Yesterday, we went to the rescue centre in Eldoret. This is an emergency, short term care centre for children who have no place to call home. There are street children, children who have been abused or abandoned, children who have been orphaned.
The centre cares for them whilst trying to find homes for them all. Around 10% are able to be reunited with their own families, 50% go into new homes (many of them are Open Arms family homes), and unfortunately the rest of them are not able to be placed anywhere else.
The rescue centre has 86 children with 24 staff to care for them all (only 12 of which are paid). The children range from newborns to 18 year olds, many of who are physically and mentally disabled.
There was an 8 month old baby boy who had been there since he was 3 days old, he had been brought in by his father as he had nobody to care for him as his mother had to leave the country to find work. All of the children there have stories just like this. They have all experience much desperation and poverty but the rescue centre process them with protection.
The rescue centre is entirely funded by donations as the government provide no financial support. We were able to spend the day playing with the children and showing them love. The first thing they all did when they saw us was give us all big hugs. It was a blessing to be able to show them the affection and love they have been starved of by having their childhood taken away. We did arts and crafts, played football, have them balloons and played all sorts of games with them. We even danced with them all. Each child was so excited when they were given a toy of their own to play with.
Open Arms has partnered with the rescue centre as they believer they do amazing work and genuinely do all they can to care for all their children.