Rotary’s Each One Feed One Program Nourishes the Homeless of Nairobi

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When the Rotary and Rotaract clubs of Nairobi Lang’ata converged at the North Highridge Primary School play grounds last month, theirs was a calling personified in John Bunyan, who in his literary works emphasised services that transformed humanity without strings attached.
In one of his book, Bunyan said: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

They are words that philanthropist and principal of Regis School, Clifford ‘Odijo’ Oluoch, who was to be their host on August 20 embodies, and which the Rotarians were determined to help him leave them.
On this day, he had brought the family of Rotary and Rotaract Clubs to meet his family of street children to share a meal and feed the minds of all present guided by their goal of Each One Feed One program to share nuggets of wisdom, mentorship as well as feed 150 children aged between 5 to 17 years from the “Homeless of Nairobi” foundation he manages.
On this day, dust in North Highridge Primary School’s playground rose high as the Rotarians and Rotaractors joined the pupils in games and danced to a fun-filled day, before breaking to impart the young children rescued from dangerous street life with life skills to guide them in their future life.

“Every day, Homeless of Nairobi prepares hot meals at the Deep-Sea Slums in Highridge to be distributed to Nairobi’s homeless population. In line with our year’s theme of Imagine Rotary, we brought our Rotaractors along to connect with selfless leaders like Clifford to create a better future for the beneficiaries,” said Abdi Dubat, President of RFC-Lang’ata adding: “We are hopeful that this will evolve into a long-term partnership with Homeless of Nairobi.”
Odijo Foundation birthed The Homeless of Nairobi which has transformed the lives of 90 children and youth rescued from the streets. Odijo Foundation provides young homeless people with food, shelter, clothing, counselling services and basic education.
As the sun scorched overhead signaling lunchtime, Zena, the lead Coordinator of the Homeless of Nairobi program beckoned for Rotarians to arrange wooden benches in front of the metal and wooden kitchen structure. Service Projects Director Jannet Gachoya led the Rotarians as they placed 20-litre bucket loads of fried rice, chapati and beef stew on top of the benches ready for service. Zena has been with the program since inception where she acted as a crucial link between HoN and the Deep-Sea slums. She traded glue and drugs from the street boys for a plate of hot food.

The children streamed eagerly in single file to get a taste of Zena’s sumptuous cooking.
Zena, who is a chef by profession, desires for people to enjoy a good meal. She has expertly learned how to measure food and find the right places to get ingredients at affordable prices, which she now does selflessly.
“It makes me happy when I see people enjoying my food,” she quickly says as she shouts an order for stew refill.

Odijo dedicates his life to serving street children who are rejected by everyone else. “The Gachie Children’s Home is the success story of 35 rescued children who have gone back to school and stayed the course. Josephat Gato who scored 434 marks in KCPE is such a person,” he said.
With a shared membership of 178 members across both clubs, the Rotary Club of Lang’ata works to give back to the community through the seven areas of focus including Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, Economic and Community Development and Environment.
Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 and older to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service. In communities worldwide, Rotary and Rotaract members work side by side to take action through service.

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