Gwen Laforty-Willis was a “Flight Crew” member on the inaugural 2007 Project Experience Trip. Here is her perspective on the experience:
“It has been several years since I traveled, along with six others, to Africa. We were the first group to travel to Kenya to see firsthand the wonderful projects and the valuable work performed by Our Kenyan Kids. I could probably write a book, but here I’ll highlight some of my unforgettable experiences.
What stands out most in my mind was Nairobi Children’s Home [now called the Nairobi Children’s Rescue Centre]. Of course, there were far too many children for the spaces allotted. So many of the children had lost their parents to AIDS. We spent a whole day there, in that place where love flowed from my heart as I mingled with the orphaned children. And yes, I fell in love with them. One little fellow managed somehow to get on our van while we were leaving. With those irresistible big brown eyes he begged us to take him with us. Talk about heart break!
Sammy worked at the Children’s Home. We met him and all his family. The children loved Sammy, and he loved them. Our Kenyan Kids was responsible for helping to pay the expenses for Sammy’s post-secondary education – along with his three siblings. They are now all employed and successful. While we were there, we were privileged to be invited to a wonderful gathering at Sammy’s family home.
The next highlight, if that tern could be used, was a visit to the Deep Sea Slum. It was an eye opener! No water, no plumbing, no electricity. Children carrying children on their backs. On a positive note, there was a school there, on the edge of the slum. But the children need uniforms in order to attend, and few can afford these ‘luxuries’. There was a small clinic there also.
We stayed at the Methodist Guest House. It was very clean and provided us with all the amenities. They staff were extraordinary and lovely to get to know.
We did, on one occasion, treat ourselves. We went on a short safari. And I got to dance with a Maasai Warrior!
I admire the continuing efforts and achievements of Our Kenyan Kids. It is hard work to plan and raise the money needed to provide the many programs sponsored. We hear about poverty in the world, but few of us see it firsthand. Hearing and seeing are two totally different things! The trip to Kenya was a life changing experience; one I would definitely recommend to anyone. I can never forget the love in the people we met. God’s love is in their hearts.”