It’s a little after 10.30 A.M when the cab pulls up in front of Children’s Garden Home and School in the sprawling residential area of Kawangware in Nairobi. We alight to a black swing gate, ushered in by the security personnel.
A clean cabro pathway, framed by well-manicured gardens meets us. The pathway climbs up to a three-storey building dotted with a number of doors and large windows. For a moment we think this is all there is and it just doesn’t fit the picture of a children’s home – The place is more of a residential building and the few children that we meet along the way makes this picture complete.
We are then greeted by Dorcas, a patron at the Children’s home. She informs us that the Home’s Director – Mr Moses Ndung’u is held up in a meeting but she is more than happy to show us around.
Let’s retract just a little bit and let me give you the gist on why we are here: The Junction Mall together with Heels4Pads, a CSR initiative with the purpose of raising awareness on period poverty, put together a campaign in February.
The purpose of this campaign was to collect sanitary towels which would go towards helping the less privileged women and girls around The Junction Mall and surrounding environs. The campaign lasted a month and thanks to you, raised 4,189 sanitary towels.
Now that you are aware of the back story lets trace Dorcas who has taken us through the weaving stone staircases leading us to the larger area that accommodates more facilities. Our paths are framed by wired fences separating the path from the kitchen garden on one side and a vast playground on the other.
Dorcas takes us round the classrooms. The children at the kindergarten warm our hearts with a resounding greeting “Good morning our visitors,” and we joyously salute them back. We move down to the high school section all the while Dorcas filling us in on the home’s history.
“The home was started in 2011 and we are currently celebrating 20 years since its inception,” says Dorcas. “The youngest child in the home is 6 months old,” she adds as she directs us to a greenhouse garden. “The kales and spinach from here are mostly fed to the toddlers,” she says.
Our tour is done after Dorcas takes us to the children’s dormitories, science and computer laboratories. We decide to catch some of that much needed Nairobi sun that has been eluding the skies for the better part of the month. It’s 10 minutes before our 11am session with the girls. We each get lost in our thoughts pondering over all that Dorcas shared with us.
I look up on the hall’s wall and the students recently had a debate on a topic along the lines of: Boychild should receive better opportunities than the girlchild. Word is, the girls won.
My thoughts are soon interrupted by the rush of students carrying their chairs into hall. We join them and our time is spent singing and chanting to phrases that will serve to remind them of their abilities and worth even while on their menses. We remind them to be each other’s keeper. We remind them of fellow women and ladies making great history all around the world. They are more than happy to join in the dancing, laughing and singing. The excitement in the room is palpable.
The ceremony is closed off with all the girls being handed sanitary towels, we take a group photo with them and two girls share their vote of thanks. It’s been a good day!
About Children’s Garden Home and School
Children’s Garden Home is a community-based, non-profit charitable organization for orphans, abandoned, abused, desperate and neglected street children. It is based in Kawangware, a residential area in Nairobi. Through parental love, spiritual care, and rehabilitation, the home nurtures the children to unleash their full potential towards living a good life based on self-reliance.