The day before we left to go to England, I visited Acacia House with a friend. They now have seven children resident, with a capacity for 20 - so it's growing slowly. Their garden or rather 'shamba' has become a sort of flourishing organic farm with, among other things, cabbages the size of bowling balls! There's spinach, tomatoes, chilli peppers, courgettes. Chickens too. Tons of food to feed everyone and some even left to sell on.
The kids looked very happy. Inside the house still feels a little echoing and cold, though there is some furniture and curtains. In my view it could do with a big rug, a TV and a couple of sofas to warm up the living room a bit. I'll probably mention this next time I see Liz, but I'm sure that she and Stu are fed up with nosey-parkers like me putting in my tuppence worth of advice over how to run the place and what to do. As far as I understand it, they are starting slowly and want to keep the place at a 'grass roots' type level - I'm sure that they would love sofas too but are very conscious of devoting donated funds to food and school fees etc. without spending frivolously.
The reason for the visit was that my school-run friend, an expat mum who is reluctantly leaving Kenya to move to pastures new (following her husband to Europe), was giving Acacia House her old car. It's a rattly old 5 door Suzuki Vitara, quite like the one I had when I first moved to Africa. The electric windows don't really work, the bonnet is faded grey rather than black and the paint work bubbling up. It has various quirks but apparently the engine is sound. Liz and Stuart were delighted to have a car. They have always had concerns about how to get help if an emergency situation were to arise - you see they are at least a 15 minute walk from the main road and the nearest bus stop.
I will miss seeing my friend beetling up and down the road to our local kindergarten in that car. She has been in Nairobi for as long as we have and we used to chew the fat over numerous cups of tea, with our babies crawling around our ankles for years on end. She was famous for her kind and generous nature and her milk tart! - always on the end of the phone, somebody who made time for other people. When we visited the children's home, my friend was crying. She was overwhelmed by the thought that she was leaving so soon and also that her car was going to such a good place.
A friend of my husband in England said that he and his wife have set up a direct debit to Acacia House to sponsor a child. There are details on how to do this below. In the meantime, I will be seeing Liz and Stu again over the next month and will keep you updated.
Sponsor the Girls of Acacia House:
Dear Friends & Family-
We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support. Acacia House has come a long way since opening a little over six months ago, and it is through your generosity that this has been possible.
As we look to the future, we have many hopes for the home. Currently, the girls we have are thriving, however there are still many challenges ahead. For Acacia House to sustain and grow we are in need of ongoing support.
We have started a Sponsorship Program, the purpose of which is to provide continuous assistance for the girls’ education and basic needs. With your help, Acacia House will be able to see the girls through their childhood and schooling, ensuring their future.
There is much poverty and need in the world, and we urge you to consider making a commitment, and joining us in helping these Kenyan children. A small sacrifice every month can make a huge difference.
Sponsorships start at as little as $30 and are tax deductible in both the US and Australia. As a sponsor, you will receive special updates and photographs of the girls and the home, as well as additional material upon signing up – it’s easy, just click the link below.
Please take a moment and think about becoming a sponsor. If you already have, thank you. We would also greatly appreciate you forwarding this to your friends, family and anyone else who might be interested.
Direct Deposit: Global Development Group USA Inc, Routing # 263179804, Savings Account # 3959950, Memo/Reference: J518 Acacia House Check: Please make out to "Global Development Group USA Inc", write “J518 Acacia House” in the memo line and post to: Global Development Group USA Inc, 2314 Longwood Oaks Blvd, Lakeland, Florida 33811 For all US donations please email email@example.com with your name, address & donation amount for our records and a receipt.
Cheque: Please make out to "Acacia House Australia Pty Ltd" & post to: Acacia House Australia Pty Ltd, PO Box 4262, Balwyn East, VIC 3103 *all donations over $2 are tax-deductible to this Global Development Group approved aid & development project