25 Jan Holiday Celebrations in our Homes
December is a joyous month in our homes. Not only are the children home for an extended school break, but all the rooms are filled with excitement for the upcoming Christmas holidays.
With the 2022 school holiday schedule finally being back to normal, we were blessed to be able to once again celebrate Christmas in a way that has become one of the most memorable ways for everyone in our homes.
A few years back our Kenyan staff came up with the idea for Christmas of dividing the children and inviting them to spend Christmas with their families, we were quick to make it a beautiful tradition. It soon became an exciting adventure that the homes looked forward to every year. The children and staff members were delighted to find out that once again they would be able to spend the holidays together. They had the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus and come together through love, prayer, and connection.
Children of Hope Traditions
At Children of Hope, our staff have a strong commitment to providing loving care and support for the children at our homes. Their ability to build close relationships with the children and be there for them as a source of advice, comfort, and love is a testament to their dedication and hard work. They truly function as parents in the lives of our children. The holiday season is a time when this love and commitment is especially evident.
During the three to four weeks away, the children get the chance to meet and make new friends, taste new cuisines, enjoy a different routine, and bond with their aunties and uncles on a personal level. They experience life outside our Kitalale and Kikuyu homes and get a glimpse into what living in a smaller family, the village community, or city looks like. It is not only exciting for the children but also educational as they learn valuable life skills during this time. They return home feeling refreshed and excited to reconnect with their brothers and sisters and other aunties and uncles, and hear all the stories of one another.
Once the children were back home from their wonderful Christmas vacations, they gathered with their brothers and sisters and shared fond memories and stories with one another.
Some of them are as follows.
Moses Kihara, Kikuyu Home
Moses was paired with Auntie Peninah to celebrate the holidays with her and her family. Moses had a delightful time meeting other children and playing with them.
“Christmas was my favorite day of the break, we had so much of ‘nyama choma’ that is roasted meat. I look forward to the next break,” said Moses.
James Cheng’ori, Kitalale Home
James spent the holidays with his younger brother, Zakayo, and their grandfather. It was a very special time for him.
“I always look forward to the break; my brother and I get to spend time with our elderly grandfather. We help clean his clothes, the house and his compound. We also cook and enjoy a good time with him. He lives alone following the death of our grandmother. His vision is fading away and at times he faces great challenges to do simple tasks, like folding his clothes and so on. The break gives us an opportunity to help him with such chores. We had fun during Christmas; we cooked Chapati and had chicken stew thanks to the skills I learned at COH kitchen from uncle James, our main cook at Kitalale,” said James.
George Ngugi, Kikuyu Home
George spent time with Uncle Enock during the holidays, and said he learned a great deal during this time.
“My host’s parents are a bit elderly and they shared so much in detail with me concerning their African heritage, the distinct roles of a father, mother, boy, and girl in an African setting. They taught me a lot about the African customs and the importance of ceremonies like child naming, circumcision, marriage, and so on,” said George.
George’s highlight of the stay was meeting his favorite Kenyan Olympic athlete, Faith Kipyegon, who happened to be one of the guests at a wedding celebration he attended with Uncle Enock.
“Memories of seeing her on TV smashing the title were made fresh; it was hard to believe she was the real person standing in front of me, I had to pinch myself to really confirm that I was not dreaming. She was so humble and took a picture with me! It was a day I will always cherish,” said George.
George also enjoyed spending time with Uncle Enock and his wife, Joy. George and Uncle Encok worked on a farming project together where they set up a simple drip irrigation unit in the garden and raised seedlings.
Sarah Chelimo, Kitalale Home
Sarah stayed with Uncle Amos and Auntie Lilian during Christmas. She even had the opportunity of joining Auntie Lilian’s parents on Christmas day. They had one big family gathering, and it was an exciting time for all.
“I made new friends and I enjoyed doing chores with aunt Lilian. She shared with me her childhood stories, how she made it through university, and the challenges she had to overcome to be a successful person. I got answers to many questions and the break made me to grow my relationship with her even deeper; she is my number one go-to person now,” said Sarah.
Sarah came back home refreshed and ready to take on the new year. She made a promise to herself to excel in her studies and score good grades in her final year at primary school.
Our hearts are full hearing about these stories and seeing the wonderful strides our children are making. We’re so grateful we’re able to share these amazing anecdotes with you as well, our extended family!