Laura, a long-time volunteer and supporter through Village of Love Canada, visited the families of the Kijiji Cha Upendo Children’s Project in August. While she was there she taught art to the children while they were on school break and also met with many of the caregivers caring for orphaned children.

Laura says, “I visited the homes and businesses of many of the women, witnessing how proud they are to provide for their children. They love their jobs and are happy that they can support their families. Some have as many as 10 orphans as well as their biological children. They told me how grateful they are to Kijiji and supporters in Canada. I was often moved to tears feeling their beautiful hearts.”

“I never imagined the blessings that I would receive being with the children, women and staff of Kijiji Cha Upendo. Being with the children was a joy. As well as art activities, I had fun singing, dancing and playing games with them.

When in school they sit quietly without interaction. So this was a different experience for them! The first day they were understandably quiet, giggly and shy. But on our third day, Group B didn’t want to miss out and couldn’t wait for their day to come. So they showed up, too. It was quite a large group!

I felt welcomed and included by the staff of Kijiji and enjoyed being with them. I am in awe of the work they do to help women feel empowered as they become more independent. I have seen the results. By visiting the homes and businesses of many of these women, I witnessed their pride in being able to provide for their children. It is their children who I did art with!!”

He continues, “Laura has had a very inspiring and hope giving stay. She flies home having planted seeds of love among the children and she left a thirst in them for wanting to explore their talents.”

The feeling was mutual! Andrew Obara, Administrator of Kijiji Cha Upendo, had this to say: “In whatever Laura does, be it with children or visiting with the women, she exhibits great depths of love. It was full of fun and educative. So much so that we had to cope with more children than we had anticipated! The children wish she could come back. We too, the staff have the same wish.”

Interested supporters are invited to join Laura and the Village of Love Canada Solidarity Committee to see a slide show of her time in Kenya and hear more stories of the families there – November 6th, 7:30pm at Runnymede United Church in Toronto.

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Art in the Village of Love

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