Kijiji Cha Upendo Spreading Love In The Community

Accompanied by Leonora and Andrew Obara and other Kijiji Cha Upendo volunteers, Salome Githuku spends the day in Kibera, visiting with beneficiaries and listening to stories of how their lives have been changed for the better through the efforts of Kijiji Cha Upendo.Advisory Board Member, Salome Githuku, reports on her recent visit to “Kijiji Cha Upendo”  (Village of Love) in Kibera, Kenya.

 

“The first thing I noticed,” said Salome, as she shared details of her recent Kenyan trip with members of the  the Village of Love Canada Advisory Board, “is the cost of living! Even since I was there 18 months ago, it has gone up so much. I just don’t know how people manage to put food on the table.”

Salome had arrived at our meeting carrying a large basket laden with gifts from Leonora Obara- Kenyan coffee and tea, which are expensive Kenyan items, not enjoyed by the local people. This was yet another indication of the generosity of Leonora’s heart and way of living.

The Obaras

Salome shared with us her impressions of the Obaras and how they live. When she visited them, four of the fifteen children were home. “There’s absolutely no differentiation,” says Salome, “You do not know who is an orphan and who is biological. They’re all just family.”

The Obara’s front door is known in the community as belonging to “The Family That Helps.” Any time of the night or day, people will knock on their door for help. When someone needs to go to hospital, Andrew drives them. Salome recounted the story of one woman whom Andrew helped in the middle of the night. For story, click HERE.

“He is such a hard working man,” says Salome. “And their car, it’s no good. It has to work so hard to go over bumpy roads.” Salome is referring to their 1996 sedan that has somehow been held together, possibly with duct tape, and that they’re nursing into a yet another year of usage! This is the car they depend on to get them to Kibera in order to work with the Kijiji Cha Upendo beneficiaries. “They need a four wheel drive. I costed the kind of car they need,” says Salome. “They’re about 800,000 ksh ($10,000).” How such a vehicle may be acquired is presently a matter of prayer!

Volunteers

Salome, Leonora and volunteers visit a beneficiary on the outskirts of Kibera. Is anyone home?…?What next impressed Salome was the dedication and caring of the volunteers, who are paid a very small allowance to help cover their transportation costs. “Beneficiaries visit the families to check up on how they’re doing and to find out what they need. Often the beneficiary isn’t home. They may be out looking for firewood or charcoal. If no one is home, the volunteers don’t give up. They go back again and again, until they make the connection.”

Beneficiaries

Salome visited four beneficiaries. “They are all strong women” she says, “and Kijiji Cha Upendo gives them hope!”

Agripina says, “Kijiji is a good organization. The volunteers and managers of Kijiji are honest. They are interested in the beneficiaries’ welfare. Some people come and take photos, they leave, they find resources, but nothing ever comes back to the beneficiaries. They just give empty hope. But the Obaras have provided real help!”

Fanice says, “My business is good and I am able to feed my children. I used to acquire my charcoal on credit, but now I am able to pay cash.”

Ngesa says, “The other caregivers are like sisters to me. Anything we get we share. We help one another out.”

For Salome’s report on her visit with the beneficiaries, click HERE. 

 

Stay in the loop! Click on the “Village News” icon to request our e-Newsletter, “The Village,” updating you on current needs, news, action and fundraising opportunities.