Posted by: hilarycole | September 30, 2009

Field Trip

After almost a week with Mama Mercy in Rongai, I came back to stay in Nairobi where it would be easier for me to visit Rescue Dada.  Hands Up for Africa sponsors two girls from there to go to boarding school, while some friends have sponsored two more.

The gracious staff welcomed me back but it was a whole new groupNewton's pics & Rescue Dada 053 of vulnerable girls who were nearing the end of their year-long rehabilitation at the centre; they nonetheless treated me like a rock star. They love visitors, no matter how much of a stranger you are, and they cling to you for love and attention; makes me wonder what life is like for them outside those walls.

Newton's pics & Rescue Dada 055A few days later I went on a field trip – two of the Rescue Dada staff took me to the schools where the sponsored girls have been placed. At the first school, a convent, I saw Juliana and Mercy again. They didn’t know I was coming, and were so shy at first. But they eventually relaxed and showed me their dorm rooms, guiding me through the throngs of little ones swarming the rare mzungu (white person). One of them told me she preferred to be there – she had no family to be re-intergrated with from Rescue Dada.

Not exactly as posh as a western boarding school though, their dorms are concrete buildings with four or five semi-divided  rooms with tightly packed rows of bunk beds, keeping 10-12 girls to a room. Each bed was neatly made with a traditional masai-cloth blanket on top (despite not being in masai land). It seemed that each girl had a small metal trunk for her few posessions and change of clothes.

The convent and school strives to be as self-sustainable as possible, so there is a garden, a bore-hole well, two dairy cows, pigs, chickens, goats and cute little rabbits. I didn’t ask for details.

We left when the bell rang for class, having previously Newton's pics & Rescue Dada 057waited 30 minutes for class to finish; not even a visitor from Canada gets in the way of lessons. Education is treated with great respect here – the girls were all grateful to be there, and I believed them. They’re going to schools with smaller class sizes and lots of encouragement to work hard and have goals. I think it gives them hope.



  1. Nice story Hil. Thanks for the updates.

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