[Klicke hier für die Deutsche Version]
The Care Home
Makungu was established as a care home in 2017 and started out with 8 kids in need for caretakers due to their personal circumstances including parents passing away, domestic violence and abuse, and other reasons. Their main goal as an organization has always been to provide the children a stable home and a safe haven in a physical and psychological sense.
Step by step, this has also evolved to make sure they receive a good quality education for their future. The children's safety and stability is the primary concern for them which is especially important considering their traumatic past.
For Makungu it is important to be able to understand and analyze the backgrounds of the kids to be able to meet their emotional and mental needs. The people running the home have been giving the kids emotional support as well as individual and private talks to help mitigate their trauma as children.
They are working on achieving high-quality pedagogical standards that are deemed essential for the well-being of the children. But all this would never be possible without ensuring the financial resources required to take care of the children's basic needs while also fully engaging therapists and other pedagogues.
In order to get a better understanding of what some of the children currently living in the Makungu Care Home have gone through in their young lives, check out the stories of Hekima and Pendo.
The stories of two children at the Makungu Care Home
Hekima* is 12 years old and one of the children hosted by the Makungu Care Home. After losing his father at the age of 7, he continued living with his older brother and mother. Ever since the sole breadwinner of the family passed away life has been very rough and at some point the mother was unable to provide for Hekima and his brother any longer.
As the family did not get support from any relatives, the two boys were taken to a care home, the Makungu Care Home. However, at the time, Makungu was also struggling to take care of the children so they were taken back to the mother. Given that she was still not able to provide for the kids as she had also become sick and was suffering from HIV, it was clear that the brothers had to come back to the disintegrated home.
The older brother understood that the newly founded Makungu Care Home lacked the necessary infrastructural and financial resources to support the kids. Therefore, he chose to abandon the home in late 2017 and try his luck in the streets.
By then, the mother had already passed away because of complications of the disease, so he could not return to her either. But the fact that the older brother has been living in the streets since then did not leave the care home owners untouched.
Once Makungu was able to support the kids they tried to bring Hekima's brother back, yet all attempts during the last 3 years have been unsuccessful. Though Makungu wouldn't be Makungu, if they hadn't kept an "open door" policy for him.
Hekima, on the other hand, stayed at the care home. In the beginning, he had a very heavy stutter and would rarely be heard talking. Throughout the 3 years at Makungu, Hekima has developed into a very healthy 12-year-old boy with a very reduced stutter that can barely be heard by anyone who did not know of it before. He is very lively, bright and responsible. He is currently in grade 5 and doing very well academically.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” - Hekima's favorite quote
Pendo* used to live with her single mom who was working as a prostitute as a source of income for the two-person family. As Pendo got older her mother offered the girl to clients she had in order to double the money she was making. On top of that, Pendo's mom was an alcoholic. As she fell victim to her addiction, the mother decided to sell her daughter in order to have enough money to sustain her alcohol consumption.
Luckily, Pendo was rescued by the children department and was provided a home, the Makungu Care Home. Right from the beginning of Makungu, she has been part of the family.
Pendo is currently in grade 7 and is trying to keep up with her academic duties as she had to switch schools due to a mental breakdown. At the Makungu Care Home she is receiving therapy to process her traumatic past.
“Healing does not mean the damage never existed, it means that the damage no longer controls our lives.” - Pendo's favorite quote
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons
The importance of charity
Given the difficult situation caused by COVID-19, the children are currently staying at the care home. They spend most of their mornings cleaning up and basking in the sun while in the afternoons they typically study. Later in the evening, it's time for indoor games and coloring.
With the help of donors, sponsors and partners like Students for Amani, the children are provided with a stable home, food, supplies and clothes. And most importantly for a birght future, they are able to attend a good school which they would not have been able to afford in their previous lives dominated by hardship, trauma, abuse and uncertainty.
If you want to do your part in supporting children for a brighter future, look no further.
For more updates, blog posts and everything related to Students for Amani as well as the projects they support, subscribe to the newsletter.
This post was written by Max Kückels. Visit his personal blog to check out more of his work.