Brazil : part 3 : becoming an honorary Kenyan

Glad's house - VickyI first met Vicky Ferguson of Glad’s House, Kenya, when we had the training weekend away for Street Child World Cup. First impressions – huge smile, huge personality and huge warmth. I was spot on!

Vicky puts her whole heart and being into running Glad’s House in Mombasa, Kenya. The house had a football team at Rio in the Street Child World Cup. Such nice guys, so intent on improving their prospects and opportunities. They were an inspiration.

Glad's house - JanGlad's house - CliffGlad's house - JohnAnyway, Jan and Clifford Ferguson (Vicky’s parents) were there, as they are trustees, as is the lovely John McGlasson who was also there coaching the boys on.

Jan and I shared so many tears and so much laughter, but she seems to think that she can call me ‘the old girl’ as I am one month older . . . sharp intake of breath!

Glad's house - BokeyAlso with the team was Bokey, seen wearing a whistle around his neck in the photograph. Bokey is an ex boxer who now spends his time with Glad’s House. He is as inspirational as the boys – friend, mentor, guide and protector all wrapped up in one.

As we’ve said before, SCWC works with local charities and agencies to find solutions to improve the lives of all homeless children in that country. Glad’s House is the local charity it works with in Kenya.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with them in Rio – I know it sounds as if I’m gushing, but they are all absolutely fabulous. They have the special gift to make you feel good. Bokey wanted to know whether it was raining on the day I was born, on being told it was, the next day I was given the honorary Kenyan name of Okoth, born in the rain. Imagine that, me given a swahili name!

Sadly, Mombasa has thousands of young people living on the streets, who are struggling for survival. Glad’s House tries to help them reach their full potential. The following bullet points are from their web page.

  • We try to reunite children with their families using our team of social workers. Alternatively, we place the children with foster families.

  • We place the children in full-time education. We also support higher education for them.

  • We use our sports programmes to engage with the children & youths and provide practical and emotional support.

  • Our enterprise schemes provide training and apprenticeships for young adults.

These children have suffered violence, abuse and may other unimaginable things. But despite all of that, they are willing to trust again and go forward with a new purpose. They’re inspirational. And no child should live on the streets, every single one deserves to be given a good chance in life.

I have a just giving page for the Street Child World Cup and as their work goes on all year round, please feel free to make donations as often as you would like!