29 May Faces of Children of Hope: Freddy
Due to the global pandemic, and national closure of schools, all of our kids have returned to our home from their boarding schools, camps and internships. While social distancing during these past few months, one of the greatest gifts has been to reconnect and catch up with the kids who are typically away. Even though times are different, being safe at home with our kids has been one of the biggest privileges we could have asked for. While catching up with Freddy, one of the eldest kids in our Kikuyu home, we were able to learn about his time at the Master’s Commission program.
Master’s Commission Program
As part of our continuing education initiative, we enrol our new high school graduates in a personal and development camp to help them grow their faith and find alignment on what they want to pursue as a career. With Freddy, we opted for the Master’s Commission Program which is a nine month personal, professional and spiritual camp for kids who are close to or have completed high school. As part of the program, each student also gets the chance to obtain “hands-on” experience and take part in an internship in an area they’ve expressed interest in. Having shown interest in videography and photography, we had set Freddy up with a local videographer named Ray Wasike for his internship. Even though the program was temporarily stalled for safety, we are incredibly proud of all of Freddy’s achievements and hard work throughout the years.
When Freddy was approximately 5 years old, his parents separated and he was left under the care of his father. After being put in endangering situations, the government’s Children’s Department took custody of Freddy and placed him under the care of the Nairobi Children’s Home, an emergency rescue center. Thanks to the close relationship our social workers have with the government homes, we were asked if we could take custody of Freddy. Shortly after, Freddy was welcomed into our home with open arms and plenty of love.
A Story of Change
At a young age, Freddy had a hard time coping with his turbulent childhood. As a result, he struggled in school and had a hard time making friends. With time, he started opening up to other kids as well as the Aunties in our home. Even though Freddy is introverted and enjoys his time alone outside of the spotlight, his true colors come through when he is dancing. It is not an understatement when we say that Freddy moves in such a lively and amazing way! His kind and gentle spirit allows him to cultivate deeper relationships with those he finds things in common.
In 2018, Ray, a local videographer visited our home to help us with a video and photo project. To our surprise, Freddy became friends with Ray really quickly and bonded with him over the video he was producing for us. After meeting Ray, there was a shift in Freddy’s world. He was inspired by the work and wanted to do it as well. Freddy started doing better in school and exceeded all of our expectations during his high school final exam. He wanted to become a videographer too.
Ray, a devoted Christian, was kind enough to offer an internship for Freddy after he graduated high school. The internship would provide a hands-on teaching method, combining theory and practical knowledge. Freddy would get the opportunity to work on a real project and experience what it is actually like to be a videographer. We feel so blessed that this opportunity also fit perfectly into the Master’s Commission program. Ray has graciously given his time and has truly been a Godly mentor to Freddy.
Inspiration Comes From Within
Today, Freddy is 21 years old and is one of the oldest kids in our Kikuyu home. Before COVID-19, he was taking part in the Master’s Commission program, and working alongside Ray filming and producing videos. During the program, Freddy has formed friendships with many young men with different career interests which is the beginning of a great network to be a part of. In particular, Freddy was working closely with another boy who is also interested in videography and together, they were paired with Ray. Thanks to Ray’s mentorship and hands-on experience, Freddy’s interest in photography and videography has deepened. He now dreams of starting his own studio. Even though Freddy was already a good kid, we’ve noticed the program has helped him open his mind and allowed him to dream and plan for the future.
A few weeks before social distancing guidelines were established in Kenya, Freddy had the opportunity to lead a video shoot and produce an incredible video with Ray’s help. As soon as he got briefed on the project and was asked to be the lead, he called Abraham, our Director of Operations in Kenya, to share with him how nervous he was of the project and asked for encouragement. Once the project was successfully completed, he called back to share the experience and express how proud he was of his work.
Meet Freddy. Through hard work and determination, he has been able to get closer to his dream of becoming a videographer.
Even though Freddy’s program got temporarily disrupted due to recent events, he has been helping uncle Sam, our house father, lead the younger boys and mentor them. Seeing him step up into this leadership position has made us proud of all of the work and healing he has done throughout the years. As soon as restrictions get lifted, Freddy is looking forward to completing the Master’s Commission program, his internship with Ray and continuing his journey to become a videographer at a technical college. Through your support of the scholarship fund, we are able to provide these additional opportunities for our kids to discover their passion and thrive.