Our Service learning day started with a visit to a school in Gil Gil. Half of them come from the nearby slum. Our students spent time in classrooms learning about schooling, family, and poverty from the Kenyan children. Our students also taught them about life in Canada. They saw what buildings and bathrooms look like in a school.
We spent time learning about HIV/AIDS at a feeding centre for children under treatment. Our students prepared fruit salad and served the children and ate their lunch with the kids at the feeding program.
Our final stop was at an orphanage. Here we learned about abandoned babies. How and why they were abandoned, and how they find a home. (See below for world statistics on children without a home.)
Then there are success stories. Two abandoned girls graduated from high school with high marks and are moving to Nairobi to a boarding high school.
Principal Dean McInnis and Pam, math teacher from Yellowknife presented them with grad gifts.
Some stats on children:
· It is estimated that 153 million children worldwide, ranging from infants to teenagers, have lost one or both parents (UNICEF).
· HIV/AIDS has orphaned 17.9 million children, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia (UNICEF).
· Over 7 million children are in institutional care worldwide (Save).
· One in five children living in developing countries is severely underweight (World Bank, UN).
· Over 1 billion children suffer from at least one form of severe deprivation of basic needs such as water, food, and sanitation (SOS).
· 19,000 children under the age of five died every day in 2011 (UNICEF).
· 22 million children are refugees or internally displaced, forced to flee their homes due to violence or natural disaster (UNHCR).
· Over 1 billion children live in countries affected by armed conflict (UNICEF).
· 67 million children of primary school age do not go to school (UNESCO).
· Children suffer from domestic violence everywhere. On every continent, households report domestic violence against children at rates ranging from 20 to 60% (UN DESA; UNICEF).