Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Alice and Piraton, Kenya

After corresponding for many years, Australian sponsor Alice finally met Piraton in person … in Kenya.

I have been sponsoring 13 year-old Piraton in Kenya for the past five years through ChildFund Australia. Last year, my mum Sue and I decided to travel to Kenya so that we could meet Piraton in person.

My mum and I had an incredible six weeks in Africa but undoubtedly the most rewarding and overwhelming day was visiting Naningoi Girls School in Kenya. It was a long five and half hour drive to get there, sometimes on non-existent roads, but the reception we received made it all worthwhile. The people were so welcoming and genuinely excited to see us that it was very touching. Piraton’s father had walked for a few days just to come and meet up.

While at the school, older pupils performed for a traditional dance for us, and we presented Piraton and the school with some gifts – including the Australian childhood classic Possum Magic.

I hadn’t event been sure that they would know we were coming and that was the biggest, most ridiculous silly thought I’ve ever had! Their generosity, particularly given they have so little, was incredible. After lunch, we visited a nearby village where Piraton stays if she can’t get home during the holidays (because of floods). Again, the reception was overwhelming – dancing, presents and meals prepared for us.

During their visit, we were accompanied by ChildFund staff, who were able to update us on development initiatives in the areas of healthcare, education, food security, water and HIV/AIDS. The whole day was spectacular and we were so impressed by the integrity of ChildFund. We were also invited to visit the head office in Nairobi and that gave us a great insight into how things are run.

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