More from Marks Journal

May 28

interviews.jpg

KENYA

Today we are interviewing 50 plus kids for 10 or so new places in Heartspring, though desperation usually necessitates a couple of extras being squeezed in. Quite honestly, it's a juggle...

It's a drop in the ocean in one way, these kids are plucked from a dangerous/desperate life and shown love, support and hope, and for some of them this will create a great future. They may go on to become doctors, nurses, bank managers, drivers. The brutal reality is that many won't.

Some locals have explained that even if they get great uni results, the jobs will still go to friends, or those who can pay for the privilege. So it's a weigh-up... personally I think it's worth it.

One of the things I like about Orphfund is that the managers on the ground are locals ALREADY looking after their own, and us whiteys are more behind the scenes in governance, fundraising and planning, allowing the big picture to become possible. I like this because it's locals making the difference... autonomy.

One of the distressing byproducts of the extremely strong and recent Christian influence is that autonomy is removed and determination placed in the hands of a god. I can't see this as healthy, though Christian doctrine does support peace and unity.

Orphfund's model places autonomy back in the hands of individuals willing to work with the opportunities they are given. So far most of the managers are Christian, also preachers, but a different breed to most. They remind me of my dear father. A grass roots worker... only one has mentioned god in any context.

These people are carefully recruited by Steve, who is not a religious man, for their value to the kids. Yes, it's a juggle.

May 28

The number of hopefuls to enter the orphanage has grown beyond 75 now. The cases are extreme....

May 29

About 100 potential kids turned up today, for 10 places...

More from Marks Journal

May 26

Kenya

heartspring.jpg

Made 15 push bikes out of a pile of junk! 15 happy kids... one kid had a huge stack in to a water tank (no injuries!!) and all the other kids ran over and pinched his bike, leaving him there.

Heartbreaking on another level too...when dragging broken hulks of bike from the container, a quiet murmur of "that one's mine" began and continued in the background.

I remember my friend Matt visiting a polish orphanage decades ago and described the same stimulation urgency. He played guitar but the kids were grabbing the strings and were overwhelmed.

Kids were grabbing bikes while we were fixing them. They weren't misbehaving, just so aching for it...

More from marks journal

May 26 Kenya

The orphanage, 'Heartspring', is so beautiful and lush, high in the mountains near Lake Victoria.

There are some fancy houses around, one of them built by the founder of a charity a year after it was set up. People are suspicious. That's why I am so fully behind Orphfund.

 

mark.jpg

At night last night, there was fabulous music and proper drumming to fall asleep to.

We are roughing it more here, dorm rooms, bucket showers and pit toilets.

The kids have turned the 'wild' down a notch, probably because of a closer involvement with a stricter school. They all seem healthy and happy, though more hear wear the scars of past trauma, some look serious.

The internet is sketchy, I'm standing on my friends shoulders on a rooftop with my arm stretched out. Sometimes internot..

There is extreme need here as well, and a different relationship with us 'muzungo', people are slightly more wary, and less inclined to open up immediately. I don't mind that.

Eme.

Our thoughts are with our girl Eme from Kasese, who fell over yesterday & broke her leg.

It will be a tricky few months for her as she is in the midst of her Primary finals. Not to mention missing football matches with her championship girl squad.

But with the love & support of our amazing carers & staff, as well as the best medical care available - she will be up, running around & kicking goals soon!

eme2.jpg
eme.png