1 October 2012

Seva - Sept 23rd - Mathare slums

Over 15 of us gathered on Sunday 23rd for Seva. At 11am the group joyously departed for the slums, for most it was the first time visit to a slum area. Parking the bus at a secure petrol station nearby, we were met by our guide and we walked cautiously into the slums a kilometre away.

 The reality on the ground on how the less fortunate lived was difficult to digest and absorb by all of us. Few expected to see open sewers passing by the front of the rusted metal sheet houses held by nails, all touching each other with very narrow alleys and accommodating anywhere between 6 to 10 family members in one room size 2 mtrs by 4 mtrs. The only light into the houses was from a clear metal sheet on top. In this particular area it is estimated that over 200,000 people live this way. We were welcomed very warmly into 3 of the houses and we spent some time talking to and encouraging the families who lived there.

An hour later we left and made our way back to where our bus was parked with heavy hearts, the silence on the walk back very noticeable.  A very clear lesson for us to appreciate and not take for granted what we are blessed with. Having gifted some food provisions to the three families who welcomed us into their homes at the secure parking spot, we drove next to Fountain of Life boys home.

On arrival at the boys home we were greeted by Mama Florence who runs it. She gave a brief history of the home, and the food provisions were presented to Mama whilst we were waiting for the lunch to be prepared for serving.  We were given a quick tour of the dormitory and then met the boys who sang a song for us. Food was soon ready and we all started serving lunch to the 50 boys. Before we knew it, it was already 2.30 pm and time to go back to our bountiful homes and lives. Very happy goodbyes were exchanged and we were on our way back.

The feelings and satisfaction felt during this seva could be summed up by a quote from Mother Teresa, 
“Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love..”

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