Friends from the Embassy village in Manchester recently spent eleven days in Kibera with volunteers from Kanzi-Kibera Friends (UK) and the Kanzi Kenya Foundation. The objectives of the visit were to assist in the building project at Cana Junior School; spend time with children in the four schools supported by Kanzi; distribute clothes and food; and gain a greater understanding of Kenya and its diverse peoples and culture. They even managed a one-day safari – a must for all visitors to Kenya!
As we have reported before, Cana Junior school have been trying to rebuild, after they had to demolish part of their school to allow for a road to be built. With the ground floor completed, and children utilising that space for learning again, they began work on the first floor. Unfortunately, the money they had raised came to an end and work had to be paused. The team from Embassy joined Kanzi to spend close to £2000 on buying materials and paying local skilled workers. The team provided practical help too, as extra pairs of hands, in addition to facilitating the work to be continued. Language barriers frequently got in the way, leading to both difficulty and humour in equal measure. The work was quite heavy at times, as the British team struggled with non-mechanised methods of building. Over time, a great sense of camaraderie developed between the Kenyan workers and the British team of volunteers.
The second half of each day was spent with the children of Cana and the other three schools supported by Kanzi. This was always the highlight of the day for each team member. They took part in the lessons but were also entertained by the children with singing, dancing, and poetry recitals. The children of course found the team a great novelty and looked forward to their visits. The context was always spiritual, which ministered to the team, but also provided plenty of opportunities for Pastor Laighton (one of the team) to speak of our shared Christian values and to pray with the school communities.
Each of the team have come away with special memories and experiences, transforming their perspectives of life and God’s presence in the slums of Kibera. But their visit has also created special memories for the children and communities of the schools supported by Kanzi; a wonderful demonstration of God’s love from their Friends in the UK. Our thanks go to the schools for welcoming our Friends from Embassy, and a special thanks to Sophie who sustained the team with her excellent cooking! On behalf of Kanzi Kibera Friends, Kanzi Kenya Foundation and the four schools we support, we would like to thank all our Friends at Embassy for their sustained love and support, enabling us to continue our mission in Kibera.