Today I write to invite you to share my birthday with me on 19th March, at The Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi.
My invite, which I post today will be a long essay. Kindly read along.
Sometimes what we preach is best practiced.
The sermon on that day, is what Paul wrote to the Galatians 2:10 “….Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”
On that day, we will do something different.
We will cook Chapatti’s (Chapos) for street children.
I am asking you to come with a rolling pin, a packet of Unga if you can, but most importantly, energy and passion and let us cook together.
will be in the house coordinating the cooking and the mentoring. Ann has been working with street kids for the last few months and will bring on board
a lot of insights
If you have old clothes, blankets, shoes, please come with them and let us interact and add a little warmth and smile to someone we do not know.
Now I know all those questions, why food for one day? why street children is that not encouraging them to flood the city instead of clearing them?
I considered those questions at length before deciding to share my birthday and to mobilise my friends and all of you to be part of the initiative, offering
your friendship to that group of people is to offer my best resource to strangers, I therefore got have answers for those deep questions.
I value your time and friendship, I will never mobilise you to service for the sake of it – let me therefore explain.
Out of all possible groups like children homes, the aged and all, I consider Street Children and the homeless as the best challenge, without good challenge
we rarely stretch ourselves to the limit.
I have never heard a comprehensive solution for this group of people. However, one of the first steps we can take is be friends to them as a people and
share the values of humanity with them.
My experience on this matter changed one day, when a young girl walked to me, not nagging me for some cash, instead she told me, ” brathee usinifukuze,
tomb tu ni kama naomxa peas nitakuambia halo mbelee….” (My brother do not chase me away, just keep walking as if am pestering you for cash)
Skipping the details, she explained that she needed to get away from the eyes of the mother who was hiding somewhere watching her and that all she wanted
was to go to school and get her family out of the streets.
I did not buy her story. but I handed her cash some for the mother and some for her and the younger bro.
Before walking away, I asked her if she knew any school in Nairobi. She mentioned xxxx Primary School. “Sisi hulala kwa kachorochoro hapo karibu..” (we
sleep in a pathway next to the school)
I told her we meet there the next day if she was serious. I did not give a time. To be sincere I did not even turn up the next day.
Many weeks later, the same girl approached me near I&M building and before i could employ a popular strategy blaming her for not turning up, she told me,
“usijali, naelewa umekuwa kazi, tuma mtu ama upige simu shule..”(Do not worry, I know you have been working, please send someone or call the school)
She had turned up for our school date, she sat at the stage the entire day and waited unsuccessfully for me, admiring different children as they carried
their school bags to school.
But the mistrust accumulated fairly over the years, filled my view with smoke, i could not see the sincerity in her eyes and the passion in her heart only
stopped by lack of resources and an upbringing that had taught her she could only make it in life by begging for favours.
At her age she had decided she was not going to live a life of begging by choice, she was going to try and rewrite her narrative and curve a new path for
“Mimi ndio najua hii maisha, mimi ndio nitamaliza mambo ya chokora nikisoma,” (I understand street life, I will deal with it and finish it if I go through
Anyway, she was admitted to school and since we have free primary education the cost was minimal, 40 bob a day for Lunch in school. and other administrative
costs came to less than 15,000 for the whole year plus uniform costs.
But after school it meant she was going to sleep along family on a pathway. Thats not all the mother supplements family income by engaging in prostitution
with drunkards – i will not go to the details of that for now.
A teacher offers to get a house for the family near the school to avoid transport costs, we pay 6 months rent, but there is a problem they have a brother
who also needs to go to school, that too is sorted.
But a bigger problem is yet to be resolved, the mother now has a location for her prostitution and the children we come to learn from the young girl is
I will tell the rest of the story someday, including the other initiatives that have to be employed to have this children both who are doing well remain
in schools and the problems associated with it.
The bottom line is, we can change the story of street children by letting them access the tools and means that can empower them to participate i the solution
Most importantly we do not have to wait to strategic plans to come to life, someday they will, but we can change their lives, one street child at a time,
by just sharing love and listening to them
It is on that ground that I am providing a platform for you to spend a day with them, for you to cook Chapos for them (as we see if you really can cook
what you claim unakalia ama umekaliwa) and I must say there is no better place for me to mark my birthday than with those great kids and their families
It is scripture that records that, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’
“… For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I
needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ …
If you can do any of those please do.
I dedicate my 2016 birthday to Street children and the homeless
God Bless You and Keep You
#if I will be present why not you