Monday, April 18, 2016

Collins in Kenya

Collins Rapisian Ntusero
July 7. 2005

Collins is one of our correspondent children and we've been corresponding with him since January 2015. So far we have received 24 letters. 

He lives with his parents, Moses and Gladys, and his brothers, Milton and Joseph. Collins is the second born. At home he helps look after the domestic animals.  His mother is a teacher.

Collins and his family live on the plains of Oloontoto, homes to approximately 10,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, adobe walls and thatch roofs. The primary ethnic group is Maasai and the language is Kimaasai. 

Oloontoto PEFA 
KE 554

letter from center director....

We are in the Lorrompoi region of Kajiado County. We greatly appreciate your support.

The climate here is semi-arid, receiving two rain seasons; long rains in March to June and short rains from October to December. But the rains are unpredictable. Some people here grow subsistence crops, which can fail due to lack of rain. The majority Maasai ethnic community largely depends on raising livestock, but overgrazing in time of drought has severe consequences on the land. 

Most residents of Oloontoto are low-income earners who work at flower farms. The area has seen an increase in people selling their land and not investing. Many get drunk and abandon their families, leaving women and children at home to face the harsh flames of poverty. Seeing this need, Compassion has joined to provide school fees, clothing and health care for children from families that otherwise could not afford them. 

In the center, children are brought up in Christianity and also received lessons like life skills. I think of several children who have especially benefited to improve their life. I think of a boy whose parents were killed in a tragic road accident. He was left under the care of an old grandmother, who brought him to our center. The staff welcomed him and saw how he was greatly affected by the accident. Now, through struggling in education as a class one child, he can communicate with others, play and express himself to staff and other people, all things he never did at first. 

Then there is a teen who has learned well in our skills classes on motorcycle repair and maintenance. After completing high school, he began a motorcycle business, providing people rides for money. He hopes to start a motorcycle garages and sell spare parts, an activity he plans to continue even after he joins college. 

In this semi-arid land, ,the shortage of clean water for people and livestock is a great problem. Over the years the community has depended on water from a well that the center had drilled through a Complementary Intervention. But due to mechanical problems, the well has ceased to work. So residents must buy water at a very high cost from water vendors, and the pastoralists have to take their livestock 10-20 km in search of clean water. 

Miscellaneous info from letters:
  • favorite game - football (soccer), basketball. handball
  • favorite song - Melody in my Heart
  • favorite food - ugali and kales / soda
  • favorite subject - math / science / social studies
  • favorite story - Noah
  • favorite color - pink
  • best friend - Henry / Ian
  • wants to be policeman

All of the letters we have received from Collins have come in what I think is his own handwriting. 

called us his "spiritual parents"
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