Susan Owour Njuguna is a sweet, loving, caring, polite and understanding mother of 17 children, a resident of Nairobi Kayole area. To the ears of many the word mother means a female biological parent of any child but to my understanding it means any female parent who brings up a child and gives her/him the maternal love and care.
Susan is naturally attracted to children not simply because she is a mother but hers is a calling. The reason being at her early teens (a young girl of class six) she rescued a young boy of standard three who was an orphan and since the boy was suffering in school she made a decision of taking him to her mother’s home. she had no problem with Susan’s ‘big heart’ so she generously welcomed the boy home as if he were her own. She even went a step further to encourage Susan and other children in the neighbourhood to follow Susan’s footsteps.
Due to her mother’s encouragement, Susan’s calling had gotten a spiritual boost so when she was in form two she identified four more orphans who to her knowledge and understanding were vulnerable. So, just like the standard three boy, who in this case we call Allan she still took them to her caring and welcoming mother. Again, they were welcomed home. This time round , Susan’s mother did not escape the daily rumour of the village, and even earned the nickname ‘Redcross’ and Susan’s home changed to ‘IDP camp’.
Susan did not only have love for children but love for knowledge too. So after her O-levels, she proceeded to college and did auto-motive engineering. Surprisingly, after college she did not practice but got married and started a cool family whereby she got two children in that marriage but unfortunately the husband died in the year two thousand and eleven. While married her love for children got another boost for her husband too loved children so with that overwhelming support she decided instead of volunteering to children homes as she had gotten used to she should start
her own and help more children.
So in the year two thousand and seven she registered Elrol Hope Centre which is currently a home to her, her two children and fifteen more children. They all live under one roof which is unfortunately a rental house. After meeting her, I came to learn that she is a loving mother who appreciates that she is not perfect that is why she even takes a step ahead and organizes camping
sessions so that they can be helped where she can’t.
CHILDREN IN A TRAUMA HEALING CAMP.
Tuesday the twentieth was a great morning for me and my five other friends as we acted on our weekends plan to visit Susan and her family at the Amazing Grace Rescue Centre in Alpso area in Ng’ong Nairobi. On arrival we were welcomed by Timothy Njoroge who is a son to Beatrice Njoroge who is the owner of the Amazing Grace Rescue Centre, and who is also working with a hundred other children centres in Nairobi who has come together so as to help each other sort out the problems arising in each of them.
Before meeting the children, we shared a very brief meeting with Susan who did some orientation and mobility in the camp. The teachers to the children we met are simply awesome. We even learnt that the children who were camping there were not only from Elrol centre but also from Kayole Street Girls Centre and Muthure Children’s home and since it was the beginning of the camp four more were expected the next day.
After interviewing Susan and Beatrice we for the first time in our lives were shocked to have met citizens who congratulated the government by saying that they work closely with the government (Ministry of Education, Agriculture, The Nairobi County Children’s Office and police not leaving out chiefs). As the interview went on they thanked and called for the media to take time in exposing the bad things that happen to children and give more airtime to what should be done to help the children whether ok or vulnerable.
Apart from Susan and Beatrice sighting the problems that the children have, we evidently saw it with our own eyes as a child they called ‘Ocampo’ fainted in our presence due to excitement which he should not face. Surprisingly the child should also not get annoyed by anybody for he has seizure which came about due to trauma he has always had as a result of molestation by relatives, neglect by parents on his day one on earth where he was left helpless in the hospital and an act of sodomy he faced. We also met Belinda a young girl in high school form two in Kayole Girls School who fell from a bed while in class seven and got a spine injury which has forced her to always walk bending like a 120-year old woman while she is a young beautiful girl who if underwent the right treatment could catwalk in the streets like other girls of her age.
Even though all the orphans and vulnerable children in the society need help the above two named children (Ocampo and Belinda) need immediate financial help that will lead to their good health status. If anybody feels like they can help, the right lines to call are; Susan Njuguna at 0722929808 and Beatrice Njoroge @ 0723750636 but the children do not only need financial help but also social help whereby you can reach the above numbers and then go spend an hour or two with them. As we left the camp, so many questions were left unanswered, why is it that a parent could neglect/abandon their own biological child? And why on earth could a parent molest/mistreat their own blood? Finally, why can’t everybody and we are all human beings, be like Susan and Beatrice?
Story by: Sar Qobiqom.