Despite all of the wonderful experiences we shared at the GLO; there is of course the ‘life changing’ experiences at the Feeding Station and when visiting the local homes and families. Although it is a cliche; I don’t think anyone who experiences this can ever see the world through the same eyes again. We were fortunate that Kevin was in Kenya at the same time as us and he arranged for us to visit the local feeding station. This is a remarkable event that takes place every Sunday a few miles from the GLO; where up to 1500 children (sometimes more) walk miles and queue for hours for food. The project is sponsored by kind donors each week and the well organised operation runs smoothly (it is organised by the local Hindu community). The children of all ages (some only a few months old carried on the back of their older brother / sister) queue for food and share a plate of bread, beans and rice between 4. The project is exceptional and provides some children with perhaps their only meal in a week. it also harrowing that people in this day and age still live in this way; that for some children as young as 8 or 9 the responsibility and worry of feeding a large family rests with them. Despite their smiling faces; none of us can imagine or empathise with this.
Kikambala Feeding Station
Likewise, Kevin took us out to a family of 5 children (and an elder nephew whose parents’ had both died) in Kilifi who shared a wooden shack with their parents. The mother of the family, just 22 was working to beat corn/maize for the family meal that night. The meal for the next night didn’t exist and they weren’t sure where it would come from. But again they welcomed us with a warm smile into their humble homes. Both Michael and I struggled with these types of experiences (as I imagine all western volunteers do), comprehending this level of global inequality.
Village Life
Having a go at beating the Maize
Whilst we were there a long term volunteer, Alan, who is involved in many charity projects in Mombasa took us into the city to witness the inner city slums; same unparalleled poverty, same smiling faces, same warm welcome but just in a different setting. Seeing this type of poverty gives you a glimpse of very strong people, you could see what was sustaining them from the inside when all else has fallen away. The two weeks we spent in Kenya at the GLO and observing the hardship of life for some makes you realise it is not a ‘trip’, it is a journey because you start it as one person and end it as another person.
GL Volunteers enjoy a night out
A trip to the GLO is not done properly if at some point you don’t call a local taxi to take you to Mtwapa. No one warned us it would be on 2 wheels and we might need a helmet! Our nerves were shot – on the back of a motorbike, over the local terrain, dodging goats and cows on the dirt tacks. No one bats an eye lid as this is just the way things are done here! By the end of our stay we were hopping on and off without even thinking about it.
We were kindly invited to Mercy’s (the office manager) house to meet her family and elder parents. It is fantastic to experience how the Kenyans’ really live. We sat outside her house chatting to her family and they had kindly prepared us fresh oranges, mango and coconut from their trees. We ate the fruit, talked about village life and watched the stars appear in the evening sky.
Clare, Mercy & her parents
All in all we had an amazing experience ; a real taste of Africa and of peoples’ lives. It is an experience that will live with both me and Michael forever. It carries with it great joy and deep sadness and a new perception of the world. Our hope and prayers are that the children and staff at the GLO continue to be so happy and healthy. We offer HUGE thanks to Kevin, Mary, Alan, Remi, Mercy, Mama Lucy, Isabella and Mpenze and ALL the children, staff and teachers at the GLO, for the wonderful experiences we have shared with you over the past two weeks. We look forward to going back to see how the children have grown up. Asante sana and God bless ! xx
Village Life

Privacy Preference Center