Eight-year-old twins, Grace and Glory, are just two of the many children being cared for by the Meru Township Project. We first became aware of them in February 2017 when members of the Working Party visited their home. Their father had just died from TB (their mother separated from the family when the twins were just 8 months old) and they were living alone, looking after themselves, and just about to walk a long way back to school so they could wash their own school uniforms (no running water where they live).
A month later, during the Trustees annual visit to the project, we saw them again, this time at lunch, helping to feed another younger child at the project.
Luckily they are being supported by the project, under the umbrella of the social worker, Mercy, who is overseeing appropriate care arrangements for them. Initially their compassionate neighbour was looking after them and she was receiving assistance from the girls’ extended family, together with concerned well- wishers and the community who visited the family and gave food and financial support. Mercy liaised with the District Children’s Officer and the family about the girls’ future, with a view to them possibly being placed in a children’s home.
However, the latest news is that the girls are doing fine. With the combined help of Mercy, the Children’s Officer and relatives, they have been reunited with their estranged mother who has agreed to look after them provided she gets some support. Food and clothing have been donated to the family and, in addition, using contributions from relatives and well -wishers the girls’ mother has been able to start a small business in town.
Karibuni feel very lucky to have someone like Mercy working with us. Meeting their mother was yet another challenge for the girls as they did not know her at all on account of her leaving them at such a young age. But Mercy will continue to monitor and provide counselling to the girls and they will continue to be regarded as children of the project with support in their schooling from Karibuni.
When the Trustees visit Kenya they often find quite unexpected situations like this and have to take on the spot decisions on how to help in obviously deserving cases.