Shoes for orphans in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya
The epidemic of diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis have left more than 150,000 children in Kenya without parents or even guardians. As a result, young children are living on their own -- without food, shelter or medicine. They do not have homes -- or electricity or running water. In many areas where orphaned children have settled, rivers of sewage run through the roadways and down hillsides ... carrying garbage, bacteria and human waste throughout the areas where children play.
In Bahati (a massive slum area within Kenya’s largest city), several of our Missionary Sisters have established a child rescue mission in an effort to help save the lives of these little ones before more of them die. “The boys and girls here are poorer than anyone could possibly imagine,” Sr. Jane Ann (director of the shelter) explains. “Many of the children were found at the city dump -- digging for something to eat. Once we see them there, our Sisters tell the children to come here. Once they are here, we offer them a hot meal as well as provide them medical care if they are in need.”
“We have also set up a school here in Bahati,” she continues. “Our hope is to educate the children and help them develop skills so that as they grow older, they will have some trade that will help them find employment. Still -- the biggest obstacle to keeping the children healthy is getting them the shoes they desperately need! Without shoes, the boys and girls who are living at the orphanage have a high rate of parasite infection."
"Parasites such as Roundworms, Tapeworms and Hookworms enter the children’s bodies through cuts in their feet -- because they are always barefooted. Once that happens, we begin to see the children lose their appetites and get terrible pains in their stomachs. Many of them will also become nauseous, and begin vomiting."
“They will also get diarrhea,” Sr. Jane Ann said. “Eventually, they develop blood in the urine and stool. The child’s stomach also becomes bloated and distended. Without treatment to get rid of the parasites, the children will die.”
Our goal is to get shoes for as many boys and girls as we possibly can so that they will stay healthy. There are thousands of children who need shoes! Is there something you can do -- some way you can help us get shoes for these children who are susceptible to parasites? Is there some way you can help us get shoes for those boys and girls who have none?
Because of limitations here in the United States, we cannot ship large quantities of shoes to Africa. Instead, it is our hope that friends like you will donate enough money to purchase shoes for the children in our orphanages. For every $32 we raise here in the U.S. -- we can purchase a pair of shoes that will last a poor child for one year! With a gift of $64, we can provide a pair of shoes for two children who have none! A donation of $160 will provide shoes for 5 children for an entire year. What a difference that would make for these little ones!