Talitha Kum

Welcome to Talitha Kum Children’s Home

"Talitha Kum" is a word derived from the Bible (Mark 5:41).

When Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, He said to her, "Talitha Kum" which means: "Little girl arise".

The home aspires to give back the joy of childhood to children who never had one thus the name Talitha Kum Children's' Home.

welcome

About us

In October 1999, St. Martin CSA started community programme for HIV/AIDS when it became obvious that AIDS was a serious problem within its area of operation. A committee of 11 people was formed to work out the best ways to address HIV/AIDS pandemic. One of the priority interventions was community care and support for orphaned and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

Increase in AIDS related morbidity and mortality brought untold suffering to children, who lost basic closeness of family life, love, attention and affection coupled with lack of basic needs. Communities were faced with a new concept of orphaned children who could not remain within the extended family safety net. Human rights of children as an ethical imperative and the need to care for children as a key investment for future human development were underscored by immediate pressing needs.

During that period stigma of People Living with HIV/ AIDS, irrespective of age, was extremely high. The communities were particularly ill equipped to handle the psychosocial, emotional and health needs of HIV positive children. This left the children in a desperate position and suffered abandonment by their relatives and community. If not cared for such children suffered greatly. By 1999 there were about 200 such children in the Home's catchment area.

In spite of the enormous goodwill in the community to care for HIV positive orphans, their psychosocial, emotional and health needs transcends uncoordinated community responsibilities. Long before the children are neglected, the family members go through the trauma and hardship of caring for ill and dying parents. They are drained the will power to care and support HIV positive children who in absence of appropriate and timely intervention may not celebrate their fifth birthday.

It was in response to curb this that members thought of looking into possibilities of alienating deeper suffering of such children. Among options that came up was putting up a home that would accommodate such abandoned and/or desperate HIV positive children.

Talitha Kum Children's Home is home that provides a hybrid of institutional and community care to HIV positive orphaned and vulnerable children who cannot find immediate placement within the target community social safety nets. The word "Talitha Kum" is derived from the Bible (Mark 5:41), which means "Little girl arise" The Home aspires to provide holistic opportunity to the children to celebrate life every new day thus the name Talitha Kum Children's Home.

The Home envision a transformed society in which life is shared with the vulnerable people in the spirit of humility, love and self-giving. Towards realization of this vision, the Home creates a conducive environment where all are involved in caring and empowering the vulnerable people for a holistic transformation of all. This is done through deep rooted conviction that love gives life. If everything we do with the children is out of love then they have a future.

 

Formation of management Committee of Volunteers

In October 1999, a management committee of 11 volunteers was constituted to study in participatory way issues related to HIV/AIDS, causes, effects and impact in the immediate community. One of their immediate concerns was the plight of children orphaned or made vulnerable a result of HIV/AIDS. As a result of the magnitude of the need the committee proposed a home for destitute and/or abandoned HIV positive children.

 

Resource mobilization

When the management committee settled on a Home for destitute and abandoned HIV positive children they embarked on resource mobilization. Key to this was community involvement and participation to enlist ownership and sustainability. A series of awareness raising and fundraisings were conducted in the catchment area. Eventually in December 2003, the community had raised Kshs 3 million towards the construction of the home. Additional funds were sought elsewhere and by June 2005 the necessary infrastructures were in place and the Home was ready to receive the first lot of children.

 

Infrastructural Development

The Home is built on 3 acres piece of land and has the following facilities and assets:

The main house with six units each with a capacity of 14 children. Each unit contains a living room/ dinning room, dormitory, houseparent room and washroom. Other facilities in the main house include administrator's wing, hall, chapel, kitchen, infirmary, meeting room and study rooms. All these facilities are well equipped to meet the needs of the children.

-2 Boy's dormitories. These accommodates 28 boys between ages 12-22 years and has three additional self contained rooms for house father and volunteers.

- Laundry equipped with three dry cleaning machines

- Concrete water tank with a capacity of 40,000 litres.

- Raised plastic water tank with a capacity of 10,000 litres

- 3 Second hand 14 seater vans.

 

First intake of children

The first group of six children was received in the Home in July 2005. The committee decided to take the children progressively to give the administrators and care givers an opportunity to grow with the children and learn from them. By December 2007, the Home had 60 HIV positive children to its full capacity.

 

Pain and Bereavement

Talitha Kum Children's Home opened its doors with a promise to give back childhood to those who never had one. Tears of joy engulfed the air as the community saw a new beginning, a new life and a renewed hope for the first group of HIV positive children. The Home has lost 10 children up to now. This was devastating, traumatizing and the blossoming flower seemed to be drying up. The future became uncertain but one important lesson emerged. The Home was there to add life in the days of the children but not days in their life through undying care, genuine and unconditional love.

 

Linkages and integration

The Home embarked on awareness campaign and community mobilisation to enlist participation and involvement of all within the target community. Since inception, the Home has established working relationship with many institutions; schools, churches, hospitals, civil societies and individuals and managed to integrate the children in all aspects of community life. On average 500 people visit the children every month.

Activities of the Home

Shelter

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The Home has a total population of  81 children, 43 girls and 38 boys. Children are provided with standard accommodation facilities approved by the Public Health Office. The children are cared for by government approved housemothers and housefathers. They live in family units of 12 children under a house parent and share life as a family. The houseparent's are entrusted with the daily welfare and upbringing of the children.

 

Medical

The children are offered frequent health checkups at the Public Hospital. There are 3 volunteer physicians who offer free medical check-up at the Home on monthly. The Home has also established referral hospitals where they are offered subsidized rates. There is a  clinician in the Home who takes care of the medical needs of the children. 80 percent of the children are on antiretroviral therapy. These are life saving drugs which at the moment are provided by the government. However for those children who develop resistance to first line of treatment, the Home has purchase second line of treat at Kes.4,000 per child per month.

Education

Currently our home hosts 81 children, 38 of which  are in the 1st level of primary education in the neighbouring public schools while 30 are in secondary school and 4 children are in pre school this year 2018.  One (1) girl is in vocational training and another one is a special school following her health condition. There is also one young girl who is yet to be enrolled in school.The Home has seven youths who competed their secondary education and are now undertaking various courses in different colleges in the country.

While primary education is highly subsidized by the government, secondary education is expensive with annual fees of Kshs 40,000 per annum all inclusive.

 

 

 

                                                                          

Spiritual support

smallThe children are provided with spiritual nourishment with the Home. The caretakers go through formation in order to support the children adequately without intimidating their spiritual growth. The Home community also participates in spiritual life of Nyahururu Catholic Parish.

 

 Social support

The children are offered guidance and counselling services in the Home on a weekly basis and whenever need arises. They are also are empowered on personal responsibility and general life skills. They participate in extracurricular activities within and outside the Home with other children. The caretakers go through monthly continuous learning to constantly renew their motivation and refresh their knowledge and skills in working with the children.

Food

The children are provided with nutritious diet that supports their immuno-suppressed immunity. A lot of the food consumed in the Home is contributed by the community. However, the nutritional content and volume depend and on the season and is limited to the crops grown in the area. The Home manages a kitchen garden and keeps some livestock to cut on food costs, supplement the diet and provide an opportunity for the children to participate in some chores as they would do back in the community.

Outreach programme

The Home reaches out to other HIV positive children and community through awareness raising and community mobilization. This has been instrumental in sustaining community involvement and participation in support of the children and other children in need in the community. Through the outreach programme the children are also able to keep in touch with their relations and community at large.

Management

The Home is managed by a committee of 15 volunteers. These are representative of the community and give a strong link between the Home and the community. This enlists a sense of ownership of the Home by the immediate community. The Home is currently administered by 4 sisters of Dimesse congregation and 1 lay person. They live in the same roof with the children and oversee the day to day management of the Home.

Community participation

 

The community participants actively in all aspects of the Home.Young people offer voluntary services, different people volunteer professional services and one-third of food and clothing budget is contributed by the community through in kind contributions. This has sustained active relationship between the Home and the community.                                         

 

 

 Financing

Currently the Home is financed by the comunity through well-wishers from both churches, schools and other different publics.

Forecasting

In December 2008, when all the children went home for Christmas holidays one child did not come back. The grandmother felt that the child was no longer vulnerable (in terms of immuno-suppression) and she was ready to care for his grandchild. After sever meetings with the grandmother and assessment of the situation it was agreed she was able to care for the child and it was in the best interest of the child.

The Home envisage a future where the children will find a conducive home after stabilizing to be reintegrated back to the community and create space for other destitute HIV positive children. However an outreach programme needs to be sought out to ensure the wellbeing of reintegrated children.

 

Vision and Mission

vision

Our Vision

A transformed society in which life is shared with the vulnerable people in the spirit of humility, love and self-giving.

 

 

 

 

 

mission

Our Mission

To create a conducive environment where all are involved in caring and empowering the vulnerable people for a holistic transformation of all.

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