“All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” That is what Blessed Lamock, the director at Arise Children’s Home, tells his students every morning.
Situated about 13km from Nairobi central business district, Arise Children’s Home, started in 2005, is home to more than 134 children, most of whom were from the streets. It all started in Bombululu in the sprawling Kibera slums. Here, the director had the first group of children who found a family, a roof and somewhere to call home in his house. “It wasn’t big and very accommodating but nevertheless beloved place for them,” he says.
In 2007, more children joined because of the post-election violence. “Children have learnt to call this place home as for some of them, it is the only home they know of,” said Lamock. “We cater for them and help them become what they want to be.”
The centre aims to raise an orphaned or a vulnerable child into an independent and responsible person.
The children are all of different ages ranging from five to those in secondary school. “Tutoring is done from within for the primary school level as we have volunteers who do it for free,” he says.
“Once the children get to form two, they are sent to individuals and companies that we talk with to get mentorship on how to work prior to them growing up,” says Lamock.
Children at the centre also rear chicken and goats, which once fully mature, they are sold for the children to earn some money.
“We teach our children to give hence after they sell the animals or the eggs 60 per cent of the money is for their wants, 30 per cent goes towards the children’s home and 10 per cent is given to God as tithe,” added Lamock.
He says spiritual upbringing of children is usually key in a child’s growth. “Each and every month, we always have a fast and prayer session where we head up to Ngong Hills and fall deep into prayer,” says Lamock.
“We always look forward to the fast and prayer sessions as they bring us closer to God and they are also quite enjoyable as we camp outside for three days and also because it is usually high up the mountain just like Jesus did on Mount of Olives,” said Vivian Nasambo, a class four pupil at the centre.
The children are the current national champions for under 10, 14 and 16 categories of junior rugby championships.
“Rugby has really made us have a unity that we cannot describe and also it has helped us learn the value of teamwork during our day to day activities,” says Elizabeth Nekesa, a member of the under 10 years team and also a class four pupil at the centre.
“We don’t have the needed kits for playing but we still are able to beat all other teams that have full gear.
“This we all give thanks to God and also a result for our continued fasting and prayer,” adds Esna Musumbi, a member of the team.
Currently the school trains at the nearby Posta grounds.
Recently, Tecno hosted a cocktail party to support the school. Some Sh356,680 was raised at the event, with the firm donating half the amount.
“We had previously come to this centre as members of staff and really got touched with the zeal in these kids after we spent a full day playing and cooking for them.
“We at Tecno believe in dream actualisation and in the concept of supporting a worthy cause,” said Livingstone Migwi, the general manager of Tecno.