Mwaka and Kanoti's had a tough start in life. Mwaka was one of the first children (see photo below) in our pre-school (November 2008) and was one of the oldest children at the time (11). Kanoti, her younger brother is the youngest of the 6 children in their family. The other brothers are adults now. These kids are not orphans in the true sense of the term but when we met them, their father was terminally ill and their mother passed away soon after.
Their father, Salim Abdallah (sat in a blue shirt) had become seriously ill (Alzheimer disease as well as a bad skin condition and occasional paralysis of his legs). The mother, Kasahan Keah, was left caring for the children alone for over five years which she struggled to do with a mental illness and no work. Kasahan died in 2010 of mental illness.
Their aunt's house- Moroto slum
After their mother died, they went to live with their aunt in Mshomoroni (see photo below) but the house was already over-crowded and in a terrible condition. Their health was deteriorating and they were becoming wild street children. Fred highlighted that Mwaka was also at risk to be married off so somebody would take care of her. Our education and nutrition program was not enough for them. These kids needed a home and a family to look after them.
Applying for a place in GLO Children's Home
Alan spoke to the best orphanage in Kenya (thegoodlifeorphanage.com - GLO) which was founded and run by Kevin and Mary Maguire. He presented the case of Mwaka and Kanoti's urgent situation and how they needed residential care. They agreed to take them in. We then sent an application and sought approval from the Government Ministry of Gender and Social Affairs (Children's social worker). Finally, we presented the case to the Children's court. All this paperwork finally got them a safe place at GLO.
Since they entered GLO (August 2011), they have been surrounded with love and care and the best education. They no longer have to forage for food and protect themselves from the danger that the slum street life brings, they can finally be children. They now stay in a family structure at GLO with 8 other brothers and sisters (orphans) looked after by a house mother and aunty. They have access to a computer centre, medical care, playground, school, PSHE program and a farm.
Happy smiles at Good Life Orphanage as they get a visit from their old Mshomoroni friend
Mwaka (on far right, pink t-shirt) and Kanoti (red t-shirt) at Good Life Orphanage (GLO), after being at GLO for 18 months. They return home once a year for 2 weeks to visit their brothers. Their older brothers come to visit 4 times per year. In the above photo are two other children from HOPSYG- (Rajabu and Swabrina) that we brought to visit Mwaka and Kanoti. In the background, you can get a glimpse of the quality of the GLO orphanage with a football pitch, playground and one of the family houses.
Another visit from more of their old Mshomoroni friends
Another visit day where Alan and Fred brought two more of our HOPSYG children to visit Mwaka and Kanoti. The two children we brought are the children on academic primary school sponsorship- Rama (left side with red jumper) and Zuma (on right side). This photo really shows how Mwaka is growing into a beautiful young woman. When she joined the program four years ago, she could not even read. Now, she has completed preschool and 3 years of primary school.
At Good Life Orphanage-School Summer Camp
Kanoti has fun with the other children as they mold together. Kanoti is at the back holding the dog figurine in front of his face.