Sunday, June 17, 2012

Home Visits

by Thomas Bwire

The sloppy terrain filled with litter of all kinds is what we had to experience during our home visits within Kibera slums. Our mission with Mathew Muema, Sponsorship Coordinator was to get to see how some of the children under Uweza's sponsorship program live with either their parents or guardians.

It took roughly less than 10 minutes to arrive at our first house from the center. Here we found Alphonce Otieno in his school uniform eagerly waiting for us. Their one room house is situated in Gatwekera village. Alponce, a total orphans, stays with an aunty who is very kind and takes care of him as if he is her own child. After greetings, Mathew introduced me and went ahead to explain that our main mission was to pay a visit and find out the progress of the children under the sponsorship program. Before we left, Aphonce received a shoe polish and water guard for purification of their drinking water at home.
Alphonce Otieno with his younger cousins
Our next stop was to Edward Kuremi, who lives in the same village as Alponce, though some distance apart. We found his mother in the one-room shanty iron structure house that stood just next to the road side.   One thing that quickly strikes you as a first time visitor to this area is the fact that the house stands between local pubs, with loud music emanating from them.  One could easily wonder if the noise pollution levels can affect a school going child staying here and if still he can still do well academically. Kuremi attends school at Toi Primary and is now in class five. Her mother struggles to put food on the table as she does not have a stable source of income. She too received the small bottle of water guard and shoe polish for her son.

Sponsorship Coordinator Mathew with Mama Eduward Kuremi
There on, we had to take a longer walk to another village known as Kianda. It took us roughly 10 minutes before arriving at Charles Omondi's home. Charles goes to Olympic High School and is now in his third year. Charles is an orphan and he is taken care of by his aunt.  His aunt lives with 14 children in a single semi-permanent room and that forces Charles to sleep in another houses that belongs to a good Samaritan, who offered him a place to sleep. The aunty was very happy to see us and appreciated work done by the Uweza family in assisting some of the needy children with education, which plays a key role in shaping life.


Our last stop was at Dennis Odhiambo’s home. He lives with his parents, both have un- stable jobs as the mother sells roosted maize for survival to keep the family up and running. His dad is not working and cannot be able to support the family yet. Currently Dennis is undertaking a vocational training in electrical installation at a technical training center in Kibera.

Dennis Odhiambo, center, with his mother and younger brother
Truly that was an experience of a life time, having to see where some of our sponsored children do come from. I got to know some of the hardships they undergo, like poor sanitation facilities as well as what it takes to put food in the table so that a brighter future can be achieved despite challenges  coming from their homes.

To sponsor a student in the Uweza Sponsorship Program, please visit http://www.uweza.org/sponsorship


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