Mji Wa Neema was a children’s home run by St. Francis Xavier Parish in Naivasha, Kenya. Started in 2005, they provided a safe home for about 40 children over the years.
Kenya Help sponsored education for all the residents of Mji Wa Neema through primary, secondary, and higher education. The younger children attended Milimani Primary School in Naivasha, the high school students attended various high schools around Naivasha, and the older students attended several institutions of higher learning.
In the evening, the children would all gather after dinner to do their homework. The room was quiet, except for students working together - the older ones helping the younger ones. They gave each other a great deal of support. On weekends they sometimes held debates, or, on occasion the older ones would prepare a lesson to present to the group.
They worked together to prepare food, under the supervision of the matron, Julia - and they kept their rooms, clothes, and the compound clean. They also enjoyed dancing, giving plays, and reciting poetry. It was a very special place.
When school is on vacation, most students go to visit extended family – aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc. These family members may not be able to care for them year-round, but every effort is made to retain the family connection.
Some of the children are foundlings about whom nothing is known. Not knowing one’s tribe is a big loss, as tribal culture is a big part of life in Kenya.
In addition to school fees for Mji Wa Neema residents, money donated through Kenya Help refurbished their home. A 12-foot wall was built to ensure safety. Dorms were replaced by 2-person rooms, and new furniture for bedrooms and the dining room were provided. The kitchen was rebuilt and the dining/social hall was painted. Also, the children received new clothes, school uniforms, and shoes.
All the kids from Mji Wa Neema are older now. Quite a few have graduated university, and are now successful adults with professional careers. (For some really great stories, see the Newsletters.)
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