Tuesday
Nov212017

A GIFT OF HOPE

Kibera is clustered on either side of an unguarded railroad.

It is unthinkable that on the streets of Kibera, one of the worst slums in Africa, 15,000 orphaned children fend for themselves. Without intervention, they are utterly vulnerable to violence, rape, and being drawn into prostitution, gangs, drugs and all kinds of illicit activities.

They do not even have someone to care if they live or die.

To become productive, contributing citizens, Kibera children need what every child needs: love, food, security, protection and, most importantly, education.

VILLAGE OF LOVE

Grace has taken in nine orphaned children.Village of Love is transforming lives and communities, beginning with the children. This is how it works:

The AIDS pandemic has overwhelmed government systems to care for orphaned children, but there are women in Kibera who, despite their poverty, are filled with love and a determination to give to these children everything they can. With already large families, they live in tiny, one-room shacks, but they find a corner where one or more orphaned children can sleep. This makes a world of difference to those children: to belong again within a family, to know that someone cares about what happens to them.


Before her mother joined Village of Love, school was beyond Miriam’s wildest dreams.Village of Love then steps in with micro-loans to empower these women to generate more income so that their children no longer sleep hungry and they can go to school with food in their bellies. The big challenge is to keep the children in school. When a parent cannot pay fees or provide pencils, notebooks and uniform, the child is sent home.


Orphaned children have many challenges. Low self esteem is typical. Alone and abandoned, they cannot imagine themselves ever achieving anything. Being loved again in a family is the first step. The next step is school, where they discover their abilities and gain skills and self confidence. As their self esteem increases, they begin to dream. Perhaps they can be a teacher, a social worker, a doctor….

Tracy can’t wait to qualify as a teacher so that she can help other children realise their dreams. She volunteers with Village of Love during vacation times.So far, at least 6 children who have been kept in High School have qualified for College or University. Some have found sponsors and are fulfilling their dreams to become teachers, nurses, IT technicians.

It is your dollars that have given them this chance of a lifetime. Their gratitude knows no bounds. Each one knows they have not reached where they are on their own, and they are eager to give back and lend a hand to others, as soon as they are able.

 

 Please consider giving “education” as a gift, on any special occasion. See GIVE EDUCATION

Sunday
Sep172017

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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Friday
Sep152017

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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Wednesday
Aug232017

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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