Following our child’s eyes’ view of our supporters’ recent visit to the Eusebia Hope Centre in Igoji Meru, Kenya, here is another report, this time from the adults’ perspective.
This summer, the Dunn & Black families visited the Eusebia Hope Centre – this tells you a bit about what we got
up to. So much good work has been accomplished by the Charity. It’s amazing to think that just a few years ago
many of the children were in very poor health, unable to walk due to ‘jiggers’ (worms in the skin), with no
education and unsure where their next meal was coming from. We saw them enjoying two nutritious meals
each day, lessons from some very committed teachers, lots of enriching experiences through animal husbandry
and sports, and a sense of permanence, self-worth and belonging. The children there are a joy.
The six paid staff and 5 local volunteers at the Centre showed us warm hospitality. They were all very hard-
working and committed to the children. Below are teachers Caro & Canana, and Kawira (Cook) with an apprentice!
We visited three local suppliers of staple food for the Centre (Kwa Mary below). Buying at the right time of
year is vital to keep costs down, and local harvest knowledge was key to price negotiations! Children at the centre
are learning agricultural skills, with chickens, cows and rabbits. The last are sold for meat to generate income – an interesting lesson for our own children! Kale, spinach and carrot crops are being grown, and doing well so far.
Of course, we did not arrive empty-handed. Woodlea primary school parents generously donated school uniforms, worn with great pride. Brand new underwear was kindly donated by Next and many local parents regularly donate hand-me-downs. Talking to Mama Glory (laundry) was eye-opening; tackling the clothing of around 50 children! We brought out small, lightweight rucksacks for each child, to store books and clothing, kept hanging on hooks to keep them dry. Schoolchildren from Caterham Prep School and Hazelwood School donated (new!) toothbrushes and toothpaste. The practical session on ‘how to brush your teeth thoroughly’ was very entertaining for all and the children are apparently committed to twice daily brushing!
Biff & Chip, Mr Men and Frog & Toad books were all donated and now await eager readers, along with exercise books. The school year started on the last day of our visit, and new textbooks were purchased. Caterham Library kindly donated 8 posters, good supplements for the Centre’s hand-made ones. Hazelwood and Caterham Prep pupils donated over 20 recorders, music books and lots of percussion instruments. Teachers at the Centre are now learning the recorder before teaching the children. Many children clearly loved football with some excellent sprinting and ball skills. A newly donated rounders kit went down well. An end-of-school-holidays party showcased some amazing dancing and an inspiring poetry presentation. Lorimers (Caterham) kindly donated craft kits, which will prove very useful on (hoped for) rainy days.