This project turned into one of the most rewarding service projects that we have ever participated in. After everyone had had a chance to participate in one or more games we moved the activities from the school to the Nazarene Children's Home (Orphanage) compound which is located only a few yards away from the school within the same slum. This was one of the most difficult parts of the activity, that is excluding the rest of the children that lived in the slums with their families. They saw all of the fun that the orphans were having and they wanted to join us. To turn them away was truly difficult for all of us. We first had lunch. We gave them peanut butter and jam sandwiches, an orange and punch with homemade cookies for desert. This is the first time any of them had ever had PB & J or cookies, they were cautious at first but then wanted seconds of everything. After everyone was full then Father Christmas made an appearance. This was the first time most of them had ever seen Santa or for that matter been given a gift for Christmas. It was a powerful experience for all of us. We will not ever be able to forget this day especially at future Christmases.
This is the entrance to the Orphanage compound within the Sweto Slum in Nairobi. Here one of the teachers had to stand at the door to ensure that only the orphans came in because the neighbor kids wanted to join in the fun they saw happening inside.
Because it was a summer day it was very hot on Christmas Eve, so we found some shade to eat our PB & J sandwiches.
The ages of the orphans ranged from 3 years to 14 years. These are the older orphans. I kind of was drawn to them.
Karen had crocheted little dolls all year long to give to some young kids for Christmas. This project became her avenue. She was also instrumental in collecting items for the older kids. Her things were combined with back to school bags received from LDS Charities. Since she was instrumental in organizing the gift bags she became Santa's helper to ensure the right bags went to the right kids.