My great-uncle’s legacy in Kenya

I visited a very special place here in Nairobi. I always heard stories about my great-uncle Tone and his wife Agnes, who came to Kenya to build up a SOS children’s village. So on Monday, I suddenly realized that now is the chance to take a look at it. Therefore I texted their son Mathew, and one day later we really got the chance to meet Virginia, who worked a long time together with them.

To give you an impression how I felt about this place, where Virginia showed Elias, Barbara and me around, I transcribed (and translated) a voice message for you, which I sent to Mathew afterwards:

Hi Mathew, Johannes here,

just wanted to tell you how amazing that was, how overwhelmed I am of all of this.

It’s unbelievable, I never imagined something like this. Thank you for enabling us to see this. Virginia is such a lovely person and showed us everything. […]

It was extremely thrilling for me to see what your mum and dad created and where you grew up! It was incredible, thanks for that!

So… you have to know, that Tone and Agnes didn’t build up “just” one or two of those paradises, but three! In the 30 years they lived here, they built up villages in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret. Nowadays there are five of these in Kenya. I remember a story about him, where he had to bargain with the Maasai to get land from them, who didn’t understand that for him the children are of higher value than their cows.

We were already awaited by Virginia
Frederick, the manager of the village, welcomed us warmly and told us about some of the achievements of my great-uncle.
Look how beautiful this is!
This is where my great-aunt Agnes worked as a nurse for many years without any payment.
The primary school/kindergarten looks just like the one I attended in Vienna!

Barbara tried to make sense of the exercises 🙂

We observed a few minutes of an English lesson. Every time the teacher wrote and said a word, the children repeated it altogether.
I tried to play the piano, but most of the keys were stuck. I hope this will be fixed by the time I’ll come back to Kenya 😉

This is where Agnes and Tone lived.

They grow their own plants and also hold their own cows and chicken. “So we can make sure there are no antibiotics and other stuff in the food”, Virginia told us.
In the backyard there is a football field. Apparently FIFA sponsored it, so it fits FIFA standards and is also used for competetive matches.

Elias was amazed by the village as well and had a lot of questions.
Victoria, mother of 10 children in the village, invited us to her house.
She prepared some food and even baked something that reminded me a lot of “Niggilan”, a food that we always get in Tyrol.

During the meal I showed Virginia and Victoria some family photos with Tone and Agnes we took when we met in July.
Exchanging contact information the old-fashioned way 😉

Thank you so much, Victoria!
They started as kids in the village, now they are working in the facility 🙂
Thank’s for the picture, Barbara 🙂

The principal of the institute welcomed us with a big smile 🙂

This is the computer room. All the furniture is built in-house. As an IT guy, I was very interested in what they teach and they offered me an internship as an informatics teacher 😀

They created really cool stuff in the fashion design class!

I have no idea of needlecraft, but even I know what Singer is… only high quality in this school 🙂

They were working on this podest… looks very good, doesn’t it?

We told the principal about Barbaras plan to become a primary school teacher and he immediately invited us back to share some experience. Also Paul is welcome anytime. This was quite an experience. Thank you so much dear Gabriel!

I also have to thank you, dear Virginia, for showing us all of this. And of course thank you Tone and Agnes for your incredible work! Like I said before, this is more than I could’ve ever imagined!

Barbaras charity organisation

But this day wasn’t over yet. We visited a charity organisation Barbara worked for. She was interested how the local branch in Nairobi looks like. This was one of the most beautiful offices I’ve ever been to. We had a very interesting talk with Barbaras contact person.

Final trip of the day

After a further two-hour drive Paul showed us a property of his family.

After a long day we earned some rest. Elias was also happy about it 😉

So this was a pretty personal post for me, I hope you enjoyed it and would like to get your feedback in the comments 🙂

One Reply to “My great-uncle’s legacy in Kenya”

  1. Joseph Mungai says: Reply

    Hey Johannes , Nice article !

    I am Joseph I was actually there until the age of 23 which was last year . Thanks to your great Uncle , its because of such people kids get to experience a love and care .

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