Gifts from Bloor West Village to Village of Love

During Andrew and Leonora’s visit with us in May, donations of clothes, linens and school supplies poured in from the Bloor West Village community. The Obaras’ host, Robyn Salter, packed 7 suitcases full of goods! The Obaras were able to each take a suitcase with them, and Rev Don and Brenda Gibson were also able to take a suitcase each in July, as did Rev Keith and Marjory Knill in September.  We are hoping for more travellers to take the rest!

Volunteer, Moses Omondi, helps Don and Brenda purchase much needed text books for the schools they will visit.Pencils and Textbooks

Don and Brenda write:

“During the days that we spent in Kibera we were able to visit 7 schools and many classrooms. In each of these schools there were children from the Village of Love.

“Andrew had had Moses work with teachers to compile a list of books that were needed by the schools. He picked out books for each grade level through secondary and Don and I were able to purchase them and (had) the privilege of giving them directly to four different schools in Kibera.

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A Letter From The Field

Rev Keith Knill writes:

Hi all! Greetings from Africa! We arrived in Kenya after 16 hours of flying plus 2 hour stopover in Zurich. We’re staying at the Fairmount Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi - rather like the Fairmount Royal York in Toronto - old and very traditional (men wear formal suits and top hats). Our room overlooks a beautiful courtyard with flowering plants, walkways, and fountains.

Village of Love volunteer, Moses Omondi, explains to visitors, Keith and Marjory Knill how micro-loans operate to expand this woman’s small business.The first day, we visited Kibera - a suburb of Nairobi and the worst slum in Africa (over 1 million people living in a square mile). A relative of our neighbor in Brampton very kindly offered us the services of one of his chauffeurs while in Nairobi - a far greater blessing than we could have imagined. In China it’s said that road signs are merely suggestions; in Nairobi, it’s the survival of the fastest and most daring. Our driver Frederick was impressive as a driver and a super person. He took us to Kibera and stayed to drive us back to the hotel.

We met Andrew Obara, director of Village of Love in Kibera, and 2 young university graduates Joyce and Moses ( incredible young people) who are virtually volunteering their time every day in this incredible ministry.

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Empowering Women Politically

We are grateful to Andrew Obara for this information on women and the Kenyan elections:

Village of Love woman exercises her right to vote2017 Elections

Andrew writes, “On the 8th of August, Kibera people woke up early, to go and exercise their democratic right like other Kenyans. It was the day the country was electing its leaders for the next five years.

Our beneficiaries were more eager than most people as we had educated them why people vote and the importance of the exercise. We told them that voting was not a census of tribes nor was it time to solicit money from the politicians.

We made them understand that they were choosing people who would be their voice in parliament, senate and county governments. They would bring changes that would allow them places in governorship, inheritance, own land, credit, education for the girl child and equal job opportunities, speak on the number of children to have etc.

Armed with an Identity card they queued and voted peacefully. Though it was expected that there was going to be some trouble during and after elections, the magnitude of what transpired after elections was shocking. Women were raped, businesses looted, protesters and the innocent were shot at and killed.

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"Meet the Obaras and Village of Love"

During the Obaras’ recent visit to Toronto,Cassandra Irving wrote a lovely feature article on them for “Neighbours of High Park” magazine.

“Andrew Obara was born in 1955 in the days before Kenya’s independence. As a young man, he watched as his nation struggled to unclench itself from the tight grasp of the British Colonies. When the independent Republic of Kenya was officially formed in 1964, Andrew and his family joined in the hopes of many that life would be better.

Things did not turn out as expected.

For more, click Neighbours of High Park.