This letter is from Beryl Muga, a student at Maseno University near Kisumu, Kenya.
It follows up on an impassioned talk she gave to the children at Humanity Home.
I was born and raised in the third largest slum in Africa, which is “Mathare” in Nairobi. In grade six, a ray of hope shone on my path and I got sponsored. I was taken to a boarding school located a three-hour ride from my home. I am very thankful to the organization and most importantly to my sponsor of almost eleven years now.
Unfortunately, I observed the following practices by the organization that ran the children’s home where we lived. The heads of the organization did not allow us to communicate directly with our sponsors. Every term, we would write letters to our sponsors. The heads of the organization would tell us what to write in our letters, most of which was lies. All our letters and emails were censored and we were not allowed to have a personal conversation with our sponsors. The sponsors were donating $1,200 per year, but the yearly fee at my school was not more than $600. The organization was paying only school fees and no other expenses. During weekends, the managers and owners of the organization would go for swimming and treats and we were left behind. They used to eat special diets, like chicken, meat and fries. Those were things that we would only see and never tasted. We never interacted with the owners and managers and even when our sponsors visited , out time was limited and monitored.
I met Jim during Judy’s wedding. The kids reminded me of my childhood and I felt connected to them. My first visit at Humanity Home astonished me. The love between the children, mummy (Judy) and daddy (Jim) was very contagious and I instantly felt free, loved and at home. I was surprised that the children are living in the same house as mummy and daddy. Love, equality and a sense of belonging is evident in HH because the diet is the same for everyone. There is no special diet for mummy, daddy and visitors. I was surprised to see Jim eating ugali (a corn-based staple). The bonding is great through evening walks, barbecue evening and swimming.