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Talitha Kum Children’s Home

talitha-kumTalitha Kum Children’s Home was founded out of an experience of one of the St. Martin CSA Community Programmes; that of HIV/AIDS Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

In the late 1990s, just before the introduction of ARVs, the programme realized that most of its beneficiaries, who passed on, left their children under the care of their relatives who were already drained of the will power to care for them as a result of their experience with their parents before death. Some of the relatives were elderly and ill prepared for this taxing responsibility.

During this period, there was also a lot of stigma about HIV/AIDS and not many families were ready to take in these orphans, most of whom were also HIV positive. This issue was discussed by the programme together with the community and it was felt that if an institution would be put up, these children would be offered residential care and the community at large would still participate by offering the necessary support; financial, material, moral and social.

The programme together with the volunteers therefore embarked on extensive community mobilization to raise funds and community support in order to put up the proposed institution. A series of awareness raising and mobilization activities were carried out in the community. A total of Kes 2,703,911 was raised and an immeasurable amount of goodwill received towards the construction of the home.

Together with the support of other partners, the construction of the Home began in December 2003 and was completed in January 2005 although the landscaping continued into 2006. The following facilities were put up: two halls, two offices, six housing units each with a capacity of 14 children, a chapel, sisters’ house, a store, a kitchen a laundry, an infirmary and a meeting room: all as a unit. The house has a capacity to accommodate 84 children.

Early 2005, a committee of eleven people was constituted to oversee the running of the Home together with a team from Dimesse Sisters. Crucial to this team was to ensure that the responsibly of caring for the children is not taken away from the community.

The Home was named ‘Talitha Kum’, a word from the bible (Mark 5:41). When Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, He said to her, “Talitha Kum” which means, little girl arise up. The Home aspires to give hope to HIV positive children who were left in desperate situation.

In July 2005, the first lot of 5 children was received in the Home. The committee decided to take the children progressively, twenty every year. This was to give the managers and care givers an opportunity to grow with the children and learn from, by December 2005, 20 children had been admitted in the Home.

The experience with the children has been a turning point in the lives of many who have interacted with them. The Home has been a spring of blessings and an opportunity for visiting groups to redefine their faith.

Since its inception, the Home has lost 6 children. Currently the Home has a total number of 60 children whose ages range from 4 to 6 years. 46 of the children are enrolled in public primary schools while 14 of them attend the pre-school in the Home.

 

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