I’ve been waiting to tell you all a story about a little man I’ve fallen in love with since being here. Not waiting for any specific reason really, other than having the right words to say! So here we go..
This little boy’s name is Kelvin. When I first met Kelvin he was standing in Kibera Slum with tears in his eyes, on the brink of spilling down his adorable, full cheeks. He had blood crusted in his nose and down around his mouth, and dried blood staining the collar of his shirt. He was a sad, hurting, broken little man. After his mom was found, she informed us that Kelvin or “kevo” as the kids called him, had been bleeding in his stool for 4 weeks and from his nose for 3 days. This little man was much more sick than we thought.
After discovering this it was discussed that he needed to go to the hospital, to be checked out and treated but last time Jacaranda did something like this, they were left with more medical bills than they knew how to pay, and so were hesitant in this situation. I simply told them to get him to a doctor, and the cost would be covered, as small or large as it might have been and at the time, none of us were too sure! I was simply praying and trusting that whatever would be needed would be provided. They took Kelvin to the hospital, did blood work and urine samples to figure out how we needed to help this little man. They started him on antibiotics and wanted to see him again in 2 weeks. 2 weeks of those meds had stopped the bleeding so they could begin treating the other bugs and illnesses he had but again, wanted to see him in 2 weeks. After each check up, I would give Lilian, who is one of Jacaranda’s medical workers, 1,000 shillings which doesn’t equate to much more than $10 U.S. Dollars and ask her to buy them groceries when she took them home. This made sure that while Kevo was taking medications, he wasn’t taking them on an empty stomach and that Momma Kevo was also eating and could be taking care of Kelvin.
After the second 2 week check up, the doctors were so happy to see that he had gained over a kilo and was doing very well on the medication! The doctors spoke English and were able to tell me that him and his mom having food every week was a huge blessing and making a difference in not only Kevo’s health but also his moms!
I found out after that appointment that Kelvin’s mom had recently taken herself to the free clinic and was starting to take her own medication to get herself healthy again as well! That made my heart incredibly happy! After that appointment Kelvin, his mother and I, went to the play park at the hospital and I was overwhelmed, seeing how much the relationship between that little boy and his mother had changed. He was no longer an after thought to her, another mouth that she couldn’t manage to feed. And he wasn’t a sad, hurting baby anymore! There was nothing but smiles and giggles shared between the three of us as Momma Kevo put him on the slide and I waited to catch him at the bottom. It was truly an amazing day.
They said they didn’t wanted to see Kelvin for another month, but when Lilian went to take more groceries to them and to see how he was doing 10 days later, he had taken a turn and had become extremely ill, not able to keep any food down and was lethargic and weak. Once again Lilian was a huge help and took him to the hospital for another check up to find that Kelvin had an amoeba. Now considering his situation in the slum, it’s not all that surprising yet truly heart breaking knowing the progress he had made up to this point, only to be set back. About 10 days later, after mom and dad had arrived to visit, we were able to go to Kibera to see Kelvin and his mom, see their home and how they were doing! She showed us that she had recently moved into a new place, and it was beautiful; cement floor and tin roof! I was so happy for her! She also informed us that Kelvin was doing much better, only getting a little bit sick. She had also baught a large thermos and was hoping to somehow find money to buy supplies to make tea and coffee to sell to workers in the slums now that rainy season had started! I can only try to explain the excitement and hope I felt for this woman and the pride and joy you could see in her eyes! We were able to leave her groceries for that week, as well as all of $8.00 U.S. dollars in order for her to start her work. How crazy is that?!
At the end of the month, actually, the day mom and dad flew home, Kelvin had another appointment. At this appointment they informed us that, (like the little fighter he is) Kelvin had pulled through, gained a few more kilo’s and was back on track! In fact his progress was so great he doesn’t have another check up for three months! After this appointment, with my heart absolutely sky high due to answered prayers and a tough little fighter pulling through this sickness.
My point in all of this is not me being in the right place at the right time, or me being a hero and saving the day for Kelvin and his mom. This is to share with you the fact that these people desire nothing more than to work, to be healthy, and to care for their children and families but can’t do it on their own. I looked at this mother of 3 children, trying to take care of 2 younger sisters in school, a sister with a 10 month old baby and a sick mother and baby of her own, not to mention herself being sick! I thought about myself on a day when I have a head ache, wake up with a sore stomach or just have a plain old bad day. I wouldn’t have half the motivation that she has to do any of the things she has to do and I sleep on a nice bed, in warm blankets, with clean clothes and eat 3 meals a day. I have nothing but absolute respect for that woman, doing everything she does with not even half the luxuries I have. But all it took, was someone caring enough to love her and her child, to give as little as 10 dollars every 10 days to make sure they had food, and to help her get a leg up in an honourable, safe job, praying for them everyday, and look how far they have come as a family.
Today, this little boy was able to go to the same children’s home where his sister is. Where mom can visit both of her babies whenever she wants, the kids are clean, healthy and taken care of and where they are safe from the life in the slums that is dangerous for so many, but especially chuldren.
This is what Jacaranda Ministries does. This is what they want to continue to do and want to do more of. But they can’t do it on their own. If you would like to be a part of someone’s story, be a part of truly blessing them and enhancing their future, please consider sponsoring a child through Jacaranda. You may think it’s just for education, but Jacaranda strives to do so much more than pay for “just school fees”. They go above and beyond with every child they come into contact with, and I ask that you seriously consider partnering with them in this. I promise it will be the most rewarding thing you ever do.
** if you are interested in sponsoring a child feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but, thank you anyway. Your willingness to help is impacting the world, one child at a time.