The current global pandemic has truly created a time like no other. With many all over the world facing especially tough and life-altering circumstances, we knew it was essential for us to somehow make a difference to our community in Africa.
Four weeks ago, we began making donations to the most vulnerable families and individuals affected by the virus in Africa.
All the proceeds from our ongoing sale are being donated, which is why we couldn't have done it without you; our wonderful customers.
We feel unbelievably overwhelmed and grateful to announce the number of donations has risen to 4,891.
These donations are continuing to help those who risk facing dehydration and starvation as a result of the lockdown measures, as well as many other cases including Wings of Hope Rescue Home.
In last week's blog post, we shared Mercy's story who's life has completely changed after being at the home for almost five years.
This week, we want to continue showing you how your support is influencing more teenage girls in need in Africa.
Wings of Hope
Wings of hope rescue home is a charity organization involved with rescuing of homeless and unsupported pregnant teenage girls (ages 11-17), victims of rape and child sexual abuse.
We asked Irwin - one of the Directors at Wings of Hope - a number of questions about the home. Here are his inspirational and moving answers:
What inspired you to start Wings of Hope Rescue Home?
"My push to start Wings of hope rescue home started after I visited a children home for abandoned babies. I encountered stories of innocent babies having been rescued after being thrown in pit latrines immediately after birth, others had been rescued from deserted construction sites, others had been tied up in polythene bags and left by the road side. Most of the babies at the home were fighting for their lives and actually I was told a number of them never made it, they passed on because of delayed help coming their way.
The rate of abortions in Kenya too broke my heart. Mothers committing murder by destroying the unborn babies in the womb. Most of the mothers in the process also lost their lives because of the abortion incidences.
The aforementioned plus other secondary reasons compelled me to seek a way to play a part in the mitigation of the damage being caused. I had no money or the required resources, but one thing was clear: I cannot sit by and watch the vice graph grow. I knew in my own small way, I can be of positive impact.
After a long time analysis and research, I realised, the women mostly got in these mix are young girls/women, surrounded with hopeless and lack of parental care and guidance. The teenagers mostly are taken advantage of, raped and some lured into sex, for them to be provided for essential needs like food, sanitary towels among others. In the process they conceive, and with hopelessness staring wide at them, they opt to do an abortion or to abandon their babies after delivery."
How did you come about the name Wings of Hope Rescue Home?
"The name Wings of hope rescue home was formulated from the stories of the group I wanted to help whose origin was inhibited with hopelessness and lack of support and care. So I needed to start a wing of charity that would specifically seek to address the hopelessness in the teenage mothers and instead assure them that even with the baby in her life there is still hope and a great future ahead for both of them. A name that would carry both the organization’s vision and tag line. This could only be Wings of hope rescue home."
How many are currently at Wings of Hope?
"Wings of hope rescue home currently has 22 teenage girls and 18 born babies i.e. 3 teenage girls are yet to deliver. The home has a staff population of 8 and 4 volunteers."
How do they learn about Wings of hope?
"For admission at Wings of hope rescue home, one has to be seconded by the Government employed children officer from their jurisdiction.
The needy and abused teenage girls are mostly identified by the local authorities with assistance from the villagers in the different areas. The local authorities then approach the children officers.
The children officers after analysing and verifying the case status, they then get in touch with Wings of hope rescue home. In the case of a vacancy, they then go ahead to request for admission in writing and provide the required documentations for admission."
What challenges do you face at the moment?
"Wings of hope delights in supporting as many desperate pregnant teenage girls as possible. However limitations and stumbling blocks imposes the unwarranted: turning back girls who should be at our facility.
These challenges include :
1. Faciities and Equipments
Currently, we have the capacity to accommodate 50 girls at any particular time. We are however faced with a scenario where we reject admissions for lack of beds, mattresses, blankets, bed sheets among other necessary equipments. The home’s current population is 22 teenage mothers instead of 50 because of this main limitation.
2. Essential Services
The backbone of Wings of hope are essential services like Counselling, psychological therapy, medical services, guidance and mentorship.
These services require that we have funds in form of money to acquire and pay the service providers. Due to lack of funds, we are left to rely on volunteer service providers who are very few and not consistent in providing these essential services.
3. School fees
Wings of hope rescue home's ultimate prayer is that all the girls at the facility get an education and professional training thereafter. Currently 85% of the teen mothers are back in school. The major challenge is raising their termly school fees. Most of the time, the mothers get sent away from school due to unpaid school fees, and stay back at the facility many days on end as we seek for funds: this has negatively impacted on their school performances.
4. House rent
The building Wings of hope rescue home occupies now is a rented facility: 25 rooms block. Most of the time we lag behind on the payment due to scarce resources.
Our prayer is that God will make a way where Wings of hope rescue home will be able to get funds, buy land and construct a decent home for the girls where no monthly rent will be required. The facility envisioned should be inclusive of a medical/health facility, a school and skill training institute for the teenage mothers and their babies.
5. Food and clothing
Food for both the teenage mothers and food for their babies has been a daily challenge. We always call upon well wishers to come and donate food stuffs and clothing."
What is the most rewarding part about what you do?
"Its very satisfying to me and to the team working at Wings of hope rescue home:
1. When we hold a new born baby every time while at Wings of hope rescue home.
The successful birth of each baby reminds me of the many who did not see the light of day because they were aborted or they died in abandonment. We live as a family and every single one of us wants to be in hospital whenever we take a pregnant teenager for delivery.
The responsibility of naming the babies has been vested in me, it gives me great joy and satisfaction when I prayerfully seek God to give me a name for each born baby. Not just a name but name that will have a positive impact in the future life of that baby.
Bringing the teenage mother and baby back at Wings of hope rescue home after delivery from hospital is normally overshadowed with song and dance by the entire Wings of hope rescue home family. The joint thanksgiving prayers after that, wow.. it gives me much joy and impetus to continue doing this.
2. When I see the determination in the teenage mothers to succeed.
Most of the teenage mothers are very bright in school. And they are very determined to excel and make a future for themselves. Severally, they have brought awards back to me after excelling in school Examination. This gives me fulfilment.
I have severally attended school parents meetings and during prize giving sessions, the name Wings of hope rescue home home has repeatedly filled the air because of the commendable performance of our teenage mothers.
3. When appreciated by the teenage mothers themselves.
The words: THANK YOU
This word means a lot, especially coming from the teenage mothers at Wings of hope. Most of them break into tears in appreciation of what the home has done to them and where it has taken them from.
They most sincerely appreciate the fact that they have been given another opportunity to go to school. For most of them thought they would never step into a classroom again because of the bitter pill the world had offered them.
They will always come to me to say THANK YOU.
4. When appreciated by visitors and people who hear about Wings of hope rescue home and visit to see.
Wings of hope rescue home visitors really appreciate and some will join hands with us and pray for us claiming what we do is difficult and very commendable. This delights my heart and I know because of their prayers, we get the strength to move on."
What advice will you give to someone who wants create a rescue home like yourself?
Our little sisters and daughters are going through tough moments and seasons and they need someone to hold their hand. They need a father figure. In times present, we have many fathers but no one to play the role of a father. As the world develops, vices are on the increase, and they have penetrated into the family unite.
I would encourage any one willing to venture this course to come up, lets join hands and be there for the generation that is our little sisters and daughters who are being forced into oblivion by a society that has turned into wild than human.
2. Be courageous
The field has its challenges and oppositions but in God should be your trust above anything else. Government policies, procedural guidelines, finances and many more huddles will tend to wear you down but determination, patience and trusting upon God will win you the victory you desire."
It is incredibly moving and inspiring to read how this wonderful charity has impacted the life of so many girls including Mercy - and to know that more lives can be changed through support and help from us all.
Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to help Wings of Hope, along with an additional 4,890 donations that have been made so far.
We will continue to share stories so you are able to see the impact you're making towards the community in Africa.