UNICEF estimates that approximately 2.3 million children in Kenya are orphans and many of these children move in with relatives after the deaths of their parents. Orphans are then often put to work, denied the opportunity to attend school, and suffer physical abuse. Many run away or are forced out of the house, turning to the street or an orphanage for refuge.
School4Life supports an orphanage called Children’s Home in Kimilili in which 30 children have discovered the security of having a place to call home. School4Life places a large emphasis on the education and empowerment of these children.
The children in the School4Life Children’s Home are between 8 and 17 years old. They receive three meals per day, are educated, and most importantly are shown the love and care they deserve. The children are looked after around the clock by their Matron.
The typical school day for these children starts at around 4 AM, when the older children get up to shower and prepare for school. A cup of tea with sugar is prepared and handed out by Mama Beatrice. After tea, the children often review their learning material until school starts at around 7:30 AM with the morning assembly. Lunch is provided at around midday and consists of a plate of beans, maize, rice, or similar. After lunch, school continues until around 5 PM. The children then return home to do their homework or household duties, such as washing clothes, cleaning the room, or supporting with mealtime. Dinner is ready at around 7 PM and the day ends at around 9 PM, when the children rest in the dormitory.
Since School4Life started supporting the Children’s Home in 2017, the living conditions of these orphan children have enhanced dramatically. Significant improvements were made, from infrastructure enhancements of toilets and showers, to acquiring daily necessities such as furniture, household items, and clothing.
In March 2017, the 17 girls in the Children’s Home have moved out from the existing mud hut into a new permanent building adjacent to the school. The new living quarters offers a secure environment with indoor showers, a clean dormitory, and some outdoor space. A short video showing the excitement of the girls moving into their new home can be found here.
Luckily we were also able to acquire a permanent building right next door to the school compound in spring 2018 and have now also moved the boys from the mud huts into this new home – thanks to everyone supporting us with donations to make this move possible!