"I have been in Kenya for almost a month now staying at Why Not. First impressions are very positive. I have been very well received by the fieldworkers. It is so cool to see that the fieldworkers have such a big heart for the foundation and the children. Every day they work with love, either in the office or outside during home and school visits. In these first weeks I often went along on home visits. During these home visits you visit several houses to see how the children are doing. We ask the parents or the child itself what keeps them busy when they are at home, how the environment accepts the child and if there are issues they are facing and where we can possibly support them. Finally, we make some pictures of the children to keep track of their development and to send the pictures to sponsor parents in the Netherlands. Besides the home visits, there is a therapy day on Tuesday. This is also very special to see. Children with physical disabilities such as CP are brought to the office by their parents and here the children receive therapy from a specialized therapist. It can sometimes be a bit chaotic because of the crowds and crying children but we see much improvement in the children who get therapy.
I came here from school in the Netherlands to graduate from the ALO. To make sure that my internship matches my studies as well as possible, we go to the elementary school on Thursdays to play sports with the children. We play soccer, tennis, sprint competitions and we practice throwing and catching a ball. When the schools open again we will go to the schools to teach them different sports and at the end of my internship there will be a tournament where the schools will compete against each other for a nice prize.
All in all, I'm having a great time here at Why Not and I can see with my own eyes what this foundation means to the children and parents, super cool."
As sponsor parent and treasurer of Why Not Foundation, I cherished the desire to visit our fieldworkers in Kenya. To get to know each other better and to see in person how Why Not Kenya operates. On January 15 I left for Mombasa with my wife Netty. We spent a week in a hotel on the coast about six 6 kilometers from the office in Utange, so easily accessible by tuktuk. We had intensive contact with the team that week. We visited our three sponsor children and their parents. We also saw the physiotherapy that is given every Tuesday morning by Zaineb in the central room of the office. The mothers have the opportunity to share experiences with each other. Zaineb receives compensation from Why Not for her efforts. In addition, I have attended several meetings. These discussions have created more mutual understanding and cleared up ambiguities. I met Mr. Paul, who is in addition to being a doctor also a board member of Why Not Kenya.
With short reports of our visits to the parents and the children Christopher, Moses and Omar I think I can best illustrate the functioning of Why Not. The children are very different in the extent of their disabilities. The team therefore provides different support for each child.
Christopher We were warmly welcomed by Christopher's parents in their modest home. The gratitude of both parents for Why Not's help was obvious. The father proudly tells us that his son is learning to make jewelry which offers possibilities for the future. Christopher we visited at Sahajanand Special School in Mtwape. He was indeed making jewelry. He is staying there permanently and is having a good time. During the vacations he goes home. There are about 450 students at Sahajanand Special School. It is supported by various aid organizations and the Kenyan government and is one of the schools with which Why Not cooperates. We pay Christopher's school fees, school clothes and necessary medication so that he has a chance in society with his limitations.
Omar Omar is a bit older and has severe disabilities. He therefore lives at home in a small community. His father passed away some time ago. His mother is the middle of three women. It is a conservative family that hardly speaks English. Our visit was therefore a bit distant. What was nice was that there were many small children from the community walking around. Omer could hardly stand up and was completely mesmerized by the Tuk-Tuk in which we had arrived. He sat next to it the whole time. Meanwhile, coconuts were being collected, which we were allowed to drink and then scoop out. A very special encounter! Why Not provides diapers and medicine for Omar. The expectation is that if the help from Why Not stops, Omar's chances of survival will be minimal.
Moses Moses' mother was extremely happy about our visit. She could hardly believe that we were with her all the way from the Netherlands. Here too there is great gratitude because Why Not's help to Moses ensures that she and her husband can rent a better house with a small courtyard and their own banana tree. Moses can stay there undisturbed when he is home during the vacations. Moses also attends the Sahajanand Special School. He is permanently cared for and well looked after there. He receives physiotherapy there. Moses is a cheerful boy despite his fairly severe disabilities. He cannot walk well and is in a wheelchair. Why Not pays for Moses' school fees, diapers, special food and medication when needed.
Experience The way our team in Kenya functions commands respect. It is not always easy to offer children with disabilities in Kenya a pleasant and safe living environment. Personalized help is offered not only for the child but also for the family. This should not stop! We in the Netherlands must ensure that our team in Kenya continues to receive the resources to be able to continue their important work there.
As treasurer of the Why Not Foundation I will therefore remain fully committed to this together with my fellow board members and all the volunteers, whom we sorely need. And of course this is not possible without the financial support of all the sponsor parents and donors. I hope to be able to continue to count on everyone.