Nairobi, August 2005

Other than the places that we visited together; – Future hope projects, Hope foundation, Indian welfare society for children, the railway station, the red street (where we saw prostitutes) we were also able to visit several other places like mother Teresa home for the destitute and the dying, a rural set up (abt 2 hrs drive from Calcutta), laughing club, underground train station, and did home visits among other things.

When we visited the home for the dying a big percentage of the inmates were persons ailing with HIV / AIDS as it could be clearly seen from their physical appearance, though we came to realize that people don’t talk about it in India. But no matter the pain they were going through a smile was the order of the day. They were happy that they were going to die with dignity.

Another friend introduced to us a very funny club that goes on – quite a distance from the new Haven guest house called LAUGHING CLUB. For two days we joined the club which belonged to old men and women all 50yrs and above. It would start at 6.15 a.m to 7.00 a.m and the main business here is to laugh and laugh with guidelines and breath in exercises in between. This whole exercise is known to control 94 % of stress related illnesses. It was such a funny thing to do and by the way we have started it with children.

We also continued visiting future hope and we had great interaction with the big boys who also took us round to places. Another thing we realized is that those children were normal children and most of hem were from ideal family set ups. We were able to do a home visit of one of the boys from Future hope and we got an

experience of background information of some of the children. Again we really noted with a lot of concern that those children really appreciate the care given to them and feels the ownership of their father- Tim Uncle. The social set up in Calcutta in general was also friendly and considerate of all. There were so many parks where everybody is free to use at any one time, the public water taps were everywhere at no cost and so everybody can afford water all the time. There were also no street families neither were there street vices as it is the case of our major cities and so powerful sources of the young generation to eager bad examples are not available. This in general contributes positively to a child under rehabilitation in any of the institutions in the area.

However issues to do with HIV and AIDS were strongly withheld. We happened to meet a client who at first did not understand us and who is of course a customer of the ladies we saw at the red street. As we tried to educate him on issues regarding AIDS he was greatly shocked and declared to us that what he learnt from us – he has never heard in his life.He really was bitter about life and we wished we had enough time to create more awareness to him and even talk more with the wife.

All in all we saw and learnt much and we found a need to make some changes / improve some areas as follows :- this we are going to gradually.

Need to make rules of operation with children.
Grouping of children- we thought that it would be better if we get a separate house and a house father for the high school boys especially in komarock ( an estate between Imani A and B).By so doing we thought that they will slowly learn to be independent and get prepared to join the teenager house at Kibera if need be after form four.
Need to put more emphasis in sports
Need to improve our rooms by improving cleanliness and changing the bed covers ( hope foundation really challenged us).
To work on the language policy
Keeping track of children – using photographs

We already have held meetings with the children and the staff members who were equally challenged by some of he stories we shared. We all hope to join hands to better our project. Thank you Stichting Parkingboys Nairobi again for making us have new experiences and learn something new in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN.