Slum Doctor Programme


A life Changed
September 21, 2007, 3:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday I headed up to campus for an interview with Debbra Muthike for the upcoming newsletter. I arrived near the Viking Union equipped with a yellow legal pad with some questions and a digital voice recorder I wasn’t sure actually worked. Debbra is from Kenya and has been in Bellingham attending WWU and Whatcom Community College for three years. In high school she was sponsored by someone on Bellingham through an organization is Seattle, and through the sponsorship and her success in school, she was able to come to the U.S. to continue her education. As I sat listening to her story, I was amazed at how much sponsorship actually changes lives.

I’m sure we have all seen the commercials with the little children in Africa with potbellies because of malnutrition and dehydration. These are always supposed to conjure up a feeling of guilt as we sit in our comfortable living rooms in America, but nothing has moved me more than listening to Debbra’s story of how one generous person changed the course of her life. Without the sponsor who knows what she would be doing right now.

Debbra was in Kenya this summer visiting her sister and met up with the group from SDP when they were at Ombogo Girls’ Academy. She was able to talk with the girls there and encourage them in ways that most people could not, simply because she has lived a similar life as them. The similarity between her own story and the story of some of the girls at the school is amazing, and so many doors are opened for them that never would have been without some one here committing to sponsor one of the girls. One thing she said we can do for the girls at the school is to encourage them, not just send money. The money is nice, but many of them need guidance and hope to go along with spare cash from our budgets. It isn’t simply writing a check once a month that is going to transform a life, it’s investing time and energy into lives that no one else is investing in. It’s about taking a step outside our comfort zones into the unknown. Debbra told me that more than anything, the girls at Ombogo need encouragement from us and something to give them hope for the future.

-Phil

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2 Comments so far
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I do agree with Debra, I was in Kenya in August and came back this week and this is what I noticed as well. its about being with them listening to their concerns and fears and encouraging them.

Having been raised in the village I remember the financial issues that I had but most of all my memories remain with those who kept on encouraging me that i will make it. This is what kept my morale on. As much as the entire village raised money for my fees I needed someone for encouragement.
Remember they will keep those letters of encouragement and reffer on them, when they are down.
Jane Koinange
The Village Girl.
http://www.togetherfororphans.org

Comment by Jane Koinange

Jane,
You’re absolutely right, and it’s so easy to just send money and feel like we can wash our hands of the rest of the responsibilities because after all, we have done our good deed. If more people would take time to communicate and encourage people in places like the Ombogo Girls’ Academy, the work of changing people’s lives would be so much more holistic, and in turn, lives would truly be changed.

Comment by slumdoctor




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