Florence is a remarkable young girl. She’s a poet, a storyteller, a singer and she is extremely intelligent and motivated. Florence was abused by her step-father. He beat her just because she wasn’t his real daughter. One night, when she couldn’t endure anymore, she ran away from home. She slept in the bush because she didn’t know where else to go. The next morning she sought refuge at a place she had heard of from other students in her school. She took a chance and asked for help at Rapha Community Center.
Since Florence is from the local community, it was important for us to listen to her case, but also follow the proper channels to investigate her story. We involved the area Chief who spoke with her parents and teachers. He discovered truth in her story, and suggested she stay at Rapha permanently. Her step-father didn’t mind. He was glad she was gone.
Many of our children have difficult backgrounds, but I am not usually there to hear their stories when they first arrive. By the time I return to Rapha, their wounds have already begun to heal. My encounter with Florence was different as she walked through our gates shortly after I arrived in June. Her wounds were fresh. Watching her adjust to her new life was eye-opening. As the days passed, I could see her settle, her mind calm. Her eyes began to look less fearful as she realized she wouldn’t be sent back to her nightmare. She was safe. Rapha was her new home and we were her new family.
Watching her become part of our community was a powerful experience for me. As I faced the overwhelming needs around me, Florence reminded me that the community we have created and continue to improve is important. Everyone involved is making a difference, and, if we continue to focus, we will change the lives of children near and far. Already the lives of more than 100 children have been positively impacted.
Our sponsors have played a huge part in the success of our community, and I’m excited to announce that our child sponsorship page has been updated. Every year when I’m in Kenya, I update our child list, take new pictures, learn more about each child and meet the new children in the community. My goal is to try to be as organized as possible, but when you’re taking pictures of 100+ children, as well as interviewing them, anything can happen. This year I enlisted the help of Faith. She is in Form 3, and I’ve known her for 6 years. She’s gone through this process many times, and if anyone could help, I knew it was she. There was a lot of silliness involved, but together we managed to get it done.
I’m excited to share the new children with all of our supporters and I hope that if you’re reading this, you will consider sponsoring a child too. We couldn’t care for children like Florence if we didn’t have generous people like our sponsors to support the children at Rapha Community Center. If you can spare $39 every month, then why not put your money to good use? Visit the HEAL child sponsorship page here.