27 May Reflecting on Our Homes: Passions and Creative Exploration
Our efforts to foster talents and encourage creativity are part of what we do at Children of Hope. In both of our homes, we encourage our children to explore and express themselves through their passions and creativity. Through this holistic approach to care and with God’s grace, we’re able to provide our children with important life-building skills and an opportunity to thrive in areas they enjoy.
This month we’ve decided to reflect on our children and their creative passions in our homes. With some children starting high school, some starting pre-school, and others continuing to grow and learn every day, we wanted to share what our children enjoy doing in their free time when they’re not busy with their academics.
Sports and Athletics in Our Homes
Soccer is a huge sport in Kenya, and most of our children are very passionate about it as well. When they’re not playing on the field with their brothers and sisters or uncles and aunties, they’re busy cheering for their favorite teams in the European leagues. In fact, they love watching their soccer games so much that the children take on names of their favorite soccer players when playing a game at home. James, from our Kitalale Home, is a huge fan of the Brazilian soccer player Neymar, and always makes it a point to take on this name when playing soccer with his brothers and sisters.
Between our two homes, our children are huge fans of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal; three big teams in the English Premier League. So, during rival day games between these teams, there are a lot of competitive, exciting conversations going around the home leading up to the game. It’s so heartwarming to watch our children bond over their love for sports as they watch and play the game together and continue to evolve as soccer players.
Our children enjoy playing volleyball, ping-pong, handball, and basketball as well. In our Kikuyu home, basketball is a favorite, while handball is popular for our children in our Kitalale home. Moses Kwemoi, from Kitalale, is a talented handball player for his school and has won many trophies for it as well. Our homes also have prolific runners like Amos Oliech and Daniel Baraka from our Kikuyu home, and Praise Chesomek from our Kitalale home, amongst others.
From strategic thinking and teamwork to empathy, commitment, and motivation, our children’s love for sports has taught them a lot of important life skills and has allowed them to thrive in areas outside of academics as well. Terah, our Kitalale home’s budding soccer star, was recently admitted to the prestigious St. Anthony’s High School. An institution known for its soccer training and sports department, Terah is loving every second of his high school experience. George, from our Kikuyu home, has been working on honing his basketball skills in hopes of joining one of the top basketball high schools in the country. It is incredible to see the level of commitment and dedication our children have towards their goals and interests. With God’s grace and your continued support for our children, we are able to provide them with the
tools they need to excel in their creative fields. None of this would have been possible without you, and for that, we are eternally grateful.
Budding Chefs in Our Homes: Cooking Delicious Meals
Thanks to the delicious meals our cooking staff has always prepared for both homes, our children love food and spend a lot of time watching our cooking staff work their magic in the kitchen. While all our children learn to cook and have certain chores to help out in the kitchen, there are some children who are incredibly passionate about cooking and find themselves in the kitchen during their own time. The children also have the opportunity to show their creativity in their cooking when they help cook for their respective cottages on Sundays. We started this tradition in our Kikuyu home a while back, where each of the three cottages decides the menu and cooks Sunday dinner for their individual homes. It’s a great way for our home to share their love for God over a meal and strengthen bonds with their brothers and sisters.
Some of our children’s favorite dishes to cook include chapati, Ugali (local starch staple), sukuma wiki (kale vegetable), githeri (maize & beans mixture), and other local vegetables. On special occasions and celebrations, they love trying their hands at baking cakes and cookies, and frying chicken. When we asked the children what they love about cooking, they said, the company of the cooking staff and the chance to taste the food while cooking. In fact, the cooking staff are equally delighted to spend time with the children and always make them some special tea or eggs as a treat.
While most children assist the cooking staff, some of our older children have become master chefs in our homes. When they get the opportunity, they cook dishes for the home on their own. For instance, Mary Waithera and Mary Wanjiku from Kikuyu, and Alex, James, Grace, and Sammy from Kitalale love cooking different types of vegetable dishes for our homes. The younger children are often found hanging around the kitchen area, eagerly waiting for their delicious meals being prepared by their brothers and sisters.
Our cooking staff at Kikuyu praised our children immensely. They said that Mary Waithera loves cooking so much that her dream is to own a big kitchen and learn how to cook different cuisines when she becomes an adult. Mary also told the cooking staff that she hopes to start a bakery when she grows up. Our Kitalale staff love our children dearly and enjoy spending time with them in the kitchen. They said, Sammy particularly enjoys doing dishes, fetching firewood or vegetables from the farm, and always offers a helping hand when needed.
Our children’s growing skills and interest in cooking have us beaming with pride. We’re so happy for our children as we watch them continue to explore their passions and creativity.
Entertainment in our Homes: Singing and Dancing
Kenya is home to 42 different tribes who not only speak different languages but also are rich in cultures and traditions. The varying cultures have different forms of expressions, one of the most prominent ones being traditional songs and dances. These Kenyan traditions translate into how we welcome our guests and children in our homes – with songs and dances, and heaps of excitement. It is important to Children of Hope that our children are raised to know, embrace, and maintain their traditional cultures. We are blessed to have our children grow up in a culture and home where people truly care for each other the way God has taught us to.
Kitalale is home to the Sabaot sub-tribe of the larger Kalenjin tribe. They reside on the expansive slopes of Mount Elgon that spreads across the Kenya-Uganda border to the West and East respectively. This tribe is known to dance to their traditional songs by moving in a circular manner while shifting their necks and shoulders rhythmically. Our children love expressing their cultural roots and traditions through their dances and songs as well. It’s so much fun watching and listening to our children when they perform for our homes.
Our Kikuyu home hosts the Agikuyu (Kikuyu) tribe which resides on the plains of Mount Kenya. They have a rich culture ranging from rites of passage and child-naming to religious and social ceremonies. The women dance by tapping their legs on the floor rhythmically; while the men hum to the songs in a similar fashion. Our children love expressing their interest in cultural dances and songs during our celebrations and occasions.
Our hearts are full as we watch our children explore their passions for their cultural traditions and dances, and express more confidence around people. The list of passions and skills our children have honed is truly endless and seeing the special bonds that have grown amongst our children and staff brings great joy.