Thursday 14th April 2016 is now a memorable day in the lives of federation staff and the orphans sponsored by supporters of Amani UK. This was a great occasion for us to come together with the orphans and their ‘custodians’. The day was marked with excitement and jubilation, as a time to share experiences with the orphans. The aim was to bring together the orphans as one family in the Upendo federation and for them to know and understand relationships with their sponsors and the level of support. The opportunity was taken to explain the appointment of Upendo federation staff as ‘custodians’ for each orphan, to ensure good communications between orphans and sponsors. Relatives/guardians and community got to know one another and heard of similar orphan situations.
The orphans, who had felt they were the only ones, were surprised to see many other children without parents thronging into the compound. A sense of belonging and relief appeared on their faces as they discussed in groups led by their custodians. With many of the orphans in their teens, we took time to discuss health issues, especially with the girls who may be exposed to dangers of misuse by men taking advantage of their poor state. The girls also had their own session discussing reproductive health and related health issues.
Benard Adidi is the most successful orphan, now in his final year at Nairobi University and is a role model to the other children. He gave a testimony and motivational speech of his journey, from his first meeting with Bob Waldron and the team who have been able to support him and his younger siblings through their education and their regular household needs.
It is inspiring to see the positive change and transformation the sponsors have enabled these orphans to make in their lives. Their hopes have been restored and they recognise there is someone who cares for them. The future depends on the support they get from the sponsors and we are certain their lives will change and they will be future breadwinners for their siblings and families.
My thanks go to all the sponsors for their generous donations who, through Amani UK, support the needy orphans and households they head. It is our prayer that they maintain the spirit to continue supporting the children to help them go to school and in meeting other basic needs. Thank you!
Leonard Odongo - Upendo Programme Manager