Change Yourself…Change The World.


Watoto Wema Centre
September 5, 2010, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Kenya, Pictures Post

Dear friends,

I spent my Saturday in Nairobi visiting the Watoto Wema Centre, an orphanage on the outskirts of Nairobi. A project coordinator came from the orphanage to pick me up, and we took three different buses and an hour’s worth of traveling to get to a tiny sub-village within Nairobi, where 54 children are crammed into a small compound overlooking the plains of Kenya.

While we stopped in downtown Nairobi to pick up biscuits for the children, Marion, the project coordinator, described to me in detail about the Watoto Wema Centre. It is a children’s home offering a stable environment from disruptive families, and the children have been either abandoned or taken from abusive situations and given to Watoto Wema. Many of these children have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDs, or unwanted pregnancies, and some have no family at all.

Hearing the story is one thing, but seeing in firsthand is another. When we arrived at the orphanage, it was really apparent the kind of situation these children were living in. While it’s incredibly fortunate that they do have enough to eat (they receive donations from grocery stores and waste cargo from the airport), clothes to wear, and can attend school (thanks to a few sponsors of the children), Watoto Wema has scarce resources. Every room in the compound is stacked to the brim with beds upon beds, where sometimes three to four children sleep. Classrooms and bedrooms are one and the same, and when conversing with Marion about fundraising for the Watoto Wema Centre, they weren’t getting enough. Marion and Wasilwa (another coordinator) and I discussed the potential of using social media to get the word out about their school, and creating a First Giving page for online donations (currently the only option to donate to the Watoto Wema Centre is by going to a bank and wire transferring money).

Regardless of these challenges, it was great to hang out with the children and get to know them a bit better. One thing that I think is so easy to assume is that these children, many orphaned by HIV/AIDs, many that have gone through abuse, and all who don’t have much, are perpetually unhappy. This is certainly not the case. The children were smiling and radiant, chattering away incessantly and playing games. All of the little ones threw their arms around me, begging for a hug or for me to take their pictures. The older ones, a bit shyer, kicked around the soccer ball with me. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, and I left the orphanage feeling like they had received a little bit more of love and attention, which was more than gratifying.

There are so many people in need, and not enough resources being allocated properly to serve them. The Watoto Wema Centre plans to open a much larger three-storey compound where they can house all of the children, have separate rooms for boys and girls, and even a separate room to store their food! I hope that Watoto Wema Centre can achieve their goal and make the lives of all of these wonderful children brighter.

For pictures of the Watoto Wema Centre (and downtown Nairobi), check them out below!

All of these pictures are put up with the permission of the Watoto Wema Centre.

Here are some pictures of downtown Nairobi

Downtown Nairobi

The Mathare Slums of Nairobi

On the way to the Watoto Wema Centre

Inside the Watoto Wema Centre

One of the bedrooms/classrooms

Inside the Watoto Compound. Hard to believe 54 children live here.

Another classroom/bedroom

The kitchen sink

The bathrooms

Shower

Some of the darling children

Playing soccer with the kids is always fun

Some of the older kids use beadworking as a pastime and way to make a bit of money

Pretty painstaking work

Bunk beds converted into storage bins for food given by the airport

The kitchen/corridor

Lunchtime- a mixture of beans and vegetables

Some of the little ones munching away

They all love having their pictures taken

The end!

To learn more about the Watoto Wema Centre, visit their Facebook page.

Much love,

Brittany


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi!I’m Francis,19,I do love your blog so much.Since childhood,I’ve always desired to reach out to orphaned & disadvantaged children.This has driven me to start Building LIVES page on Facebook which has a profile photo of water flowing between rocks.As a result,I’ve created an event,Building LIVES Kids Fun Day,on Facebook,for some 55 orphans based at Nyawagalo Children’s Home,Oyugis town.To make matters worse,I’m currently broke & would highly welcome financial assistance.My number is:+254 723 921 080.

Comment by Francis Amonde

i have been here too..splendid time..
here my photostory @
http://www.aletheintruso.com/portfolio/la-mia-africa/

Comment by Alessandro Perini

Thanks for sharing Alessadro!

Comment by brittanygoesglobal




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