It was just after 9am when Rita and I headed out with John and Winnie for Hope House Babies Home. We were unsure how many babies would be on site as they have had numerous problems with licensing due to the election upheaval and the tardiness of the governments restating of the board that is responsible for such licenses.
The license that they require lasts approximately 2 years. The one to which they were operating with in 2016, expired in June of that same year, and they were required to wait for a new board to be reinstated in order to be permitted to continue not only admitting new children, but also adopting out. It has unfortunately been a long drawn out battle, but thankfully, they were granted a letter of approval in December of 2017 which allows them to carry on as they had in the past, despite the government still not having a new board in place.
As we arrived, Rosalyn was gathering many of the toddlers to go for their weekly outing to a nearby park. She would unfortunately have a limited amount of time to spend with us, but the children so look forward to their weekly outing at the park. Before she departed, she introduced us to a very nice young woman, visiting for 3 months from Australia, who is staying at their guest house and helping with the children. When Rosalyn left with the toddlers, we spent a few more moments with this young woman, who was caring for the 6 newborns before heading upstairs to discuss the business at hand with Jim, Managing Director.
Their numbers have fluctuated between between 20- 25 children for the past few months. IN 2017, they received 9 new babies, but adopted out 6. Children are normally only placed in Hope House Babies Home from birth to age 3, however due to unforeseen circumstances; there are occasionally children on site who are outside that range. Currently there is one just over 5, with special needs but he is awaiting a move that will take place shortly. It was imperative that they find him the perfect home that would be equipped to deal with his disability and place him with a healthy, happy, loving environment.
Our Kenyan Kids has focused our assistance solely in the adopt-a-cot program with this project for a number of years, though this does not in any way imply that this is their only need.
Upon speaking with Jim, he enlightened us to many areas to which they could use assistance, including but not limited to, assistance with salaries, diapers, baby bottles, blankets, curtains, cleaning supplies, and much more. He also spoke of a Street Kids Program, run by Hope House that he suggested could use a cow. We always encourage our projects to be completely transparent and feel that they can be open and honest with us about all of their hopes and their needs. Though we are not currently in a position to take on any new projects – or side projects, we are always interested in learning of the many areas to which they focus their attention.
For now, we encourage everyone who is able to “adopt-a-cot”. This program has been most beneficial for Hope House for some time. The more donors we have, the more care that can be provided to the children.
The home is currently run with 24 full-time staff and an additional 5 volunteers. Care must be provided for the children 24-hours a day, hence the need for so many staff.
When you adopt-a-cot with them, you are connected with a child for the entire time they are at Hope House. Hope House receives absolutely no financial support from the Kenyan Government and rely completely on the generosity of their donors. There are three levels of sponsorship available. The basic sponsorship can provide food for a child for one week. ($12.50/week or $150.00 Canadian per year). Adopt-a-cot plus is considered the intermediate level of support and will provide food for a child for two weeks and diapers for a week. ($30 Canadian per month /$360 Canadian per year). Adopt-a-cot premium is the highest level of sponsorship and provides food for a child for a month and diapers for three weeks as well as one caregiver’s salary for one week, costing $100 Canadian per month/$1200 Canadian for one year.