16 December 2005, 16:13
by Chris M. Nyamai
Children learn about the benefits of trees after planting trees around the Gate of Hope orphanage in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya on 5 December 2005. The tree plantation was organized on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day. (Photo: Service for Peace-Kenya)
The Service for Peace (SFP)-Kenya Chapter organized the celebrations marking the International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December at the Gate of Hope orphan children’s home. The home takes care of 30 orphans: some of there were street children, others were orphaned when their parents died of HIV/AIDS. The home is located in the outskirts of the city of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
SFP-Kenya mobilized young volunteers (age 4-20 yrs) to participate in the IVD celebrations. The home benefited from items purchased for the home. These were 30 plants, five mango trees, gardening tools – rake, slashes for cutting grass, house cleaning items - mopping buckets and the mops, and also food: 50 kgs of rice.
The youthful orphans and other visiting volunteers from the village got engaged in taking care of the environment by carrying out a cleaning exercise in the orphans’ home and planting trees. The orphans planted 35 trees around their home compound.
It was a great occasion for the children as during the exercise the children discussed the benefits of trees such as: trees attract rainfall, help to maintain our rivers as water catchments, purify the air we need to breath, provide timber, provide material for the manufacturing of their school pencils and paper for their school books, firewood for the cooking of their meals etc. The benefits were endless!
As the day went on women volunteers prepared a wonderful meal, well spiced and served in the African buffet way. The orphans felt loved and appreciated in the company of the visiting children and adults.
As the day came to a close, the programme continued into the evening with song and dance. Finally, the day ended with a word of prayer for thanks.
Chris M. Nyamai
Service for Peace (SFP)-Kenya chapter