Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Path Appears opens a window to life in a Nairobi slum.

I watch A Path Appears last night and was brought back to Nairobi, Kenya.  Like Mia Farrow and Nicholas Kristoff, I drove down those crowded dirt roads. I walked those muddy paths and heard those beautiful children sing! What an honor it was to meet such brave and determined children. I was humbled by them. What do you say when a child sleeping on the floor of a one room shack, with 8 other people, no running water or electricity asks you what your greatest hardship is in life. I was speechless. How do I dare mention my trivial hardships, my "first world" problems, like: I am searching for more meaning in my life or I am lonely in my big empty house, while my husbands travels with his job and my children are away at University. I can't.

If you want to understand why I am determined to help, please watch Episode 3 of A Path Appears. Mia and Ronan Farrow visit Shining Hope for Communities, an organization working for change in Kibera, one of the worst slums in the country — and the world. Home to hundreds of thousands of people, Kibera is a neighbor slum to Mathare, where I visited Mogra Star Academy. Like Mathare, Kibera has limited power and running water. I am in awe of Kennedy Odede and his wife, Jessica Posner Odede who opened the Kibera School for Girls, which aims to provide the area’s most at-risk young girls with a path out of poverty and abuse. Kennedy reminds me of my friend Billa Mahmud in Teshie Ghana, who also grew up in the most difficult conditions only to dedicate his life to helping children like him live a better life. I have the most respect for people like them who are making a real difference in the world.