|By Innocent Baluge|
The weekend at Dorothea Rescue Centre
On Wednesday 30th November, it was announced that on Saturday, 3rd December, the Community Outreach Programme (COP) would be visiting Dorothea Rescue Centre in Komarock, a home that rescues, rehabilitates, and reforms former street girls from Nairobi and Machakos counties. The Centre currently takes care of 30 girls. Initially, only 30 slots were available. Our volunteers’ WhatsApp group has over 250 participants, who, as soon as the activity announcement is made, fill up all the slots. Their sign up speed is, in my opinion, faster than the speed of light. Luckily enough, 10 more slots were added and this time round, I managed to secure a slot.
Early on Saturday morning, the journey began. I expected that the activity would be like any other, that is, get started on various chores at the Centre, play with the children, prepare a meal, and at the end of the day, engage in a ‘Gumzo’ over a cup of tea at Siwaka. However, this was not the case. I should have known, right from the ride to the Centre that this day would be out of the ordinary. We used a different route from the usual, which made the trip feel like a mini-road trip. All the while, the volunteers engaged in plenty of banter with some enjoying a game of poker with some music in the background. The camaraderie among COP volunteers fascinates me a lot.
On arrival, we were met with broad smiles and warm hugs from the girls at the Centre, who were accompanied by Sr. Nancy and the Moms, a team of cheerful ladies who care for them. We were informed that one of the girls at the Centre was celebrating her 11th birthday and we were on time for the cake-cutting ceremony. Living up to the catchy phrase ‘Mapema Ndio Best’, we had one of the volunteers emcee the event and the Team joined in song and dance that undoubtedly set the pace for the day. The air felt even lighter. We swiftly divided ourselves into smaller groups in which we would do the day’s tasks that majorly featured cooking, mentoring and playing with the children.
With a much-needed sugar boost from some juice and biscuits, we then converged at the well-manicured field for some fun. As some played football, the music system was being set up and as soon as the first song played, I knew that this afternoon was only getting better. If dancing was the only way to save our lives in the face of danger, some people would have seen the sun rise once more while others, not so. The core of the matter is that although they could only move their bodies, they had a lot of fun while at it!
Lunch was served and in no time, we were on the journey back to the University. In true COP fashion, we converged for a cup of tea as we shared interesting discoveries we had made in the course of the week. In all ways, this activity was one for the books!
This article was written by a Bachelor of Business Information Technology student.