Thursday 9 October 2014

Rift Vally

I find myself at an orphanage nestled in the Rift Valley in Kenya. The founder asked me to come and help, offer training and audit the children's files.

So, I've been sitting in a hut reading through the case notes of the 153 children. 

It's what I do on a daily basis, albeit, a slightly different setting so I'm no stranger to stories of tragedy. Reading the stories was hard, they are as complex, traumatic and tragic as anything I have ever read or will read.

I've sat shocked and in disbelief.

Witchcraft, murder, beating, poverty, abandonment, abuse, violence, layer upon layer, multiple trauma,  all leading children to a dusty plot of land in the Rift Valley. Children brought here by 'good samaritans' and local Chiefs and desperate members of extended families.

Repetition of themes and patterns for 153 children, there are no good reasons to be here. 

At playtimes I go and watch the children play and a happier, seemingly, carefree group of children you'd be pressed to find. Talking to matrons and patrons they tell a different story. 

I think about thresholds, absolute and relative poverty and a thousand other things as my senses are bombarded with the reality of the 153 children's lives. 

It's ok. I can manage the information when in isolation. 

In my mind I'm keeping the children and the stories apart, when they come together I falter.

Girls dormitory, Sure 24, Nakuru.
It will take time to unravel and make sense of all that I've seen. 


  1. Stories like this are heartbreaking. Some children lead such horrifically difficult lives.

  2. I'm not sure I could keep them apart in my mind, takes a strong person.

  3. I totally agree with Sezz.

    Thanks for sharing this on #WASO x