Kenya: when Christmas is in summer

by Katja Weber/SHU, 2012/06/05

This time it took Santa Clause a very long time to reach his destination: instead of putting the gifts under the Christmas tree in time on December 24, the gifts were only distributed in May. However, this does not matter for Immanuel, Chantal and Njoki. The three of them are absolutely delighted about their treasure boxes, which are filled to the brim with coloured pencils and paper, a T-shirt, toys, shower gel and sweets.

The children’s faces lit up with anticipation, when humedica coordinator Katja Weber distributed the colourful boxes. Photo: humedica

There was a simple reason for the delay: dispatch of the gift packages “from the heart” had taken place on time last year from the humedica headquarters in Kaufbeuren. Several weeks had already passed until the ship transporting the container arrived in Mombasa. And then there were substantial reloading delays at the port of Mombasa and last but not least the lovingly wrapped shipment got stuck at the customs office in Nairobi – and therefore was even too late for Easter.

But the delight of the children who received the total of 675 Christmas packages was by no means dampened by the delay at any of the humedica partner organisations: 57 children at the slum school of Shelter of Hope in Nairobi, 109 girls and boys from impoverished families in Western Kenya who are supported by Shelter of Hope, 49 children at a diguna establishment in Eldoret, 62 children at a children's home of Feed the Children on the outskirts of Nairobi, 209 children at eight New Life Home Trust children's houses from Kisumu in the very west to Lamu at the outmost edge of Kenya got shining eyes when they saw the colourful presents.

Also the 79 primary students of the school at Gai, which is supported by the Tei Wa Yesu Health Center, were delighted about the presents – some of them are orphans, others are HIV positive, but all of them have far too little of the things that are normal for our children in Germany.

Many of them walk barefoot all the time, also the scrubby way to school, or they wear shoes that are far too small for them, and their toes poke through the fabric. What a surprise it was when they opened their packages and found flip flops within! Delighted, the children immediately tried on their new plastic sandals - and proudly kept them on.

Another 110 children are given the packages as “starting aid”: Their mothers are or were prisoners, the children themselves attend a care centre called "The Nest", which is located at about 25 kilometres north of Nairobi. When the mothers are released, they spend an orientation period at the organisation together with their children and are then slowly reintegrated into life at their homes. For this purpose, the articles of every-day use are a welcome gift – and if they go with a doll and some sweets, so much the better.

And actually, you can celebrate Christmas on any day of the year, as the fact that God sent his son Jesus Christ to earth in order to deliver humankind of their sins and to give them eternal life is not bound to any particular season. And instead of being sad that it took the packages so long to reach their destination, we should rather be happy that this time there are gifts even a long time before Christmas. Like one of the Children who called out enthusiastically, when unwrapping its package: "Wow! Thank you Lord - is Christmas really that early this year?!"

Also this year, humedica collects thousands of Christmas packages for needy children all over the world. Everyone can participate easily: wrap your own “Gift from the Heart” and take it to one of the collection points which are distributed all over Bavaria, or make use of our online donation form so that we can put together a package for you.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Gift from the Heart"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

Make children happy all over the world and make a donation for the “Gift from the Heart” campaign. Thank you very much! Photo: humedica/Katja Weber

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