Kenya Spur Afrika 2023 - Love, Justice, Equity
All too often, the world just isn’t fair.
Today was our first full day in the Kibera informal settlement (slum) of Nairobi, Kenya. The Spur Afrika staff - including Nico, Sylvia, Kijala and Maureen - were doing home visits for some of the children supported by the Spur Afrika program. Rosalie and myself joined the Spur Afrika staff on their visits.
Andrew’s family was the first family we visited. Andrew - aged 10 years - lives with his grandmother and a younger sibling. Sadly, Andrew’s parents have both passed away. Andrew moved to Kibera to be with his grandmother. She had moved to Kibera in order to find work and make a living. Unfortunately, her means of making a living is very meagre indeed. She gathers charcoal scraps, mixes them with mud. The lumps of mud-charcoal fuel sells for 2.5 Australian cents each.
Spur Afrika has been supporting Andrew to continue his education. Later that day, we met Sharon, also supported by Spur Afrika. She finished her final high school exams in just the past two weeks. She eagerly - and anxiously! - awaits her final results, which will arrive at the end of January. Sharon would like to enrol in a university course in September, perhaps in pharmacy, education or law; all with a view to helping people. She isn’t waiting for her results and university enrolment to help people, however. She will volunteer with Spur Afrika, be it cleaning or clinic work, until she is enrolled in university.
Children finishing primary school (Year 8) are currently on vacation until they start high school (Form 1) in about a month’s time. Many of those in high school will be boarding at a high school far away from Kibera. At the Spur Afrika Centre, many of the children supported by Spur Afrika and finishing Year 8 came to the centre today to receive support, advice and pastoral care before they transition to the next stage of their education.
Where there is inequity, those in God’s Full Life and Kingdom can show compassion and love by working towards equity for all God’s children. As the Psalmist sang:
“Great is the Lord in Zion
He is exalted over all the nations.
The King is mighty, he loves justice –
you have established equity.” (Psalm 99:2-4, NIV)
(in the photos, Simon is wearing red, together with a younger siblings his grandmother and a lump of the charcoal-dirt mix. Sharon is wearing yellow in another photograph. In another photo, Patoh is talking to the Year 8 graduates at the Spur Centre).