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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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Jon and Ruto, Kenya

The whole experience with ChildFund in Kenya was amazing, says Jon who travelled to Kenya to meet his sponsored child Ruto.

I was picked up as planned at around 6am in the morning in Nairobi. My guides were awesome – Lucas and Kenya (the driver). They were very informative the whole way up into the Rift Valley, showing me the different landmarks.

After some pretty extreme four-wheel driving, we reached the ChildFund headquarters for the Rift Valley region. I met the two main workers for that region, Pauly and Sammy. It was great to see the work they do in all the local communities, planting mango and other types of trees, setting up goat pens and working with young adults.

We then drove up the mountain to Ruto’s village. The people live in the mountains for security reasons, because another tribe had come across the valley and attacked them a year or two ago. They burnt houses and stole cattle and goats.

When we reached the top, Ruto and his mum and sister were there to greet us. I was quite shocked to see them suddenly there in front of me, and it took me a moment to recognise Ruto. He is a shy boy, fit-looking and apparently very smart. Lucas and Sammy told me he was a bit overwhelmed to finally meet me, but so was I.

After the initial greetings, we walked down the mountainside to the school. When I was about 200 metres from the school, the children started singing and clapping for me. It was really beautiful. It was amazing to see such happy, young kids with so little possessions, but rich in spirit.

From the school, we headed down the mountains to Ruto’s small village, compromising about 15 small huts. There was singing and dancing, a small presentation, gifts exchanged, food was provided and we planted some mango trees. It was really amazing – such generosity and gratitude.

The next day, Lucas, Kenya, Sammy and Pauly took me to some of the other areas where ChildFund works. It was really good to stop by a borehole that ChildFund had helped fund. The guy looking after the borehole explained the significance of the project – kids used to have to walk for up to 8kms a day just to get water from a nearby lake, thus missing out on going to school. Now the borehole is there, they don’t have to walk as far, they can go to school and it’s good clean water.

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