I am from a community that is infested with crime, drug and gangs. I wanted better for my community and myself. Only 23% of Primary aged students who attend school will make it to High School. The rest will either end in drugs, crime or killed by police. Those who make it through High School and University will not come back to motivate.
I got involved with World of Difference when I was in Grade Three. I was not like other kids, who wanted candy or bubbles but I would join Jodi (Nielsen) and the team to make desks for the Kwa-Wa Toto Center, then she would put candy in my pocket. Ranger (Nielsen) would joke and tell me to take care of Jodi while on the work site. Through World of Difference I was able to learn so much and discover more about myself.
My Granny was an empathetic woman who would help strangers and those in need, we were always taking people into our home. I remember I met a young boy when I was in the 6th Grade, he told me that he didn’t have a place to stay, so I brought him home to my Gran.
Having people like Ranger and Jodi in my life helped me to understand myself. Through them I was able to see the problem in my community. They gave me something that I always wanted in my life that was missing, which was love and parental affection. This is where I knew that there are other people, that need to feel the same, which is love.
I started visiting Children Orphanages. I would cook meat for the children and Chapatti dance, sing and learn their stories. At a Children’s home, I met a kid who wanted to be an artist. He captured my attention and I was able to give him shoes better than I ever had.
I was encouraged by the number of kids, some grown up and now in college who would remind me that I visited their home and how I touched their lives and gave them hope, which was my goal to show them that they are not forgotten.
We don’t give because we have to but we give the little we have to share love. Once you share that, you heal a lot of wounds. You make kids feel important and the whole community heals.
I was only 13 years old when all I wanted was to see change. School kids would share with me abuse happening in their homes, I would report to my teachers but some cases were beyond us. After I graduated from high school, I was invited back to talk to kids about the importance of reporting and sharing.
During my final year in primary school, Jodi and Ranger found out that I had just lost my mum in 2008, the previous year. I was sharing my uniform with a classmate so we both could attend school. They took me in and brought me an extra uniform. I was able to let my classmate have my extra uniform. My teacher and his father were surprised and grateful by this.
Before I graduated from High School, we had a few teachers who were ready for a change Mrs. Mkeku, Mrs. Githenji and Mrs. Nzuki. Through school clubs we were able to reach the whole school, through educating on hygiene and behavior.
I have been involved with Voices of the African Child Foundation, born from World of Difference 10 years ago. We have visited over 1,000 orphanages in Kenya and fed over 10,000 children and families. We have painted schools, build classes, coached and taught children. We have worked with different organizations such as; Touch of Hope and Give a Hand, Touch a Life. We have worked with FEBA, a team that helps grow discipline through Basketball and currently I work as their Volunteer Photographer (Learn More).
One of my greatest dreams is to have an Innovation Center, where kids and teens can learn through creativity and innovation. It can develop talents and identify their skills and talent the same way World of Difference identified mine.
Through Kathy Glover (WOD Expedition Volunteer) who let me take pictures with her camera and compliment my skill and Scott Thomas (WOD Expedition Volunteer) who discovered the gem in me and developed my skills. Learning Leadership from Ranger and Jodi and how to live with others and bring kindness to people.
I volunteered with Heroes for change, a program that teaches kids on the importance of hygiene reaching over 34,000 kids. I connected to Sonia from House of Diamond through facebook. She taught me how to use public speaking to bring a community together and involve youth in entrepreneurship.
Through World of Difference I have been able to take 6 kids to high school for a full scholarship program. They have become a part of my life. One of them got sick in 2017 and through my photography we have been able to cover her medical expenses every month. 70% of my photography profit goes back to the community.
We have people who give only to be recognized and we have people who give from the heart. I would love people to share more love and give hope through education, talents and sharing skills. We don’t give because we have to but we give the little we have to share love. Once you share that, you heal a lot of wounds. You make kids feel important and the whole community heals.