I remember 8 years ago I wrote to you and told you that we would meet each other some day in the future, and now this day has finally arrived…
This year I went on an insight trip to Kenya with Compassion Australia.
For years, I had been thinking to travel to Kenya on my own to visit my sponsored child Mwelu some day. Last year while I was doing my research on the trip, I found out that one can actually join a group trip organised by Compassion to a field country. It’s called the Insight Trip.
The Insight Trip not only provides the opportunity for the sponsors to visit their sponsored children, but also offers first-hand exposure to poverty and understanding of the work Compassion has been doing across the country.
There is no doubt that the highlight of this trip was meeting Mwelu for the first time, visiting her school, her home and meeting with her lovely family. But more to that, seeing Compassion’s work first-hand was definitely a life-changing experience, especially those home visits have really given me a good insight on how Compassion had actually transformed these people’s lives.
Every day while I was there, I was blown away by what I saw and experienced. This trip has removed my doubts about Compassion and made me realised how much more I can do to help in the future.
Now, I would like to share with you some of the highlights from this amazing trip to Kenya.
I always love getting the window seat because I love watching the change of scenery as the plane flies over different places, especially while flying along the east coast of the continent of Africa, the scenery changes dramatically almost every 15 minutes.
30hours, 2 layovers, 6 meals, switching queue 4 times at the border…
…we FINALLY arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport…
During this trip, we went to five different projects across the suburban areas in Nairobi and in the rural areas outside of the city.
In each visit, we got to meet the children who go to the project, we also met the staff and learned how the programs are run, and then we were divided into groups for home visits where we had the opportunity to chat the local families, learned about how they get on with their everyday lives, the struggles they are facing and how their lives have been transformed through the work of Compassion, and then we returned to the project to play and chat with the children.
The first project we went to was located at a suburban area named Umoja.
There are 290 children registered in the project.
The second photo from the left: the social worker (left), the project director (middle), the accountant (right)
The third photo from the left: the amazing teachers
The children were so eager to show us the letters from their sponsors, their report cards, and health check records, etc.
Hygiene education is very important in developing countries. As we all know, good personal hygiene is one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves.
Here in this photo above, the children were queuing up to clean their hands before receiving their porridge for lunch.
After lunch, we departed the project temporarily and began our journey to home visits.
The roads were so bumpy that at one point I thought our van was going to flip.
My first home visit was confronting. The level of poverty I witnessed was way beyond what I had anticipated.
The first photo from the right – We were sitting in the living room chatting with the mother of these children, only to find out that this is also their bedroom and kitchen.
As I was pondering on the living conditions in this area, the mother told us that they used to live in another area where street violence was always a concern for the residents, that was why they decided to move away and found a new home.
Not only that, she also told us that she was so grateful to have found this place and she felt so much safer living in this area than where they had previously lived.
A huge pile of dirt sitting in the middle of the road in front of the homes.
On our way back to the project, some kids waved at us from the street. They seemed very excited to see foreigners visiting their area.
Hey, look at those two kids sharing a pair of roller boots! That is a real life demonstration of the expression “sharing is caring”!
After our home visits, we returned to the project to play and chat with the children.
***End of Day 1 & 2***