Thanks to you—City Chik did some pretty amazing work in Korogocho and beyond….without your generosity none of this would be possible- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of City Chik on a Mission.
I am not going to lie..when I arrived in Korogocho and saw the existing structure on the land we had purchased..I stood there staring at these rusty iron sheets thinking..”How the heck is this going to get done?"
I took a deep breath and realized this was going to be one INTENSE experience.
My motto became “tight schedule, tight budget, tight timeline”. I thought the more I would say it miraculously this project would get done…but what I really needed was an amazing leader for this project and I am beyond grateful that we had Gideon the foreman of the project. He had a plan and recited my motto multiple times a day:) I knew I was in good hands!
We quickly moved to this..structure knocked down and a ten foot septic being built…keep in mind I am a City Chik that rents in TriBeCa…this was way outside of my areas of expertise.
On average we were employing 8-10 people in the slum…. the people were grateful for the work and typically worked 6 days a week for 12 hours a day…they were intense, knew the motto, and got some pretty good laughs at my expense…hey I was fine with it..whatever it was going to take to get this done!
The picture above was a special moment captured by Joseph….you will notice the slab for the foundation has been completed and the timber was up to start to build the structure…I couldn’t believe how much progress had been made and a feeling came over me that we were going to do this! That I had the right people in the right roles and we all wanted to see this vision through to execution!
Mother Nature was in full force with heavy rains which put us behind schedule. Once the clean up and painting is completed (touch ups and finishing touches) this center will be ready for vocational training! Stay tuned for the final pics!
Now let’s chat about the existing daycare….
When I first entered I saw all of these children (30+ varying ages) it was a tad overwhelming…they are on the cement ground, the disabilities running the full spectrum, and the volunteers doing the absolute best to control the complete chaos. There was a rude awakening with what these children lack (they only have one diaper a day) but I was greeted with curiosity and love by each child.
It didn't take much time to notice that these children needed stimulation…as I received a tour I noticed that there was a room that was being used for storage that needed to be cleaned out and transformed…and while this was not part of our original plan…it is something I felt in my heart needed to be done…and so in typical City Chik fashion we set out to do just that…
Looking at this I knew we could transform this room into an amazing playroom/physical therapy….and we did just that..the excitement of the children warmed my heart. Thanks to your donations we were able to do coloring, read books, play puzzles and lets be honest run and jump around…the stimulation was great. Everyday when I would arrive the children would want to go into the new room. We transformed it by having a local artist add characters to the wall and paint the walls in vibrant colors. I was so happy we took on the extra project and I want you all to know the children thank you. This room will only continue to evolve with time and I will be excited to returning a couple of years to see the progress.
The days were long and intense..so much to do every day…helping with business strategy, playing with the children, managing the needs for the construction. I realized some of the older children could help us and we decided to paint the classrooms as well. They were empowered and excited about contributing.
I had so many conversations with locals….the struggles are deep, the poverty intense, the lack of opportunity discouraging but they had something special…they had a strong sense of community, they had ideas on how to make things better, and they all had an open heart. Our conversations were deep, emotional and inspirational.
There are so many stories... the uplifting ones and the ones that will break your heart..(trust me I cried privately a few times) but it is simply too hard to put into an email. I hope to chat with you live to fill you in and share with you the stories.
This trip confirmed to me that Small Acts of Love can transform communities….you all played a vital role in this small act. I am empowered by the change that I witnessed and the barriers and stereotypes that were knocked down. After all, we are one world and one global family….we are here to help each other, build each other, empower each other and love each other.
As the holiday season kicks into high gear…know that you gave this community an amazing gift….one that I was told multiple times we could never be repaid for but one that has transformed their daily lives. My response was always…that I had a “village" behind me supporting City Chik on a Mission…thank you for being part of the village!
Oodles of Love,
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!