The Woman Behind “Caring for the Children of Africa”

Originally posted on VICDA:
Annie Annie Copley of Adelaide, Australia first journeyed to Kenya as a GVN volunteer in 2006. Little did she know, the three months spent counseling HIV/AIDS patients in Nairobi’s slum areas would completely change the direction…

Christmas Dinner for families at Manjani Mingi

Most of you who either know me personally or who have read this blog for a while know about my connection with Kenya. Seven years ago I left my marketing job, packed my bags and journeyed to Nairobi where I … Continue reading

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Amboseli National Park in Kenya was my first ever safari experience, back in November 2006. Weyn, a fellow volunteer, was planning a solo visit to Amboseli  before heading home and when I got a call over breakfast letting me know … Continue reading

Lamu Island, Kenya

Most of today was spent copying my very first set of Kenya images over into Lightroom in order to back them up and to look through them with fresh eyes. When I journeyed to Lamu with Karen, Emma and Tessa … Continue reading

Winter. Winta. Wiiintaaa.

Tuesday night found me boarding a taxi at the tail end of a blizzard, shedding my winter coat, and double checking to see that I’d packed enough SPF 45.  My destination, you wonder?  No, not a beach somewhere exotic – not … Continue reading

A Small Act

A few months back, my Aunt Jan told me about this documentary and I put it in my Netflix queue.  Since then, I’d forgotten about it until it arrived last week.  A Small Act tells the true story of a Kenyan man named Chris and the woman in Sweden, Hilde, who sponsored his education through a sponsorship program.  As a result of Hilde’s small act many years ago, Chris decides to start a sponsorship program in her name to assist other bright children from needy families.  The film is beautifully shot and the stories of Kimani, Ruth and Caroline, three hopeful students vying for the scholarship, is told against the backdrop of the election violence that took place in Kenya in 2007 and 2008.


In so many ways Chris’ story reminds me of my dear friend, Irene Wairimu.  Like Chris, Irene came from a needy family in the same area and relied upon well wishers and sponsors to pay for her education through high school.  Like Chris, Irene has taken this one step further and has dedicated her life to helping needy Kenyans through VICDA.  Time and time again, Irene has told me, “Jenni, education is the only way to break the cycle of poverty in these villages.  Without education no one can move forward and the desperation continues.”  When she first moved to Nairobi and worked as a house girl Irene would set aside a portion of her very small income and sponsor the education of her siblings and members of her community in Central Provence.  As Hilde points out in the film, she didn’t have much but it just felt normal to donate what she had to a child.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who is or ever has sponsored a child.  Education is so important, especially in developing countries, and sponsoring a child really is a small act that can have an enormous influence on their life.  If you are looking for a child to sponsor, I recommend checking out VICDA’s Child Sponsorship page.