One of the most significant experiences of my life was spending several weeks in Africa. Kenya was unlike anywhere I had ever been. The poverty was striking- but I'd been to poor countries plenty of times before. What stuck me so deeply about Kenya was the realization that it is a country of orphaned children. With extreme poverty and illness and rampant AIDS, there are scores of children left parentless, often cared for by neighbours or distant relatives. The sheer number of children who are abandoned, orphaned and HIV positive or "undesirable" in some way means the streets and cities are littered with children caring for children. Babies with so much soul and depth and sadness in their eyes that their eyes belie their age. At the same time, their capacity for kindess, selflessness and joy was incredibly humbling.
For my journal entries and experiences on Kenya, click HERE.
As an update from several years ago, when I was there, I have randomly met volunteers who have completed the third story of the school we began in 2005. I have seen pictures of street children I fell in love with who are now transformed by the joy and pride of an education and food (including Little Green Dress and the mischievous and impish Michael)!
Like a stone rippling the pond, one small act can continue to affect it's surroundings long after you've left the water's edge.