Greetings from Kenya! Yesterday, we spent several hours visiting people in Mathare Slum, 2nd largest slum in Kenya with over a million people. No words to describe what that was like, you have to see this kind of poverty to believe it. As far as I could see, the slum stretched on. The two women we visited are both single mothers infected with HIV/AIDS and trying to feed themselves and their children. They live in a metal and dirt shack, maybe 9 x 9 feet usually with several other family members. The living conditions defy description. Even in prison, an inmate’s basic needs for shelter, food, and water are met. Not so for the people of Mathare Slum.
Partners for Care works with a small community-based organization located in the slum called Community Transformers (all kenyan volunteers) to help families like these with medical care, food, counseling and Christian support groups. There is an air of desperation in this enormous slum as the struggle to survive plays out. But the little children in their tattered, dirty clothes, were singing and holding my hand as they follow me through the slum. And both of the brave women we visited were grateful for the blessings from God of Partners for Care and Community Transformers. it’s hard to believe people can survive, let alone hold onto hope, in those kind of conditions. I have such respect for our PFC team and all they are doing here to help these people. Saturday morning we went into downtown Nairobi to purchase the beautiful handmade African products that we’ll sell back home to raise funds for PFC. What an experience that was! Hundreds of vendors with their wares all laid out in an open air market all waving and yelling at the same time to get you to buy their goods! Total exhausting chaos, but we made some excellent purchases so it was worth it. As I write this, there are 20 young Kenyan children here in the house watching a movie, They are all members of our PFC girls volleyball team.
The girls all live in the slum but play volleyball together on a PFC team to encourage kids to stay in school and make good choices with their lives. These kids have relatively nothing materially but want to lead by example to help change the lives of other kids! Pretty amazing stuff, I am enjoying my time here in Kenya but miss all of you back home. Its a wonderful thing to visit another nation and experience their culture, and I’m immensely grateful to all of you for this opportunity. Tomorrow we travel to another PFC program, Kathi’s House in Maai Mahui near the Rift Valley. Kathi’s House is a ministry to widows and orphans. Ill write again soon. Miss and love you all! Sharon