Humanity Home is home to twenty children near Kisumu, Kenya.
Because of Humanity Home, every day these children wake up and are greeted by adults who are glad to see them; they get to eat a nutritious breakfast; they go to school; they have school uniforms and supplies; they eat lunch; they have a safe place that they love to come home to; they eat supper; they get help and supervision with their homework; they listen to bedtime stories; they bathe and brush their teeth; they have a bed to sleep in. This is possible because of your help and support.
In August 2017, I visited Humanity Home for two weeks. I saw first hand what is happening there and got to know each of our precious kids. The experience was unlike anything in my life.
Humanity Home surpassed my highest expectations. The children are well fed and well cared for. Most importantly, this is a home, not an institution. The children are loved and nurtured. They treat each other like good brothers and sisters. They call the director, Judy Wariero, “Mommy,” and the staff “Auntie.”
See the 2017 trip report to read the story of my August visit.
In April of 2018, I spent another three weeks at Humanity Home. We are up to twenty children and their transformation continues. We are truly a family.
Despite years of planning and preparation, whether Humanity Home would become reality was in serious doubt until December 2016, when our host for seven visits to Kenya, who is a very important figure in modern Kenyan history, offered to let us use a guest house (hotel) that he owns which had been underutilized. Almost instantly, we went from dreaming to getting to work. We worked out a lease at an affordable rate. We made and continue to make some modest repairs.
This building is wonderful for a children's home. It has thirteen guest rooms each with a bathroom and shower, a huge kitchen, a large gathering room downstairs, a large multi-purpose room upstairs and a large kitchen. We can easily accommodate more than two dozen kids.
While this miracle was unfolding, an even more precious miracle happened. As you know by now, I am always meeting wonderful kids. But some just jump out at me. At a primary school way out in the midst of rice paddies, we met Rosie. This kid looked like a rough street kid out of Les Miserables. She was wearing a ratty red stocking cap that drooped down over her eyes, a tattered t-shirt and a worn out, ill-fitting skirt. But she had a delightful personality, and pushed through the throng of kids to make sure she got to play catch with the white guy. There was just something about her. I gave her a pink bandana. One of my college ladies, Violet, offered to fold and tie the bandana on Rosie's head.
When the kid removed her stocking cap, Violet and I looked at each other, stunned. We both said “Oh my God, she is so beautiful!” Honestly, I think she is the most beautiful child I have ever seen. When that cap came off, the mask of poverty was lifted and the beauty of this child, of these children, of a continent shined through. There is no other way to put it, it was love at first sight. Violet and I immediately knew we are going to change this kid's life. We nicknamed her Violet Junior.
We asked the teacher about Rosie's circumstances. He said she is a good student and a good kid. He promised to pass along my card to the girl's mother, but then failed to do so.
In the meantime, Violet and I could not get Violet Jr off of our minds. All week we kept talking about Violet Jr, heartbroken at the very thought that we might never see her again. I asked our director to go out there, with only the name of the school and the kid's first name. She found out that Rosie had been living with her grandmother, but now she was out of school, which is disastrous for a young girl in a place like Kenya. She had gone off to Mombasa, all the way across the country. But we don't quit.
Our director got the mother's phone number from the granny. It seems the granny was too old to care for the little girl and her house was nearly falling down. The single mom was out of options. We told the mom that we could sponsor the child to make sure she can complete school. The mom was delighted to hear that. Then she asked if we could care for Rosie as our own. We were stunned, and still are. We just wanted to make sure this kid could go to school, now all of a sudden she is a member of our family.
We arranged for the mother to bring Rosie on the bus from Mombasa. Outfitted with new uniforms and all the trimmings, Rosie was back in school within a few days. Rosie is a great kid. What an incredible start to our journey.
This little guy joined us at age six. His single mother was forced to leave him and two other siblings in the care of their fifth-grade sister so she could find work as a housemaid in another town and try to earn money to feed the children.
Alphonse's eight-year-old brother, Dennis, was always coming around Humanity Home, so we brought him in as well. Alphonse is artistic and very mechanically inclined.