# Matt and Ruth report on their June 2016 visit to Kenya
It was now our turn to visit the children in their home and to hopefully leave our mark for the children in Kenya.
After getting back and settling into reality in Ireland, our time with Kindfund in Kenya feels like a dream!
Ruth’s family have been involved in the work of Kindfund for a number of years and were hosts for the Kindfund Outreach Programme in the UK during 2014. When the children returned to Kenya after this visit
it was amazing to see the impact they left behind, they had inspired many around them with their stories, singing and smiles. It was now our turn to visit the children in their home and to hopefully leave our mark for the children in Kenya. It was lovely to see the children who had been in N. Ireland and to see how they had grown and to hear their stories of life after the Outreach Programme as well as getting to meet all their siblings and friends whom we had heard so much about.
Matt, having just finished his degree in Primary School Teaching in Stranmillis University College in Belfast was excited to meet the new children and to do what he loves doing in a new environment and to learn from the children and the Kindfund School. Neither of us knew what to expect but it was exceptional and better that we ever could have imagined.
From the outset we were greeted by a mixture of familiar and new faces along with some heart -warming singing and we were instantly made to feel at home. The children insisted on carrying our bags and showing us to our rooms and this was just the beginning of what they would do for us during our visit. They took the time to introduce themselves and to find out a little about us, inquiring about all the host families they had met and their sponsors. It is hard to imagine the impact any of us can have on one of these children’s lives but the light in their eyes when they spoke of the previous visitors and the host families said it all. It was clear to us both from the first minute we sat down and were surrounded by all of the children at Ngaramara that we would love our time with Kindfund.
We spent our first few days getting to know all of the amazing children and hardworking staff. Monday morning and the beginning of our first school week in Kenya quickly arrived and we got the opportunity to meet Dan, the headmaster of the school at Kindfund, and the two teachers who worked in Ngaramara, Stephen and Robert. Our days during that week were spent working with the teachers and getting the opportunity to teach the standard 5, 6 and 7 classes based in Ngaramara. The children were wonderfully welcoming and extremely passionate about their studies, they even had to be persuaded to leave the classrooms during their midterm break (children at home could learn a lot from them)! We spent our evenings playing with, getting to know and entertaining the children. They learned some new songs and games, even some Irish dancing. While we learned some Swahili and a number of interesting Samburu dances, with varying degrees of success! Ruth was even invited by the staff and children to help prepare dinner for everyone at the Ngaramara home, which was certainly no small task. Our first week came to a close with a seminar, taken by Matt, with all of the teaching staff from Ngaramara and Wamba. Here we were introduced to Felix and Grace, the two teachers working at the Wamba home. The seminar focused on all the progress made by the teaching staff and Dan as headmaster so far and we discussed how we could further progress the school, to improve the pupils’ experience and success.
Our trip to Wamba was made via a road unlike anything either of us had experienced before. Wamba was an equally amazing but completely different experience. The younger children at Wamba, some of whom have been at Kindfund since the first few days of their lives, were unimaginably loving and caring. They provided constant entertainment and were a source of love and laughs throughout our time there. We also had the opportunity to spend time with the four girls in standard 8 of primary school during their half term break. The girls were extremely generous with their time off, showing us around Wamba, helping us gather groceries in town and even taking us on an adventure up a mountain where we experienced some of the most breath-taking views imaginable, before we were caught in a heavy rain and had to run back to the home! During the school day with the standard 1, 2, 3 and 4 classes, we worked with Felix and Grace to implement some of the changes we had discussed at the previous week’s seminar to a great deal of success, shown in the huge overall improvements in all the school children’s’ midterm exam results. We even got to visit the home at Rendille to see the ongoing construction that looked to be creating an amazing site. After some emotional goodbyes at Wamba, we headed back to Ngaramara for our last few days with the children there, with just enough time to squeeze in a very successful trip to see elephants, giraffes and other animals in the Samburu park. After some more very emotional goodbyes at Ngaramara, our journey at Kindfund ended and our journey home began.
Our visit to Kindfund was an experience that neither of us will ever forget. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved with the charity. Firstly to all those who fundraise and spread awareness of Kindfund. Trust us, your thoughts, prayers, donations and support are very much appreciated and really do fantastic things for those who need them most. Pamela told us ‘what these children really need is to be loved’, so please continue to love them with all your heart. Secondly to all of the staff at Kindfund- you welcomed us with open arms and showed us the way throughout our time there. Thirdly to all the children in all of the homes at Kindfund. We may only have spent a small amount of time with each of you in our short time in Kenya but you will forever be in our hearts and minds and don’t forget to keep your promises to write to us. We hope we will see you again soon. Lastly to Ken, Pamela and Jonathan, we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to come and be part of these amazing homes that you have built. It was clear from the beginning that you put all your hearts and souls into everything that has been done in Ngaramara, Wamba and Rendille. The experiences we had during our visit will stay with us forever and we look forward to seeing you very soon!
Ruth and Matt
Pray for all those who faithfully support this work