In my last five weeks, I witnessed two slaughters. Goats, chickens and rabbits are kept in the MCC on the one hand to promote the “household economic strengthening program”, households in the support program with the help of animals bred in the MCC. On the other hand, they are also intended for own needs. In order to reduce the number of rabbits and goats living on the MCC site, some of them are slaughtered. To my astonishment, the kids happily pitched in and then described the procedure to me in detail. It was a depressing feeling for me, as it was the first time I had been involved in the slaughter of animals.
In my last five weeks at the MCC I was the only volunteer and experienced the time with the kids even more intensively. We often used the free time to play football or volleyball together, in which the children are passionate.
I also continued my joy of baking with them. This has resulted in many different deserts such as carrot and banana cakes, as well as cinnamon rolls. I received active support and the kids now implement pretty much all the work steps themselves.
The children still wanted “pomcons”, so there was a huge portion – two buckets full – of popcorn for the film.
Since the kids are not aware of their children’s rights, I introduced them to a course. We started with the rights they already knew and collected them on the board. After two short explanatory videos, we collected more children’s rights together. In order to summarize and record the whole thing, we created a poster with small pictures. The poster now hangs on the wall as a daily reminder.
In addition, I also wanted to draw their awareness to the topic of self-love and self-confidence. I chose a video that showed how self-love can be implemented. Afterwards, the kids wrote individually on a piece of paper what they liked about themselves. Finally, one by one, they stood in front of a mirror, looked at themselves in it and complimented themselves. It made me proud that everyone was able to find something that they think is great about themselves.
For a few months now, there has been a playground on the Maisha Mazuri children’s home grounds. It was important to me to expand it. My idea was to reuse the car tires that were no longer used. These are placed in a row so that the kids can balance over them. The children waited impatiently to start the project. They quickly cleaned the tires of dirt and the painting could begin. We painted the tires in rainbow colors. Everyone wanted to brush at the same time, which was not possible because we were mixing the colors one by one. After the tires were dry, half buried and embellished with handprints, the kids could hardly wait for the concrete to harden. After a few days of waiting, the kids happily jumped over the tires.
It was hard for me to say goodbye.
I got used to the simplicity of food and chapati became my favorite dish.
I enjoyed the sunsets across the street from the Children Center.
I loved listening to music with the kids and seeing them dancing passionately.
I learned how to trade in the market and what it’s like to be treated differently.
I was happy to ride with Boda Bodas and Matatus.
I have seen that corruption is present in all strata and in many situations.
But the most beautiful thing is the warm, welcoming and frugal nature of the people and the smile on their faces.
I am incredibly grateful for my last five months at the Maisha Mazuri Children Center. A time with many ups and downs. I have grown incredibly fond of the children and employees.
I am grateful that I was able to make this experience and appreciate even more consciously the family and social circumstances in which I was able to grow up and now live.
Hopefully see you soon! Tutaonana!