A Gift in the Time of Need

Rachel Chimits

In Kenya, our partners are working to support families who have children with special needs and who have been affected by the COVID lockdowns.

Being the parent of a special needs child is a daily challenge, but in Kenya while many facilities are closed and resources are limited thanks to COVID, it can feel overwhelming some days.

In Nairobi, World Challenge’s partners are reaching out to help these families. The team first went out to identify children with special needs within the nearby communities and find out what the different needs were for each family as well as the depth of their need like degree of food support required and types of prescription medicines used.

A list of 85 families were identified, and the team jumped into action, putting together medication for forty families and nutritious food for 85 families.

Searching for the Best Gifts

Most of these parents have been involved in community development programs with the local churches, and this meant they were already connected to church leaders to some degree, even if they aren’t believers yet and are still investigating the gospel.  

This was a great blessing because it made it easier for the team to connect with the families and make arrangements for follow-up activities.

Of course, the first step was making a list of prescriptions that the parents used for their children and then verifying these medications were actually assigned to these children with the pharmacy before anything was purchased or collected. It was essential for the team to make sure that the medications were correct and that they could legally go to the families.

After this step was completed, the team set about collecting food stuffs, checking the families’ individual needs and calculating their nutritional needs with the food items available. It was also noted that some parents used cold pressed oil for therapy for their children, so extra efforts were made to collect oil for these parents.

Each family received a sack with the following items: greens, pigeon peas, fortified maize meal, sorghum flour, cooking oil, cold pressed oil (for those who used in therapy) and onions.

For those parents who are unable to leave their children alone at home, the team loaded up a vehicle to deliver the supplies to them.

Continuing the Good Work

These supplies meant a great deal to many of these families who have felt isolated and anxious in the last few months as they experience the added burden of dealing with lockdown.

One family even created a little video to express their gratitude for the support and love in these packages.

One team member reported, “We plan to meet the parents in two groups…to discuss the challenges they are facing, what skills they need and how they can acquire them to improve their lives.” Rather than making each family dependent on the team for aid, the team is making plans for how to help them grow so that when another emergency happens, they will have greater resources and self-reliance.

The team also sent this message to us: “We are grateful for the World Challenge support given to the needy parents at this difficult time. We pray that God will richly bless you. As Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) says, ‘God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.’”