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  • Writer's pictureDavid Moore

6th update from David Gruber

It is Monday night, and today was much different than the previous 2 days – with much time devoted to planning, administration, and building of relationships essential to growing the capabilities of Partners for Care Kenyan staff in delivering Hope and Health. The day began with meetings in Nairobi with SN, GOA’s sports evangelist – to discuss ongoing work of the Peace Team as well as the need to develop a detailed plan to reach one-million youth with the message of HIV/AIDS through an initiative Partners for Care will be partnering with Emory to achieve. During this meeting, it was also decided that, due to the return of peace, the Peace Team will be renamed possibly the Hope Team – working to deliver hope, including hope for an AIDS-free generation in Kenya. We also were blessed to meet with Pastor Justus Chenge to discuss current funding needs at Beat the Drum Children’s Home as well as the plans to begin construction of the next home, adjacent to Kathi’s House. Justus is the chairman of the oversight board for Beat the Drum, and is working with the GOA Construction Manager to gather construction bids in order to begin building within the coming weeks. For those interested in supporting this construction., funds are needed to complete and furnish this home. The need to build additional homes is great, since there are already 7 infected children at Beat the Drum, and there are others on a waiting list – and tomorrow we are going to meet 10 additional orphans infected with HIV/AIDS in slum. This request comes from Liverpool as they identified these children during a testing iniative. We will be meeting with the Chief responsible for this area to inquire about providing for their care at Beat the Drum. Connie also had meetings with Lynette with Liverpool and with Mary Mugo discussing the project with Emory University. In mid afternoon, we went to Mathare Slum, the second largest slum in Kenya, to meet with Nick and Charles – young men who founded Community Transformers, to deliver health solutions and care to children and HIV/AIDS patients living in this slum, where they grew up. Seeing the impact these young men are having in the lives of those they serve was heartwarming and inspiring. They are currently caring for 22 children, many of which either lost parents during the post-election violence, or were separated and a reunion has not yet been possible. They had many more children, but have been successful in reuniteing some with family. Nick and Charles are only rescuing these children. We have asked Mary Mugo the proper steps that they should take to follow goverment protocol. They have kept the Chief informed and now they need to inform the Social agency under the Ministry of Homeland. We visited the school that these children attend and had the opportunity to meet with the principal, who was gracious to explain how the school system has been impacted by the.violence and displaced people. One very encouraging thing he mentioned was the government’s policy of taking in any child who appears at the school, in order to provide a refuge from the displaced persons camp (and previously from the violence) and to ensure displaced children do not fall behind for lack of school availability. What was somewhat astounding was learning that the school we visited has 1,843 students as a result of this policy. One of the three boys Brian Connie “rescued” from the streets of Nairobi is with Nick and Charles. Nick and Charles found his parents and took him home. The mom said do not leave him we cannot feed him and please take his sister as we can not feed her. The mother was at the project when we were there – nursing the 5th child a baby. The oldest boy is on the streets somewhere. She had come to Nick and Charles for help because her husband is sick and they have been locked out of their house for failure to pay their rent. Courtney got her first glimpse of a slum, walking through piles of garbage, foul smells, dirty water running in gulleys alonside of the roads, and a mass of people everywhere. She handled it very well, and enjoyed greeting the many children who were attracted to a young white lady. Seeing the grace and faith displayed by Nick and Charles at such a young age – and an attitude that reflects the absence of the word “can’t” in their vocabulary – as they minister to anyone God puts in their paths, is incredible. Blessed to be in Kenya, David Sent via Cingular Xpress Mail with Blackberry

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