Melinda Williams was on our 2 week trip to Kenya in June 2011. Here are her thoughts and reflections on how this experience affected her life.

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As we walked through Kibera, I was overwhelmed with the smell of burning trash, animals and sewage. All the way to Silanga School we were greeted by young children repeatedly yelling, “How are you?” They were so excited to see us there, and a smile and high five made their day. The kids that we saw were either too young or poor to go to school.

During our time at Silanga, I saw that the school is providing hope in Kibera. We toured the school and witnessed firsthand the determination of the students and teachers. Silanga is providing them a way out of Kibera. After visiting classes and spending time with the principal, we had recess with the kids. We carried soccer balls and jump ropes, and it didn’t take long for the schoolyard to be filled with students running everywhere.

I spent most of my time with the nursery school students. We see-sawed, jumped and ran, but I quickly saw the most important thing I could give them was my attention. These children were shy but had such an innocence and a sweet spirit shining from them. The shyness would melt away with just a smile, hug or holding their hand. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t understand or speak English. They did not need my words.

I saw countless instances of children full of joy despite the situation they’re living in. They don’t know what they don’t have. They enjoyed the soccer balls and games we brought, but what they wanted most was our attention. I was happy to give it to them.

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You can support these kids as well by joining Mocha Club’s Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children project.