We are so blessed that sometimes we just don’t realize it because we are too busy focusing on other things that are stressing us out, that in the end, don’t even end up mattering.
I’m quite active on the social media scene and like to keep in touch with what is going on. On Twitter I ‘met’ the Swiss Ambassador to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Somalia and The Seychelles, Jacques Pitteloud. We got talking and on Twitter he posted about a school that was helping the poorest of the poor children in its area to receive an education, but most importantly, food. While many of us take for granted the food we are blessed with, these children come from families who do not see food for days on end.
I have two children and I just couldn’t bear the thought of them ever having to go hungry or suffer and my heart went out to the plight of these children at Gentiana Primary School. I asked the Ambassador if I could, with the help of other like-minded people who also wanted to help. The Ambassador very kindly and gratefully accepted and I got about getting in touch with my friends and family who quickly reverted to me and promised clothes, food, toys, books, footwear and money.
On Monday this week, Kirsty, Oshin, Jasleen, my kids and I went with the Ambassador to Gentiana Primary School to hand over the very generous donations that were given by so many people. The school was a surprisingly well-made structure in the middle of what I thought was nowhere. Dusty bad roads just before the school had already built up an impression of severe poverty in my head, keeping in account the shanty structures we passed on the way.
We met up with the officials of the school who kindly filled us in on what they do and how they channel funds into the various needs of the school. It is registered as a private school and the children do sit for national exams, which is fantastic.
We were given a tour of the school and I was ever so pleased to note that each and every face was a smiling and happy one. Children are happy when they are in a nurturing environment and it will always reflect on their faces and their actions. I loved walking around taking their pictures and showing them amid bursts of giggles at seeing themselves. Laughter is a wonderful thing and it ought to be more contagious – there would be a lot more happy people in this world. The kids’ laughter got me rather emotional and I could see Oshin and Kirsty were also having a lovely time amongst the children.
The school relies on donations from people kind enough to dig deep into their pockets and give generously. There are a lot of expenses that would include the teachers’ salaries, the learning equipment required to enable the children to have the same chances as their privileged counterparts, books, stationery, amongst other things. The school realizes that almost all children come from extremely poor families that cannot afford a meal every single day so the children are fed breakfast before they start their classes and then there’s a mid-morning break. Lunch is also provided for and the thing that pulled at my heartstrings was that they feed the kids again in the evening because they know many cannot afford even the evening meal so feeding them within the school sustains them until the next day.
Many of us feel these days there’s a rising cost of just about everything. Fuel, food, children’s school fees, utility bills, household expenses and a whole host of other things, and many don’t seem to have the ‘disposable’ income to be able to give to charity. I know that even when you’ve got nothing material to give you can give something back to society in other ways. Even a small amount of whatever you can afford will go such a long way. You can also volunteer your precious time to do something for these children. Anything you do will count and it will make a difference. It’s all about being a good human being and giving back to society.
You can find out more about Gentiana Primary School on http://www.gentiananairobi.org . The website is in German but if you use Chrome as your browser Google Translate will ask you if you want it translated to a language of your choice.
Thank you for being so generous. It is highly appreciated.