Our relationship with One Tribe Mama's Project, Nakuru Kenya
I first learnt about One Tribe Mama through a post a friend of mine had put on Facebook in around December 2019 about Mission In Action (MIA), a children's home in Nakuru, Kenya, initially founded for abandoned babies.
I will never forget how my heart warmed to the video of these children, their happy smiling faces and laughter drew me in and I was impelled to scroll through the many photos and videos and just continued to feel the love & joy that these children were giving.
The videos were often filmed and narrated by the founder of MIA, Ivan and would feature his wife Damaris and the many children they care for, from newborns to teenagers. The videos and photos just showed them doing every day things like helping in the kitchen, playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, helping prepare the crops in the fields, the choir singing church hymns, celebrating birthdays with cake for everyone, the kids showing off their new dance moves. There was a real sense of family and the fun, laughter and love was just exuberating, it really touched my soul and I felt instantly connected, albeit just from the screen. I would share the photos and videos of the children with my own 2 sons and they would love it when I called them over for us all to watch them together!
As I looked further into this organisation, I learnt about how MIA was first founded and the work that was being done to not only find the Mamas of these abandoned babies, but the work with the local community concentrating on orphan prevention, family reunification and family strengthening. MIA had also started a project called One Tribe Mama - Empowering vulnerable teen Mama's to raise their babies with dignity by teaching them a skill for life, providing therapy and parenting classes. These Mama's would learn how to sew and would make items to sell like aprons, reusable shopping bags, tote bags, cushion covers and table runners.
I decided I wanted to help in any way possible and then was made aware of a small volunteer trip that was proceeding and I thought what a great opportunity this would be to experience all that I had read about first hand.
But unfortunately due to Covid and travel bans commencing in early 2020, this trip was postponed and it also meant that MIA and One Tribe Mama (OTM) would be greatly impacted by loss of sponsors and volunteer visitors to assist with their community work and also buy the products that the ladies were sewing, either for personal use, as gifts or to host markets and promote MIA and OTM back in Australia.
I wanted to help in any way I can from afar until I can visit for myself, so I decided to sponsor a child at MIA and help contribute that way and I also purchased some items from the OTM shop for myself.
I was soon introduced to precious Makena and although her story is heartbreaking, like all of the children, I am happy that she is being loved and cared for by Ivan, Dama and the rest of the family at MIA and I feel proud to help her obtain a bright & prosperous future.
I cant wait until the travel borders open and it is safe again for me to travel and visit Mission in Action and One Tribe Mama and meet everyone in person, I feel so connected and its like I know many of them already!