header image

March 10th – Email Update from Darlene

Greetings to all,

Sorry for the long silence from the Kenya Girls, we have been incredibly busy! I’m so excited to tell you it has gone wonderfully well. We have established a complete functioning library and resource room at the school and it looks amazing. It is decorated with children’s hands and artwork from Canada.

The hands activity has been a complete delight. I have so many amazing photos of happy children! They left on the first day shouting I have a new friend! Because of all of you we have been able to make a huge impact here. We have purchased 270 uniforms! repaired and painted the school roof, bought $1500.00 of text books and set up amazing games and puzzles and instruments etc.

On the last school day we played parachute games with the beautiful parachute from Anneke’s family. The children were in awe and we had so much fun. There was a big celebration of thanks held out in the hot sun where all the children performed songs and gymnastics and we all planted a tree and one for Ebi in the school grounds to commemorate the visit. This has been so special and you were all a part of it .

The Canadian flag is now flying proudly beside the Kenyan flag in this school. Best news they will rename this school The Dr. Ebi Kimanani Primary School! Yahooo!

I wish I could tell you that it has all been happy but we have also seen many heartbreaking things and have all cried over the poverty sickness and hardship we have seen. We began to visit clinics and other poor and disadvantaged schools in our vicinity. We stretched our resources as far as we could to help about four other schools. People were flocking to us for help as word travels quickly here.

We found a very sad little preschool and went in unannounced. I expected to find they had very little but was shocked to find they had nothing. There were 94 toddlers in two tiny rooms. They were all malnourished and sick and their eyes were sorrowful. I cried at the enormity of it all. We went to work in a flurry there. Our nurse Susan brought meds to de-worm them all the next day. We brought toys and books and played with them. We gave the dedicated teachers materials and ideas to teach with what we brought. The children did not know how to play due to lack of stimulation and illness but with each visit they got more excited. There was a beautiful little girl who was carried to the school in a sling. She had no legs and was very frail. She could not attend school because there was no way for her mother to carry her. I gave her a knitted teddy bear and her whole face lit up. She was truly beautiful. We have been trying to find her a wheelchair or failing that a carriage. Please pray we find one.

Sue Gunter has set up a feeding program for these children and they are beginning a high protein and nutrient porridge (which is cooked in a big pot over a fire). We often feel we have stepped back in time. It is so hard and primitive.

I have gone on and on I know and have barely scratched the surface of all I have to share with you. As we drove away today we passed a huge boulder which is called the weeping stone. It trickles water always even during the dry season and the droughts. It is said here that it weeps for mankind, although I have done some of that weeping myself. I left there today full of hope and sure in the knowledge that you have all made this little piece of Kenya richer for your generosity and I know this is only the start of a connection between our two countries

I miss you all and can hardly wait to see you again. We all need this next week to process this great journey. FIKI SALAMA Go in Peace Love Darlene XXXXXXX