After a 9-hour trip on paved roads, including a rather spectacular lunch, we have arrived at a beautiful guest house in Maua. It is seemingly tucked away on a back street, although, probably, many of the streets in Maua will probably seem like back streets to my unaccustomed eye.
July 2 (midnight, local time)
Well, we arrived in Nairobi, at what seems to be a nice hotel that is not a Holiday Inn (and definitely doesn’t have that corporate American hotel feel).
We’ve been traveling for 26 hours, including a 6-hour flight from Philadelphia to London, and an 8-hour flight from London to Nairobi.
Reegan (pronounced as if it were spelled “Reagan”), the director of the program here in Kenya, met us at the airport, along with two of his staff, Caroline and Perpetual. (Perpetual is his communications director.)
The weather here is in the 60s (and not particularly high 60s, either), a very welcome change from the heat of North Carolina.
Reegan told us of the honor that ZOE received just today, but I may have to type it up later.
Here is another report from our social worker in Kenya, focusing on just one person, Justar.
Justar’s dream (with pictures! :) )
Head of Household: Justar, 21
Siblings: Antony, 16; Evelyne, 18
With the death of both her parents, Justar became the caregiver and provider for her younger siblings. The parents had left few resources behind to support the children, so Justar did what she could working jobs for low pay, trying to grow some food to eat and seeking community assistance when necessary. But this survival mode of existence provided no money to cover the costs of medical care when her sisters became sick with malaria and a stomach parasite. The lack of money also meant the younger children were unable to attend school sometimes because they could not pay the fees or purchase school uniforms.
When ZOE invited Justar to join the Samaritan Liliaba Working Group, she and her family were finally provided with an opportunity to escape their barely subsistent life of poverty. And it started with a dream.
So, while we’re in the Philadelphia airport, I can add some stuff to the blog (maybe).
This is the very first report we got from our Working Group, which chose the name “Samaritan Liliaba” for itself.
Samaritan Liliaba first group report (has a couple of pictures)
Samaritan Liliaba Working Group, Kenya
Partnered with University UMC, 2014-2016
Focus On: Working Group Formation
Poverty often means a life lived in isolation, unconnected even from those who share the same struggles and challenges. A ZOE working group provides orphans and vulnerable children a community where they experience understanding, compassion and acceptance. Together, they begin their journey towards a better life.
To form a working group, ZOE social workers first contact community leaders and local officials to educate them about the empowerment approach and to ask for their help in identifying children. During the first meeting, the children and their young caregivers learn how they will change and improve their lives within three years. Then ZOE takes a step back.
I was mistaken. (It’s pronounced “Ma-ooh-ah”, I think.)