30 Jun Faces of Children of Hope: Our Social Workers
When we opened the doors to our Kikuyu and Kitalale homes, we had a clear mission and a vision in place. We knew we wanted to create a loving home for orphaned and abandoned children in Kenya and provide them with all of the necessary tools and resources to help them grow into successful adults. When it came to putting our plan into action, we knew we would need help from a talented team in Kenya. Thanks to our amazing social workers, we’ve been able to create a close relationship with the local children’s department, follow all legal procedures and have been granted guardianship of over 100 kids between our two homes. We’d like to dedicate this piece to honor and thank Cecilia and Rabecca, our social workers, for all of their hard work throughout the years.
The Role of Our Social Workers
As social workers, Cecilia and Rabecca, have a multifaceted job. From the day we get a call from the children’s department asking us about our capacity to take an additional child, both of them are working tirelessly to understand the needs of the prospective child and their history. After a careful investigation, and assuming there is capacity to take in a new child, Cecilia and Rabecca are in charge of completing the proper paperwork to ensure legal procedures are followed. They then work closely with the Aunties and Uncles in the home to help facilitate the integration of the new child into our family. Even though they are in different homes, the two of them have developed a close working relationship and friendship that allows them to share ideas, struggles and successes.
Cecilia and Rabecca’s work continues throughout the years as they keep track of each child and their progress. All of their notes get compiled into reports that then get shared with the children’s department. They spend a lot of time in the homes interacting with the kids, who will often come to them for advice or to simply play with them.
Cecilia joined the Children of Hope family in 2004 as our first social worker and is one of our longest standing employees to date. During this time, she has seen many of our kids grow into adults and has witnessed the impact that our organization has had on them. Throughout the years in our Kikuyu home, Cecilia, as any traditional parent would, has learned how to hold her ground and prayerfully guide the children with care…especially the teenagers. Her soft and caring personality paralleled with high expectations has led the kids to have so much appreciation, love and respect for her. As a parent in a traditional setting would do, Cecilia maintains relationships with the children after they have transitioned into adulthood and are no longer living at home.
Cecilia is currently our longest standing employee in Kenya. Her expertise and leadership throughout the years have been an incredible addition to Children of Hope.
Cecilia has a soft spot for the young babies in the home. Every morning when she gets to work, she catches up with the Aunties, visits the babies for cuddles, and makes sure everyone is well. Throughout her 17 years with us, we’ve always seen the kids enjoying having Cecilia around, especially when she plays with them. Whenever Cecilia is with the kids, they can be spotted laughing, cracking jokes at each other and simply having a good time. We are blessed to have Cecilia’s expertise and character in our home.
After finishing her diploma in social work and community development in 2012, Rabecca joined the Children of Hope team in the role of a Mother for the Kitalale home. During her time as a Mother, she had the opportunity to create close relationships and care for the kids in the home. In July 2015, there was an opening for the social worker position and our management team knew that Rabecca was the perfect candidate for it. Shortly after, she was promoted and transitioned into her new role as the social worker for the Kitalale home which she took on with enthusiasm.
Rabecca has been the social worker for our Kitalale home for the past 5 years. We are grateful for her big heart and dedication to our children.
Rabecca is a jovial and warm individual, although she is working as a social worker, the children still see and love her like a Mother. She enjoys laughing and having a good time while keeping an eye on every detail of their growth, development, education, and spiritual and relational wellbeing. This skill comes in handy when it comes time to write individual child reports. The kids have known Rabecca for a long time and they all enjoy playing volleyball (her favorite sport) with her. Rabecca’s heart of gold has been an incredible addition to our Kitalale home.
Impact Goes a Long Way
Both Cecilia and Rabecca are incredibly passionate about our children. At their respective homes, they both make sure to have an open door policy where any of the kids can come in and chat at any point. Many of the older kids who have transitioned out of the Kikuyu home have said that they owe their success to Cecilia and the values and self discipline she helped instill in them. In the Kitalale home, Rebecca has taken care of many of the kids as a Mother and when she became their social worker, she continued to be a mother-figure for many of the children. These two strong women are a part of the solid foundation upon which the lives of our precious children are developing.
In the past few weeks, we were blessed with three new kids in our Kitalale home. Rabecca worked tirelessly with the children’s department to understand the story of these siblings, their needs, and coordinate with the Kitalale Mothers to lovingly settle them into their new homes. We are now proud to say Bethsheba (7 years), Darian (5 years) and Gracious (1 month) are now part of our Kitalale home. We are excited to share more with you about our new children in the weeks to come.
When we say it takes a village to raise a child, we really mean it. There is an incredible team of people whose sole purpose is to help promote the health and wellbeing of our children. Without the hard work that Cecilia and Rabecca have put in throughout the years, we wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are today. Thanks to your contributions and prayers throughout the years, we’ve been able to form an incredible team of selfless individuals who give their hearts for our children.