28 Feb Faces of Children of Hope: Sibling love
And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.
Love in our homes is unconditional. The love from God, the Aunties, Uncles as well as the international groups that visit us is meant to remind us that love is abundant, real and present. Having seen how our kids take care of each other through the highs and the lows, it is apparent that the most special kind of love we have in our homes is the one between siblings. Even though all of our kids consider each other as ‘siblings’, there are 15 sets of siblings that share a bit more history and share the same biological parents. When we bring kids into our care, we will always attempt to keep biological siblings together as was the case with James and Zakayo.
Meet James & Zakayo
When James and Zakayo lost their mother at a young age, they were left under the care of their ageing grandparents who were unable to care for them due to physical limitations. Even though their grandparents tried their best to provide for the two boys, they were unable to in a way that promoted their development and growth. In October of 2011, James, 6, and Zakayo, 3, joined our home where they were welcomed by the Aunties and Uncles with a lot of love. Today, James and Zakayo continue supporting each other, have also acquired 40+ siblings and make up part of our big Children of Hope family.
Coming from a humble background where as a young boy he had to care for his brother, James had difficulty adjusting to our home and life in school. With patience and support from the Aunties, Uncles and teachers, James was able to grow, become more confident and let his new family in. Thanks to the support, James has been entrusted with the Class Secretary role due to his care and leadership with others.
Today, James is 15 years old and is in his second year of High School (what we call Form Two in Kenya). Throughout his life, James has always been a great older brother to Zakayo and a positive role model to everyone in the home. James is often seen playing outside with the younger kids and teaching them how to kick the ball or entertaining them by inflating balloons and handing them out to them. Ever since he learned how to dance (thanks to one of the volunteer groups that visited us) James has been choreographing dances with Terah to their favorite Kenyan gospel music. They teach the choreography to the rest of the kids and perform as a group during special occasions.
As the younger brother, Zakayo had to deal with a few insecurities when he came into our care. It was very important for him to have James close to him as he adjusted to the new home and family. In no time, he started smiling and won the hearts of everyone in the home.
Zakayo is a warm individual who loves to smile and is typically seen giggling non-stop with Blessing and Joshua. When hanging with his older brother James, you can tell how much respect they have for each other. This level of care was clear when James stepped up to his ‘elder brother duty’ and reported that Zakayo and Blessing were being cheeky at school and skipped class to go hang out at the swimming pool. Even though Zakayo didn’t appreciate his brother telling on him, he never skipped class again.
In school, Zakayo excels in math and is always top of his class in this subject. He enjoys hanging out with Amos, our accountant, where he gets to talk about numbers, work on equations and have a good time together.
Love In Our Homes
From the moment a kid walks into our home and becomes part of our family, they are received with tremendous amounts of love and care. Our staff treat the children as if they were their own and for that we are grateful. Coming into a new environment with that much attention and 40+ new siblings can be confronting. This is why we pray to God and trust that with time, each kid will open up and receive all of the love we have for them.
Throughout this month and for the remainder of the year, we encourage you to open your heart to opportunity and greatness. It is through love that we are able to connect, heal and grow. Spread love and joy to our Kitalale kids. Seeing the success of the basketball court in our Kikuyu home and the amount of joy it has brought to this home, we are still seeking funds to build a court in our Kitalale home. Help us reach our $10,000 goal by making a contribution towards the basketball court fund below.