A short autobiography from one of our dear friends, Nana. Beautifully written.
I was born in 19th August 1990 in the village of Kanjahi in Murang’a central, Kenya. A month later my mother moved to Nairobi City to live with my step dad in a small one-room house at a slum (Kariua) right at the outskirt of Nairobi town. My mother had very little education and therefore she could not find a job. During the day she would sell chicken heads and legs and this is what we also ate. At night she would take the 3 of us; my sister, my half-brother and I to beg for money in the streets of Nairobi and we would spend the night there sleeping in sacks on the street floor in the cold. God took care of us.
In early 1994, one evening as we were on our usual routine of begging for money for food which in real sense my mother and step father spent most of it on alcohol, God sent a Ugandan pastor (Pastor Enos Baxic Ouma). He saw us and asked why we were out at night begging for money and where our mother was. We took him to our mother and after a long talk with her, my mother told us that we were going to go with this pastor to a home with nice beds and all that we needed. It took a lot of convincing for me to go with him while on the other hand, my sister was very excited. I can remember I was convinced with 5 Kenya shillings to go with him. My mother also promised to visit us often.
Life at the orphanage was better than being a street family.
Few months later, my sister ran back to the streets and even tried to convince me to go with her back in the streets but I was adamant and refused. At some point, life at the Orphanage Centre was challenging because we depended on donation and when it lacked, sometimes we would have 1 meal a day, sleep 4 of us in one bed, and borrow clothes and shoes from each other. Education was also a challenge as we were taught by volunteers with no pay, we neither had enough books nor desks, we were sitting on stones and writing on our laps as desks and we also didn’t have class rooms and therefore we shared a big hall with a dusty floor from class 1 to 8. I tell myself everyday that growing up at the Dagoretti Corner Child Care Program (D.C.C.C.P) was the best thing that happened in my life. We never knew what tomorrow will bring but as I know God takes care of the orphans and He tells us (Mathew 6:25-35) not to worry about tomorrow as He will take care of it and for sure He has been taking care of me every day of my life. Our motor was “We live by Faith”.
A week before my mother passed away in 1998, I met her at a Coca Cola company party that we and all the street families had been invited. She asked me to never leave the orphanage until I finish School and not to run away like my sister. Few months later my sister came and she literally dragged me to come with her to the streets but I fought her and refused to go with her. In December 2002, my story was featured in the National News Paper (Daily Nation). In less than a month, well-wishers came with offers of adopting me and others were interested in paying for my Education and anything else I needed until I finish school. Pastor Enos knew that God wanted to use me in His own way and having to be adopted in a good home was not an option and therefore he turned down all the offers of adoption. I got sponsored to one of the best International School in Kenya both higher primary and secondary school while I was still living at the orphanage. God takes care of the orphans.
After my high school, my wish was to go to University. Pastor Enos could not afford and he asked me to wait God will take care of it. Having lived in the orphanage my whole life at this moment I said to myself I can look for a job while I wait to go to University. In December 2009 I decided to go live with my grandmother who lived in one of the biggest slums in Kenya, Mathare slums. Life became much harder as neither of us was working. My grandmother would walk the whole day begging for food from the market for a meal for us. A month later I got a job as a sales lady earning 60 U$D a month. 3 months later I got another job in a computer shop earning 70 U$D a month. After 2 months I decided to quit my job and go serve in church. I joined Drama and Dance club in church as these were the things I enjoyed doing. In 31 Dec. 2010 as we were celebrating the last day of the year, a friend came and asked me if I wanted a job at a restaurant. I had mixed feelings about this but my heart desired to go to University as I knew the only way to do that is to get a better paying job.
I started working as a waitress at Artcaffe Coffee House in January 2011 and this was a turn-around for me and my family. I was able to pay rent for a better and bigger house for my grandmother and put food on our table every day. I joined University and I pay for my Undergraduate degree which I’ll be done within a years’ time from now. Working at Artcaffe was just the beginning of God’s work in me as I have been able to meet people from all over the world. 4 years later I got a job at the Argentine Embassy as an Assistant Consular. God has taken me from glory to glory and He has continued to be faithful in my life as every day I see His endless love. He has taken me to places I never knew I could go. I have sat on tables with people of high Social class and Authority that I never saw myself. Growing up at the orphanage, I never got the attention and love that every child deserve but I can say for sure that it was the best way to nature me into the woman I have become. My wish is to go out there and share my love with the Orphans, share my story and show them that they are not in this world alone as God takes care of the Orphans.