TBM hopes to provide water for vulnerable children in Kenya

The garden that provides vegetables to help feed students at Mogra Star Academy and residents of Mogra Children's Home require irrigation, and water is in short supply in the slums of Nairobi. (Photo courtesy of Dee Dee Wint)

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NAIROBI, Kenya—A Kenyan children’s home and school that serves orphans, vulnerable children and youth from Nairobi’s Mathare slums needs a reliable source of clean water, and Texas Baptist Men volunteers hope to provide it.

Dee Dee Wint, a vice president for TBM’s water ministry, recently returned from an exploratory trip to Mogra Children’s Centre in Nairobi. The center includes Mogra Star Academy, with more than 1,100 students, and Mogra Children’s Home and Rescue Center, which houses more than 300 children.

Center serves abandoned children

Most of the children in the home were abandoned at hospitals, and others were living in the streets after their parents died of AIDS, Wint learned from Dr. John Mvochi, who works at the center.

Hannah Njoroge founded Mogra Children’s Home in 2003 after teachers at the academy, who had complained about children falling asleep in classes, learned many of those students were homeless and nearly all were hungry.

The school provides breakfast and lunch for 1,100 students each day, and students who live in the children’s home also receive a daily evening meal.

‘Desperate need for water’

The Mogra Children’s Home needs water to wash laundry, but water sometimes is difficult to get—and clean water is even more scarce. (Photo courtesy of Dee Dee Wint)

“One of the biggest problems for them, and the reason we were invited to visit, is that they have a desperate need for water,” Wint said, noting the center uses 2,650 gallons of water a day, when it is available.

“That is about six gallons a person. An American averages about 98 gallons a day,” she explained. “The city is supposed to supply water once a week, but it seldom comes, forcing them to draw water from the dirty river nearby.

“During the dry season even that is no longer an option, and they must buy water to be delivered by tanker at the cost of $1,000 a week. That is impossible for them, so they ration it. The farmland that supplies all their vegetables, and the cattle for milk and meat are the first to be rationed. This causes loss of food.”

‘Help the children’

The TBM volunteers “saw needs at every turn” as they visited the school and children’s home, Wint added.

“It was overwhelming, but God gently reminded us of what he has called us to do,” she said. “Our ministry is not to have a children’s home or open a school. God has called Reverend Hannah and her staff to do that. They know the culture, the language, and are doing it well. Our call from God is to help God’s workers do their ministries. … The best way that we can help them, to help the children, is to relieve the stress due to the lack of water.”

The center needs a well, which will cost about $28,000, she explained. TBM has received a match fund offer up to $10,000. To contribute to TBM water ministries, click here.

 

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