30 May Love in Our Homes: Family Bonds, Reunions, and Mentorship
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
– 3 John 1:4
When we first opened our two homes to our children, we knew we wanted to do it right. So, we created an environment that fosters love and well-being, as well as growth and faith in God. We intentionally have a close-knit community in our homes, with a capacity of approximately 50 people per home, to create strong family bonds between the children and the staff members.
Over the years, we have been blessed to see our children embrace each other and learn and grow individually and collectively as a family. Our goal is to make sure our children are well-equipped to transition from our homes into their independent adult lives. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, our children learn what it is like to live on their own and take on adult responsibilities upon graduating high school. During this time, we provide our children with a monthly allowance, find them an apartment or room to rent near their college, technical training school, or internship, and give them essential household supplies and amenities to make sure they are comfortable in their new living space. With the monthly allowance, our children learn how to pay their rent, buy groceries, travel to-and-from college, purchase personal and other household miscellaneous items, and cover college expenses, such as textbooks and pens. This whole process allows our children to learn how to manage finances and gets them ready for this new chapter in their lives where they take on more responsibility.
Our aunties and uncles from both homes are very involved with our children from the beginning and teach them how to live on a budget. They regularly check up on our children as they transition to their new living arrangements.
With God’s grace and your support, our children are able to embrace this new chapter in their lives and grow into responsible adults. As much as our hearts are beaming with pride for them and their independence, we love it when our children visit our homes for the holidays. The younger children are always over-the-moon to see their older brothers and sisters, and the celebrations and reunions allow us to create lifelong memories.
Transitioning into Independent Living
Love and family bonds are important values at Children of Hope, which is why we always make it a point to have a close-knit community in both our homes. All the aunties and uncles, caregivers, and staff play crucial roles in our homes. From parenting to creating a loving environment for our children, our staff goes above and beyond to ensure the children feel safe, nurtured, and supported. As the children grow older, our caregivers remind them to be kind and compassionate toward others, even when they grow up and transition out of our homes. Not only do our staff serve as mentors to our children by teaching them life skills, but also ensure that our children are rooted in the word of God and their faith, as they prepare to transition into a new chapter of their lives.
There is always an air of excitement that fills our homes when our older children graduate high school and move out of our homes to live on their own for the first time. As our younger children congratulate their brothers and sisters on achieving this milestone and share their goodbyes, our staff encourage the older children by explaining to them how fun taking on adult responsibilities can be. While our children are both delighted and anxious to leave their homes to enter into a new chapter in their lives, they feel motivated and enthusiastic about their future.
Transitioning is never easy, but at Children of Hope, we make it our priority to ensure our children feel safe and comfortable in their new homes. We are confident that God’s teachings and our community’s love and support have provided our children with the tools they need to thrive in their new environments. And for that, we are eternally grateful.
“The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD who takes delight in his journey. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand.” – Psalms 37: 23-24.
Forming Lifelong Bonds
This year, during Easter weekend celebrations, our older children who transitioned out of our Kikuyu home decided to visit the younger children and surprise them. If you’ve been following along on our journey with us, you probably remember Margaret Wangare, Dennis Maina, and Dennis Mwangi. Earlier last year, our children started a new chapter in their lives by entering college and living independently. This Easter, they came back home to visit our children. Our Kikuyu children were over-the-moon when they came home from Sunday church to find their older brothers and sisters waiting to greet them. The visit made their day!
The staff who were present during this surprise visit said that the children were very excited to see their older brothers and sisters. Celebrations quickly escalated, and Easter turned out to be even more special this year.
As soon as the older children arrived at our Kiyuyu home, they made their way around the cottages and the main kitchen to greet everyone. Hugs and laughter filled the rooms, and the home rejoiced. Our older children were excited to see how much their younger brothers and sisters had grown and were quick to catch up on each other’s lives.
The older children play a critical role in being role models to the younger ones. Our younger children look up to their older brothers and sisters, and want to be like them when they grow up. Some of the children want to become a nurse like Linda, some want to pursue film/photography like Freddy, and others would love to run their own businesses like Jacky. It is such a blessing to watch our children take on the role of mentors for their younger brothers and sisters. In fact, the older children were excited to share words of encouragement with the younger children and insisted on the importance of working hard in school and respecting their uncles and aunties.
Once they spent some time with each other, some of the older children ran to the kitchen to help out with dinner, while some children played games with their brothers and sisters. When lunch was ready, the whole home came together to enjoy the meal and then spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos, singing, and dancing. It was a lovely day for all.
Margaret, Dennis Maina, Dennis Mwangi, and Freddy
Since they started college and independently living last year, our children have grown immensely. We were happy to spend the whole day with them and learn about how much they’re enjoying themselves at college and how they transitioned into their adult lives.
Margaret, if you recall, was very passionate about medicine, and is studying medical records at college. She has made many new friends, and is loving her time at college. She also says she enjoys cooking her own meals and having some quiet time when she’s not at college or hanging out with her friends. We’re so happy for Margeret and can’t wait to see her continue to make great strides in life.
Dennis Maina, loves his area of study, Automotive Engineering. He has always had an interest in vehicles and is intrigued by anything mechanical. His willingness to learn things through hands-on experiences has allowed him to thrive in his coursework. We were so blessed to spend time with Maina when he came to visit us over Easter break. Maina has grown to be a responsible and dependable young man. He was incredibly helpful during the weekend and carried out tasks wholeheartedly. We noticed how much Maina has grown since he first joined college, and we’re so proud of him.
Dennis Mwangi, on the other hand, loves fashion, design, and art. He has always been a talented artist. His area of study in the beauty industry allows him to explore his creativity and use his artistic skills on a daily basis. Mwangi continues to adjust to his college life. He is loving all his classes. We’re so happy to see him grow and explore his talent even more.
Freddy is in his final year of college, studying Film Technology. You can always find Freddy behind a camera, as he continues to capture memories in our homes and outside in the world. He was born to be in the creative field, and he loves every single class he’s enrolled in. Freddy continues to excel in his studies and is looking at starting his photo and video studio when he graduates from college.
We’re so delighted to watch our children take on this new chapter in their lives with so much strength and determination. We know that none of this would have been possible without you, the community we have here at Children of Hope, and our faith in God. So for that, thank you.
We feel blessed to be able to provide our children with the care, tools, and love they need to flourish in life. Continue supporting our children. Become a Hope sponsor and help take care of all the general expenses for our homes and children.