By: Irene Kaberere, Volunteer from Kenya, Global Leadership Development Program
At IHF our mission is centered on providing an education to the children we serve. However, we understand that the needs of a child go beyond just formal education.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, apart from basic needs such as food and shelter, every child needs much more—safety, good health, freedom, love and belonging, friendship, dignity, respect, and the need to realize full personal potential.
That said, at the IHF Nakuru Children’s Home Center, we not only provide the children with their basic needs, we are doing our best to raise healthy, responsible and creative children.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so we try to make free time as interesting and creative as possible. This month, we played outdoor singing games together as well as indoor games such as trivia nights, especially when the children were home from school for their mid-term break. The singing games involved holding hands in circles out in the field and chanting interesting songs that the children came up with. Trivia nights have become a favorite of the children too. They get to answer trivia questions in groups and compete among themselves.
Apart from all the happiness the children derive from the games, these activities help to improve their physical and mental health. These moments of fun and play are our favorite times with the children as volunteers; they give us a wonderful chance to form friendships and bonds with the children. Books are kept aside as we laugh, play and get creative together!
In addition to playing together, we have also been farming together! One would think farming is tedious, boring and something no one would ever choose to do. But some of our most enjoyable and interesting moments at the Nakuru center have taken place on our Peace farm.
On Saturday mornings, all the children, several volunteers from different countries and the center staff gather at the peace farm to work together and have some fun while doing it. We listen to the children tell us tales from their village in Pokot as we work away. Before we know it we’ve done a lot of work in just a few hours. Here at the farm, the children learn the importance of togetherness and hard work, not to mention the immense satisfaction that comes from growing what you eat.
Our desire is for the children to grow up surrounded by much love and support, to have a good education, and to have all their needs met. In fact, we would want them to be the rare 2% of people who attain self actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy—a level where one attains full personal potential and becomes everything one is possibly able to become.
We believe we are raising the next generation of great people and I am proud to contribute to this by teaching them a thing or two during my time at IHF.