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Service warriors support little angels during COVID-19

Martha Kimani, a Community Outreach Programme (COP) member feeds a little angel during a past visit to the children's home.

 

Located in Waithaka, Nairobi, Angels Center for Abandoned Children was founded in 2010 by Wamaitha Mwangi whose vision was to help needy children. With the help of police officers and the Children’s Office, the home rescues abandoned babies, two years of age and below, and takes them in until adoption or integration back to their families and homes. At Angels Centre, the children access basic human needs, love, affection, medical care, complementary therapies, good nutrition, clothing, education, and most importantly, a place to call home until they find their long-term families. The home, which relies on well-wishers and donors, currently roofs 51 children under the care of nannies.

Devastating impact

The devastating blow of COVID-19 has not spared Angles Center. Its ubiquity has led to suspension of visits to the home; a precaution that is aimed at reducing exposure of the children to any health risks. “We allow not more than three visitors at a time,” says Wamaitha. Moreover, the virus has led to laying off of some of the staff at the home. “Half of my staff are home hence jobless. Lack of physical help from outside has affected the remaining staff who are now doubling their workload,” she adds.

Over the years, Strathmore University, through its Community Service Center (CSC), has conducted several visits, fund raising activities and the Christmas Bucket Challenge to rally students and staff to join hands in impacting lives of the less fortunate in the society. Angels Center has been among the CSC projects through which one of the University’s core values, service to society, has been amplified. During visits to the home, CSC, the service warriors, would engage in activities such as cooking, feeding the children, laundry, and general cleaning, playing with the children, and babysitting.

Selfless staff

“Angels’ Centre is very dear to my heart. I appreciate the fact that the children are raised in an environment of immense love and affection from the selfless women (nannies) who devote their time and energy in caring for these little Angels. Visiting the angels at the Centre has always brought me a lot of joy. With each visit, I have met wide eyes of the infants and big smiles from the older children who remember me from previous visits, and immediately, they share updates on their lives since our last interaction. I particularly enjoy these visits as I get to enjoy the presence of children whose innocence and curiosity present me with many opportunities of engaging them while satisfying their thirst characterized by the many questions they pose. I have learnt very many skills from these interactions that have truly impacted my life,” says Teresia Maina, CSC staff.

The impact of COVID-19 and its spread has been felt at the Center thus compromising Wamaitha’s dream and commitment of providing a safe haven for needy children. Strathmore University stretched its noble hand by availing funds to help cater for the needs of these children and other operations in the home.

“Words cannot properly grasp the impact that Strathmore University has had on Angels Center, but I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU. Only God can reward the University for the changes it is making in people’s lives,” Wamaitha concludes.

 

The article was compiled by Odhiambo Obonyo.

Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu

 

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