by Rich, Co-Director, IHF Kenya
Living on the outskirts of Nakuru (the fourth biggest city in Kenya) it is easy to forget the harsh environment that the children come from. Pokot is a region which begins around five hours drive North of Nakuru and stretches for hundreds of kilometres towards Lake Turkana. It is a region which oscillates between severe drought and extreme localised rainfall causes flooding. This makes the economy and politics of the area very volatile and the Pokot regularly fight running battles with the neighbouring Turkana and Samburu tribes over cattle. Children from the area have to grow up very fast and take on responsibility at a young age.
So this week has been quite an education in the resilience and maturity of the children we look after here. During the festive period, our cook was away on holiday and so we looked to the children to help with food preparation and cooking. Jane and Erastus in particular did a fantastic job of arranging meals and organising the younger children to do chores. As I watched them butchering a goat, it occurred to me that some of these children will have experienced far more in their few years than I will in a lifetime.
To remind them that they are still children and to offer some offer some contrast in their lives we like to play games, do activities and watch films. And of course, all children love sweets!