It’s incredible to consider just how many charity organisations are achieving remarkable results and helping local communities with no support from their governments. Intrepid’s Jo Stewart has just returned from Kenya, where she had the privilege of seeing first hand how one such organisation was helping kids and their families to get on the right track…
“Driving along a dusty highway littered with rubbish, tin roofed shacks and the odd herd of cows, Nairobi is hot, relentless and raw. The journey to the Intrepid Foundation-supported New Hope Children’s Centre reveals many uniquely African sights, none more so poignant than the numerous make-shift coffin shops, which act as a visual reminder of the fragility of life in Africa and the sad fate that many people meet much, much earlier than needed due to disease, famine and preventable illness. But this is not a grim tale designed to garner guilt, but a soulful success story built on hope, kindness, generosity and dedication.
The New Hope Children’s Centre of the Uplands area of Nairobi is a secure haven that has operated in a sometimes insecure world for more than 20 years. Providing food, medical care, education, training and a safe home for hundreds of children over the years, New Hope has grown from a small operation to become a solid, sustainable community that changes lives for the better.
Growth seems to be a common theme here, with the children, crops and farm animals all appearing to be healthy, happy, nourished and nurtured. While much of East Africa is experiencing drought, fortunately New Hope is built on fertile soil with a favourable climate, making conditions ideal for agriculture. Kale, potatoes, cabbage and beetroot are growing profusely in the backyard mini farm, giving much-needed nourishment to the children. And with surplus crops distributed to other neighbouring children’s homes, charities and disadvantaged families within the community, this farm’s work extends far beyond its perimeter.
New Hope’s on-site bakery churns out fresh bread rolls that are sold in local stores and markets, providing a small but steady income that helps to keep the centre running. The Intrepid Foundation-funded ‘pig project’ has been a runaway success, with 11 piglets born recently – providing further income and food options for the centre (as well as significantly upping the pig sty’s cute-factor!).
With the centre also supporting children in the wider community, whose parents are suffering hardship due to sickness, poverty or unemployment, it’s astounding that an organisation of this magnitude that does so much good, receives no government funding. Relying solely on supporters like the Intrepid Foundation to remain viable, New Hope really does survive on the kindness of strangers. Having seen the positive outcomes achieved by this organisation firsthand, the frugality at which it is operated and the generous spirit in which it is run, I can see that New Hope is improving the lives of children who would otherwise be living in very dire circumstances.
Over a cup of tea, Anne, the centre’s founder, spoke with pride of the New Hope children who are now studying law at Nairobi University and her desire to ensure the future of other children and extend her helping hand to so many others who are struggling in this beautiful, yet challenging part of the world. My one hope for Anne is that her work continues to change lives for generations and that the kindness of strangers is a never-ending, renewable resource!”
The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support New Hope Children’s Centre and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!
* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.
Photo: Jo Stewart, at New Hope Children’s Centre