“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”– Anthony Bourdain
Duty still calls at Christmas Time and on Christmas Morning I flew to Nairobi, Kenya. My daughter was meant to come with me but hadn’t had her yellow fever inoculations in time so wasn’t worth the risk of her coming along. Of course I was sad about this as it was going to be the first time in years I’d have spent Christmas Day with her.
Then a colleague got in touch about visiting a children’s centre which helps the vulnerable children and some with no families. As Health & Social Care is still my primary passion, I jumped at this chance as it was something I had been thinking about prior and immediately went out shopping to buy some clothes and essentials for the children for Christmas. I went to Primark and just by looking for things on the reduction rails, I managed to get items for babies, shoes and clothes for little ones and t-shirts for boys for next to nothing.
It was quite late when we arrived in Nairobi on Christmas night so after a few drinks in the bar, headed to bed to be ready to go and see the children on Boxing Day. Sister Mary and her colleague arrived to pick us up at lunchtime and first we went to drop all the items off that would be sorted and distributed to those who need it, then we went over to the centre to see the children. A lot of the children had gone away but there were about 16 of the boys there so we took crisps and sweets.
We were given a guided tour of the Mukuru Promotion Centre and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was so heart wrenching to see so much being done for the children with classrooms, a games room, a carpentry area, counselling rooms, empowerment programmes, Social Care and clinics for all and knowing that all this was being done by donations, volunteers and people giving their lives to help the children of Nairobi.
The boys were about to have lunch when we arrived but they were so welcoming and even sang us a song. They were then asked if there was anything they would like to ask us so we gave them a little motivational background on ourselves and how nothing is ever easy and how it has taken hard work, dedication and a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude but by this time we were all in tears and the boys all ran over and everyone had a group hug(Even more tears followed then ☺️). Meeting the staff who work with the children was also an honour and inspiration as they do not have the tools and resources like we do in the UK so the hard work they put in is truly admiral.
I can honestly say it was probably the best Boxing Day I’ve ever had and just spending time there at the time of year almost everything is about money and presents was enough for me this year and so grateful for the other kind hearted crew who gave their day and many needed items to the children and made me aware of the centre. Now that I have been to the Mukuru Promotion Centre, I plan on bidding for the trip again so I can go back to meet more of the children but also visit the Children’s Disability Centre and also begin to collect items in the UK to take back over and see what else I can do help the Mukuru Promotion Centre and Sisters more.
For more information on the Mukuru Promotion Centre: http://www.mercymukuru.co.ke