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.
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 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' 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.
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.