This is one of the three projects located in the Kibera slum. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa and has become somewhat "popular" among humanitarian relief groups. If you saw "Idol Gives Back" a couple of years ago...this is the featured slum. The people are used to visitors. We couldn't take pictures out in the streets because they would have expected pay.
The children in this Compassion project were able to get out of school early to come greet us. They sang, rapped, quoted poems and marched for us. The look in their eyes showed they were very happy to be sharing these things with us:
Roger, Leigh and Andy were all able to meet sponsored children today. Here is Roger with his mother's sponsored child, Leigh with her mother's sponsored child, and Andy with his sponsored child. What an amazing experience. Can't wait to meet our child on Saturday!
Next, we broke into groups and went on home visits.
Les, Virginia, Roger and I went to Edwin's house. Getting there was quite an adventure. We walked along the main road for a bit, then turned down an alley with a ditch of raw sewage running through. There were clotheslines everywhere and it was difficult to stand up straight. We mostly ducked and walked to avoid the clotheslines. The other thing we had to be careful about were the roofs. They are made of corrugated metal and are very sharp. They're so close together that it's difficult to avoid scraping them. Oh, and the baby chicks. Definitely almost stepped on one.
Edwin lives in a one bedroom shack with his Father, Mother and 3 siblings. His mother wasn't home, so we visited with Edwin, his father and his sister, Lillian. They are very proud of their house. It recently burned to the ground when a neighbor's house caught fire. They lived outside for 20 days. Peter, Edwin's father showed us a Bible that survived the fire with only some faint singes and told us it meant that "God was with us."
Simon works for a security company and makes about $100 a month. Their rent is $20 a month.
Edwin was extremely quiet, but Lillian was so excited to see us. She kept her hands clasped the whole time and just beamed. She asked us questions about our families and lives in America and then begged us not to forget them and to please keep helping. I was struck by the fact that while Edwin is the sponsored child in their family (there can only be one child per household in the program,) she too is given an opportunity to succeed and break the cycle of poverty. Edwin's sponsorship is her hope as well.
Les prayed over the family and Lilian wept. She was just overcome by our visit. Precious family.
Lillian, Les and Edwin:
Virginia and Lillian:
Here are a few more images from Kibera. I wish I had more, but it was just not appropriate to take photos out in the slum.