The Children of Kibera

To do a medical camp deep inside the Kibera Slums takes all the will power and strength one can muster.  By far this was the most challenging camp that Worldcomp has ever had.  The day started with complete confusion as we tried to figure out how to do a medical camp for the community in the small rooms of our Kibera Kids Center.  Our pickup truck with our medical supplies got caught in the jam in Nairobi and arrived several hours after us, so we had to begin the day with only two blood pressure cuffs, one thermometer, and few stethoscopes.  All of our medicine was on the truck and so was our camp director so we had to start without her.  After several hours of confusion we finally got the camp flowing.

While we were waiting we decided to go out and visit our Kara Kibera Kids who were all crammed into two little rooms to make room for the medical camp.  They came out into the compound and began to sing for us.  You just can’t believe how cute these little guys are.  Driving into the slums is always an experience.  The sights, sounds and smells (oh the smells) give you a sensory blowout.  Then you have to get out of the van and walk alongside of the open sewers for a while, dodging the sharp edges of the rusty metal roofs.  Once you get to the Center and see the kids you feel a little different because the faces of the kids cheer you up.  Just a few years ago it was a different story.  The kids were thin and sick and the Center was incredibly crude and filthy.  I have to say that the toilets are still completely unusable.  The kids use them, but I have no idea how they can stand the smell.  Some of the worst in Kenya.  We prayed with John and Mary that the Lord would provide the resources for building new latrines.

Although we got off to a rough start we saw over 200 patients from the community plus 75 of our Kibera kids.  Those from the community were mostly young women with their children.  Many of them were very sick.  Today we encountered cases of pneumonia, high fevers, major stomach problems and severe skin diseases.  It is not surprising because Kibera is one big open sewer and yet 1.3 million people live here in 5 square miles of slum.  Our Northwest University Nurses were true champions today.  They pushed their way through the challenges.  Also a woman here, named Karen Deines whose husband works for food for the hungry, volunteered to join us.  She hadn’t done a medical camp in many years, but her background is nursing in remote areas of Kenya.  It was such a blessing to have her because she is experienced enough to serve as one of our doctors during the day.

As we sat at the dinner table tonight and debriefed with the team of nurses, there were many tears, because all of us are so touched by the struggles of the children of Kibera.  They are the poorest of the poor in this world and it changes your whole perspective on life when you touch their lives.  I am so glad that God has called us here to do what we can to relieve their suffering and to show them the love of Christ.   Thank you again for sustaining us by your prayers and for giving us the resources to help these precious people.

Another medical camp tomorrow at our tuition free school in the slums of Dagoretti.

Very tired tonight, so I will bid you good night.

Blessings to you all
Richard Vicknair