Today marks 6 months from when I gave up my job, my house, my car, my friends and my family, my church, my country and my income and travelled the how-ever-many-miles it took to get to South Africa.
No way would could I have ever imagined back then that in 6 months time I would in fact NOT be in South Africa but in Kenya!
What I’ve learnt most is that sometimes plans don’t work out, sometimes even if you think you’re doing the right thing it might not be what you thought. What I really found the hardest struggle of all is that sadly thinking all Christians operate out of a place of love, regrettably my naivety gave me a nasty shock and my heart was wounded and hurt.
Is that to say that you can’t learn from hurt or wounds, no not at all. I learnt that although sometimes we should sometimes push through and persevere in times of trial and struggle, we also should be protecting ourselves and not allowing a “strong personal” or pride in saying “yep you know what this particular thing didn’t work out” to stop us from living a life filled with love and encouragement and trust.
Kenya was always in my heart and if you knew me well my initial plan was to go straight to Kenya and work on getting land and registration to open a school and children’s home. With kind and anxious people telling me it may not be the wisest idea to go to Kenya as a single young white female I finally caved in and decided to go to volunteer in a South African orphanage for a year. This would give me a chance to learn the logistics, pick up tips and generally get a feel for a school/ children’s home combination. That I did, I completed my mission and although sadly I left sooner that I had said, I knew for my health and for the future children I would be helping that I needed to get out of the environment and live my dream in Kenya.
You may be thinking “but what happened to the advice people gave you about going alone?” Ahh well, during my time at the orphanage I met a missionary who was full of love and joy. I shared my vision with her and she shared one very similar. When the time came she had asked to come with me.
After driving, yes driving all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa to Mombasa, Kenya (blog to follow of that adventure) we arrived to a very sticky, hot and busy beach city.
Since we’ve found an apartment, got connected in a church and made a few friends.
It’s been a challenge, not knowing the culture, town and especially where to even begin helping the poor and needy.
Driving through rubbish dumps with children walking barefoot through the smelly and inhumane living conditions to beggars sweltering in 35 degree heat in the hope of any small donation.
My goal here is to create a school with a creative and new educational concept that is available for every child, not dependent on status, wealth, colour, race, intelligence or location. If we want to change the cycle of poverty and stop the cycle of the poor raising the poor then I believe education done through love is the answer.
I’m not talking about the western structure of how you and I have experienced education but a new structure, a structure built out of love to empower, to inspire, to build up, to encourage and to unlock the gold placed in each child. To work with the children, to include the community to cater as individual education based of the individuality of the child. We are all unique therefore should all have a unique education. We learn in different ways, different stages, different paces and need to be assessed in different ways and so as an educator it is my job, my passion to see that children aren’t put into a box based on the average, or statistics that governments create.
I know it’s not always possible and I am dreaming big but even if I only have 10 children in my school my dream will still count and I hope that those 10 children will know there worth, they will know they can do anything and know there strengths and how they learn best, they will not have been cast down, shamed or picked out in front of a class full of students but out of love they will be lifted up and geared up for whatever life throws at them.
This may appear to many of you “older folks” as raising up another generation of “millennials” but I say rather millennials than a generation growing up in rubbish dumps and slums again and again.
I want to change the way we see education. Not a place where we all sit down in chairs facing the teacher but teaching ourselves, learning to learn not through books necessarily but through experience through what is around us. I’m not saying I am coming in to put an end to the rubbish dump slums, no way, the next generation will do that. All I want to do is give them an opportunity, a chance and support.
I don’t want children who are orphaned to miss out and my vision for the children’s home I have I will share at a later date.
But for not I just wanted to share this with you and ask that you would stand with me in prayer and would love anybody who wants to to come out and see me once I’ve got the funds and land up and running.
Bless you all and watch this space.