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A joyful party for children from slums in Kenya

Usha Shah, the Convenor of the TOS in Nairobi, writes to us about a recent party that she and her TOS group organised to bring some special fun and laughter into the lives of children from two slum areas in Nairobi. As you’ll read, it was an outstanding success – a memorably happy day despite the weather.

“Dear All, When I opened the curtains yesterday morning, my heart dropped into my shoes! It was raining and the sky was full of dark, heavy clouds threatening to let lots more pour down!  The day of our big outdoor party and rain! Too late to think about it - will go on as planned…

At 11 a.m.  I left home with the rain positively beating down on the top of my car and me praying for the rain God to take a rest.  He did only in short gaps but could not dampen the children’s spirits or mine.

Before long the food – scones, dried fruit, crisps, chocolate éclairs, biscuits, fluffy wafers, bhajias (fried Indian snacks) and a drink - were all lined up with plates and serviettes.  The gift packs containing school stationery and clothes were in cartons ready to distribute at going home time.  Tents and chairs were placed to receive the honoured invited guests from the Deep Sea Blue slum and Gachie slum.

The entertainment group had not arrived to set up the tarpaulin and the bouncing castle. I stood in the rain directing them on the mobile phone and they made it by 12.30.

They put up everything just in time for the arrival of the children – a few in presentable clothes and most in very worn ones – all with eager anticipation on their faces.   As they turned into the alley, they gave squeals of delight at seeing the bouncing castle and the tarpaulin.  All of them just loved bouncing  up and down and landing on their behinds, all the while shouting happily and laughing uproariously. The timid ones cautiously joined in and ended up loving it all as well.

Off on the side, face painting commenced and a BIG queue formed.  Sadly, a few missed out through lack of time.  

Hilarious games followed with much laughter and gaiety.  Yours truly took part in the tug of war and enjoyed it too.  The puppet show was a hit and had the children laughing heartily.  Acrobats put on an incredible act keeping the children spellbound too!


Then came the fire show with the performers playing around with lighted batons.  They ATE the flames and then threw them back out.  One could see the shock and amazement on the faces of the children.  Singing followed and prayers were recited before the food was served.  All this time the rain and the sun competed, not disturbing the high spirits of the children in the slightest. 

Next the gift packs were presented, along with the teddies knitted by our Italian and French TOS members.  Each child received a mosquito net too – a very useful article to have in the slum which is vulnerable to malaria.

Mrs Indu Shah, the Assistant Secretary of the TS Lodge in Nairobi helped distribute gifts.

Usha Shah gives a child a mosquito net.

The guests did not want to leave, as you can imagine.  I got countless hugs and invitations to visit them.  I felt humbled to have received so much love.

Here and now, I pass on this love to each person who helped, directly or indirectly, to make November 29, 2013 a fun filled and joyful day for those who need faith that all will be alright one day.  A special thought to the lady who knitted that teddy which is now a treasured toy for a child who has so little in life. Thank you.  Be blessed, all of you.  As I write this, I have tears in my eyes and gratitude to the Supreme….

Usha Shah, Convenor, TOS Nairobi

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