Breathtaking Beauty... Heartbreaking Pain

Kids Alive International Vice President of Operations, Matt Parker, reflects on his recent visit to western Kenya...

The landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Green, rolling hills and mountains are all around me, dotted with trees and fields. A river wends its way through the valley, heading for the distant lake. Eagles soar in the blue sky overhead. It is a wonderful sight.

But the poverty in this region is heartbreaking. People living here face a daily struggle to survive. Children, their bodies stunted by malnutrition, stand by the sides of the road catching and eating insects. They stare at me as I pass. There are no smiles on their faces. Their eyes are dull, lifeless.

A woman, having walked miles in search of medical attention, collapses by the side of the road. Her breathing is shallow, her eyes closed. She simply cannot go on. Sickness and death are commonplace in this community, with malaria, meningitis, tuberculosis and AIDS all quick to claim their victims.

This is Nyamarambe in western Kenya. It is a place where beauty and suffering exist side by side.

Yet, in our Children’s Home, there is hope. Here live almost 30 orphaned children who have known the harshness of everyday life. They are a happy, vibrant group. Eagerly they show me round their rooms, expressing their appreciation for their new mattresses and bed sheets. I engage the boys in a game of football and find that they are far better players than I am. They all sing and dance. Their voices are amazing.

The Home Manager, Kennedy, has done a great job of nurturing these children over the past year. “We want children to be instilled with hope and future for their lives”, he tells me. “Our Home is here to bring life to the hopeless”.

It is certainly doing that. Nutritious food, health care, clothing and a quality education are provided. There are opportunities for social interaction. And the children are spiritually nurtured, taught about a Heavenly Father who created them and loves them. Here, at the Nyamarambe Children’s Home, scars from the past are gradually being healed!

Posted on May 29th 2012

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