Salome Gatamba & Her 9 Children
Following the 2007 Kenya elections, there were disputes over presidential leadership. Political and ethnic violence ensued resulting in more than 1,200 deaths and 300,000+ people being displaced. Lasting almost 2 months, in February, a power-sharing agreement was made, ending the violence. IDP Camps were set up in 118 sites to house the displaced. Sadly most were still living in these camps 4 years on with little or no sanitation, no land to farm, minimal food and supplied, corruption rife and of course no schools for children.
During one of our visits in 2011 we met Salome. Living at the bottom of a hill with 7 of her 9 children. Salome had been deserted by her husband after he discovered she was HIV+ and left her to survive with the children by herself during this extreme time. A horrific situation, all living in a tent, mud floor, no bedding etc. the children in a state of malnutrition, a seemingly hopeless state.
Together we decided to get the children sponsored and do some fundraising to get them out of the tent and into a home. This was done quickly and the family transported to a 3 bedroom home in Nyahururu. Medical needs were met along with food, clothing, beds and household needs. The children commenced at a local school, with the eldest boy; Samuel (17yrs) attending a low class despite his age, determined to catch up and grab hold of the opportunity for his future.
4 years on, the Kenyan Government provided displaced persons with acreage land 1 hour drive from Nyahururu. After more fundraising here in Australia, we were able to build Salome and the kids a home, supply a goat and seed for their small plot of land. The children are doing well, the youngest is HIV+, but the virus is stable and Salome is the picture of health as she is also receiving antiretroviral medication.
Child Sponsorship has saved the life of the children's mother, thus providing a stable and loving environment for these children, who now are thriving and looking forward to their future.
Pius was introduced to us in 2008. A bright young boy, whom due to an abusive family situation had grown up moving from one home to the other, living with friends and relatives. Despite his past, he had done well at school and had a desire to study medicine. Pius had left school 3 years before and was a 'Boda Boda' boy, eeking out a living taxiing people on a motorbike from one destination to another.
After much searching back in Australia a University sponsor was found. A young Australian guy who was a Uni student himself. He raised the money for Pius initially by selling chocolates!
We visited Pius in 2009 and took him to Egerton University to discuss eligibility. Pius's dream took flight from there. Enrolled in a Bio-Medical Science degree, Pius put his head down and 5 years on has graduated. Pius will be employed soon to work together with other scientists, on a cure for HIV/AIDS which is his dream. Pius says he will himself become a sponsor, to enable others to break free from the poverty he was once in.