Joy as over 1000 Nyumbani orphans receive Sh80,000 donation from students
, by Tom Waita
There was an air of elation and relief yesterday as over 1000 orphans in Nyumbani Village in Kitui County received assorted foodstuffs and clothing from Mumbuni Boys and Girls High Schools.
The children could not hide their joy as they welcomed the Sh80,000 donation - clothes, shoes and foodstuffs including maize and wheat flour, bread, biscuits, cooking oil and beverages - from a representative number of students, teachers and non-teaching staff from the Machakos-based school.
Speaking to journalists after gifting the orphans, Mumbuni Boys principal Timothy Wambua said the his school has been making the donations annually since four years ago after realising that the institute requires moral and material support to maintain the high population of orphan children seeking help in the facility.
He said although the school has been organizing the event alone, it has incorporated the neighboring Mumbuni Girls school and will also seek other partners to boost the humanitarian activities.
On her part, Mumbuni Boys’ Guidance and Counselling teacher Juliana Wambua termed the initiative as an opportunity for the schools’ fraternity to give back to the society.
“We cannot overlook the fact that there are numerous needy persons, especially orphaned children and the elderly, out there who need our help to survive.
“For that reason, we make small contributions every year to buy food and clothes for these unfortunate children who lost their parents as a result of HIV/AIDS pandemic,” she pointed out.
She as well beseeched secondary schools across Kitui County to take up the challenge and form charitable groups to help orphanages and children homes within their home county and beyond.
“Institutions that care for parentless children bear a huge burden and any assistance accorded to them, no matter how little, goes a long way in ensuring that the beneficiaries get to lead a normal life besides feeling loved and accepted,” she added.
Mumbuni Boys’ students’ president Amos Kisoi Mackenzie said it was a great honour for them, in conjunction with their teachers and subordinate staff, to give back to the community through assisting the vulnerable children.
“We have found joy and fulfillment in clothing, feeding and socialising with these orphans today. This is an invaluable opportunity for us to serve humanity.
“I urge all secondary school students across Kenya to borrow a leaf from us and touch a child’s heart through a simple act of goodwill. We don’t give because we have plenty but there is divine joy in sharing whatever little we posses with those in need,” he noted.
A brainchild of Fr Angelo D’Agostino, the Managing Director of the Children of God Relief Institute (COGRI), Nyumbani Village was started in 2006 to provide care and support to both HIV infected and affected orphans and grandparents in the remote Ukambani region.
The orphanage, that lies about 11 kilometers North of Kwa Vonza trading center, along the Machakos-Kitui road, now homes over 1000 orphans and 100 destitute grandparents.
The orphans’ asylum is organised into blended families that consist of an elderly grandparent (head) with his or her own grandchildren who accept into the family groups of children, who have previously been living in child-headed households, to make a family of approximately 10 children.
The institution also provides full range education to the orphans as it has own primary (Hotcourses) and secondary (Lawson) schools as well as a tertiary learning (Nyumbani Village Polytechnic) that offers the Kenya National Examination and Trade Tests in carpentry and tailoring among other courses.
The orphanage’s Sustainability Manager Patrick Musyoka revealed that, despite having a number of promising income-generating projects including dairy farming and poultry keeping, the institution was still in dire need of financial support to attain independence.
“We still need monetary assistance from donors and well-wishers to fund full commercialisation of our projects, both short and long term, as we strive to become self-reliant in our endeavours to continue caring for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children and grandparents in Ukambani,” he said.