One day, when I was in Wales last year, my mum and I decided to enjoy a walk on the Pembrokeshire cost path. As we were on our way, she shared about the kids from some of the local schools she teaches in and said that some of the children, despite only living 5 miles away from the coast, have never been to the seaside. I was surprised and I thought that it’s a strange irony in life that wherever in the world we live we often don’t experience and enjoy the natural attractions which are near to us. Sometimes, we don’t think about it and other times we simply don’t get an opportunity.
Every year in Kenya, millions of tourists come from all corners of the world to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife which God has blessed this country with. However, just as in Wales, the local people usually don’t get the same opportunity to enjoy these things for themselves. Therefore, we decided that we would give the children in our pre-school and the ones who have gone onto primary school this opportunity by taking them to an animal orphanage situated on the outskirts of Nairobi city.
We picked the kids up in a bus, and from the moment the driver started the engine, until we arrived, the children sang song after song at the top of their voices! The older children had been learning about animals in school and were so excited to see the animals for themselves as one of the workers showed us around and told us about the animals which were there, most of which had been rescued. The highlight came when a monkey came and sat about 3 meters away from the kids. They were happy to see the monkey until it suddenly ran up and stole a plastic bag one of the kids was carrying, thinking it was food! The monkey ran away and climbed up the nearest tree, hoping to get a packed lunch all for himself. Much to his dismay, the plastic bag was only holding the boy’s sweater; so after a thorough investigation, he dropped the bag into the crocodile pen. Seeing as the crocodile was in the water, our guide didn’t mind reaching over the fence with a stick and retrieving the bag as the kids gave a clap of appreciation!
We finished the trip with lunch and then got back onto the bus to sing some more songs as we made our way back home.
Every morning the children from Little Angel's Pre School come early to class, eager to get a cup of porridge. By lunch time, their hungry again, and we provide them will a healthy lunch knowing that this could be the only decent meal they receive each day. But this is not always enough, because they might not be getting all the nutrition they need from the food. Why? Because of a common parasite in Kenya, worms!
Research has shown that deworming has both physical and educational benefits for children: it increases children's attendance rates and, in the long run, increases their chances of going onto higher education and getting a well payed job later on in life. Therefore, we decided that from this year we'll be regularly deworming the children in our Pre School, and those who are being sponsored in Primary School.
"Findings of a long-term impact study in Kenya showed participants who were dewormed as children had higher wages, fewer sick days, more work hours, and higher-level occupations."
We bought the medicine we needed, which to our pleasant surprise only cost around 4 pounds for a big bottle of 100 servings. The children had 1-2 teaspoons each (depending on the age), followed by a yummy Quality street chocolate given by a friend in Wales, there were smiles all around! Then we had some laughs as I showed them 2 new puppets which were also given for the children from a friend while I was in Wales. The teachers were happy and said they'll be using the puppets with the kids during assembly and story time, and the children thought the puppets were hilarious!
It was good to be reminded that a little personal sacrifice can actually make a big difference and put joy in someone's heart on the other side of the world.
For more information on the benefits of deworming, please see: http://blogs.worldbank.org/education/rethinking-deworming
Welcome to my blog! In case you didn't already know, I'm Ruth. In 2010 I graduated from University and before I even had time to settle down and get a job I felt a tug on my heart to go to Kenya for a few years to help in any way I could. When I arrived it was love at first sight; I loved the more relaxed way of life, the way Kenyans would laugh at EVERYTHING and the way people would put people first. On my first day there I also met Lox, a tall, dark & handsome African man who had the same passions in life as me and the more we worked & laughed together the more we fell in love & after a couple of years of dating we tied the knot & got married. Now I live, work, eat & sleep Kenya. It's great to be able to help those who are in some ways less fortunate than me but amazingly I always feel that I'm the one who gets blessed and learns so much from the people I try to help and from everything I do. Enjoy my blogs which give you a taste of this crazy yet wonderful life I lead.