also has a lovely carer with him during the school hours called Rebecca, who will carry him around the Kindergarten for different activities. He has become very dextrous with his toes and can pick up toys and objects with them. He even ‘writes’ with his toes.
The support we give from Elswick House ...
This is a new project for us. Each term we plan to have a Kibera Day when we learn about Kenya and a little of the lives of Jackson and Roselyne. We consider it a wonderful opportunity for our children to gain an insight into the lives of children in a very different part of the world to their own, and who do not have the advantages in life, which they have. We intend to exchange information and photographs and, occasionally, organise money-raising events and collections of toys and clothes.