I first volunteered at Hekima Place in Kenya in 2007. Kate Fletcher is the dynamic leader and compassionate founder of this home for girls. The connection to the community and involvment with the development of the whole child kept me returning to work with her and the girls. I volunteered again in 2009 and2010. My niece is going in 2013 in my stead. What a wonderful place to make a difference in the lives of girls.
I first volunteered at Hekima Place (HP) in 2007. I returned in 2009 &2010. Each time was better than the last as I was a known entity to the girls, school staff where the girls attended school, the mums and uncles at HP and the neighbors in the town of Karen nearby. Working with the girls on homework, assisting in the classrooms during the day or helping Kate Fletcher in any way she needed me was a wonderful opportunity to personally have a bit of a chance to help in the raising up of these girls, helping them to see their own value and to be able to effect in a small way the advancement of women in Kenya.
I volunteered at Hekima Place for six weeks early in 2012 and went to Kenya expecting to make a difference in the lives of the girls of Hekima. But instead, they made a difference in my life. They taught me how they find joy in the simple things of life, they taught me how they seek solace and understanding through their devout love of God, and lastly, they taught me how they rally from their adversities through the avenues of academia and the love and support of their family – the Hekima Family.
But most of all, the Hekima girls taught me about unconditional love – their ability to love their adoptive Hekima Family as well as their their birth families, who often abused or abandoned them, and the capacity to love their country, the country that discriminates against the female population. I thank the women of Hekima Place: the babies, the small children, the teenagers, the young women, the Mums, and Mum Kate. I thank all of them for making a difference in my life.
Earlier this year my husband and I had the privilege of volunteering for over a month at Hekima Place. Because we had been sponsoring one of the girls for several years we arrived with a prior knowledge of the wonderful physical set-up and the overall organization. What we didn't anticipate was the love and affection that is evident all day every day. It begins with Kate, the founder, director and competent administrator who loves each and every child. Kate was ill and thus out of sight for much of our first week. We will never ever forget the scene of her walking unsteadily and slowly, making her first appearance outside in about 5 days. The girls all raced to see and to touch her. A couple of the older ones, without being asked, sprinted across the spacious grassy area to get a chair for Kate. She in turn took the time to say something warm and loving to each child. We just watched, our eyes filled with tears. Approximately 10 to a house(and there are 4) the girls live with their"sisters" and a competent, caring house mum. We became very attached to these special women who make no secret of their love of the girls... some even take girls who are without families to their own homes during school holiday periods. In a myriad of ways we witnessed the love the girls have for their "sisters" of all ages in their houses, for their "sisters" in the other houses and for their "sisters" who used to live with them but are now boarding at High School. The latter come "home" to visit on school holidays. My husband spent a considerable amount of time working outside with the staff who are men. He was often touched by the affection they displayed for the girls. While there is much to be said about the merits of Hekima Place the love that permeates the atmosphere was our most significant impression. We will be back because we are part of the Hekima family and proud of it. Isobel St Georges
Ten of us from Hilbert College in Hamburg, NY recently spent a week at Hekima Place, helping around the property during the day and then spending time in the evening with the girls, helping them with their homework and reading. It was a wonderful experience. The girls were so appreciative of the little we were able to do, and we definitely created some lasting friendships while we were there. Hekima Place does a wonderful job of creating a home-like atmosphere for the girls there. It is obvious that they all care about and love each other. I was touched by the birthday celebration held for one of the girls while we were there--the heartfelt sentiments expressed by the girls for their "sister" were wonderful. Kate and the moms are doing an excellent job of instilling self-esteem, self-respect, and the importance of education in all of the girls. I wish nothing but success to Hekima Place and all of the girls there.
It is my great pleasure to spend time with Kate, her staff and girls on some Sunday mornings. The wecome that my brother Jim and I receive whenever we visit warms my heart. And it is such fun to have Kate's two dogs greet us then run around with the children. The children are engaging and articulate. They listen when I talk with them, and they express their gratitude for gifts that I bring for them. They seem genuinely happy to see me. The staff - house mothers and grounds keeper and gardeners - are also pleasant to be around - and greet me when i come. It is a joy to arrive at the grounds - the surroundings are so well kept - lovely flowers blooming, gardens full of growing maize and other vegetables. And the buildings are so colourful - and the attitude of the children reflect the acceptance and love shown them. The best thing for me is that the girls seem so happy and at ease around each other, Kate and the staff, and when and if there is a need for correction it is done respectfully and lovingly.
I volunteered at Hekima Place for a month in 2007. I had not expected that I would still be involved with this organization for the long-run, but I was so impressed by what I experienced there. The girls are happy in this family-like situation, and refer to each other as "sisters". They realize the wonderful educational opportunities that have been offered to them, and are very appreciative for all their blessings. Because I believe in the good work at Hekima Place, I have often spoken about it at various clubs and meetings. People are pleased to donate when they realize that their money wholly goes to help the girls in Kenya, and that they can get a tax receipt as well. I correspond regularly with three girls from Hekima Place, and hear often from Kate Fletcher, the founder and director. As well, I am in touch with current volunteers and all report on the good work at Hekima Place!
I was part of a mission team from our home church during April 2011. We spent our time at Hekima working side by side, not only the staff of Hekima, but also the beautiful girls and young women living at Hekima Place. When I think back to our arrival on our first night, I tear up as I remember our beautiful and joyful welcome by the children! They waited up for us and greeted us with hugs and kisses. This, I knew, is a special place. During the days we spent on our work project, we cherished the times we had with the girls and learning more about the ministry that "mum Kate" had grown. These girls are surrounded by such a wonderful environment at Hekima! They are given a second chance at life - they are valued for who they are, they are given an education and also a chance to excel at university or in the workforce. Hekima's devotion to the spiritual, physical and emotional health of hurting girls was so apparent to our group. We were blessed to have been there with Kate and her staff.
I had an amazing volunteer experience for 5 weeks at Hekima in 2007. We fell in love with the kids and staff. When we arrived, we were greeted with a million smiling and dancing Kenyan girls. Our time there was wonderful. Hekima is a blessing for so many girls that otherwise would have devastating lives. Kate and the staff at Hekima are doing a fantastic job of being a family for over 60 girls. I've been back to visit again in 2011 and hope to be back again in 2012!
I volunteered at Hekima Place for four weeks one summer and was deeply moved by my experience. The girls, the mums, and the uncles are actively living out social justice in a faith-based community. They advocate for sustainable social change in Kenya as well as in the lives of the girls that live at Hekima.
I started as a volunteer back in 2007 for this wonderful organization. Kate Fletcher, the staff and all volunteers and donors have helped this organization grow leaps and bounds since its founding in 2005.
I have since been invited to join the board, and am also an active member on the fundraising committee.
Being involved in helping young girls make a life for themselves has been more rewarding than can possibly be put into words. All 63 of them continue to grow and prosper mentally, physically and spiritually.