Despite the many differences that can be found between children from different cultures and countries, the desire to play and simply be a kid transcends borders, language and even the ability to hear. The 2018 Mission Hope team discovered this firsthand in ten days filled with crafts, bubble-blowing, soccer and lots of laughter. One particular instance, though, stood out in all of our minds.
As the team was relaxing and taking our afternoon tea at Kakuswi Special School for the Deaf one day, we were discussing how unfortunate it was that the school had a swing set in disrepair. The students couldn’t use it due to safety concerns; it needed to be wired up. It would be such a simple fix, so we decided to do something about it.
That night we passed a hat around to raise funds for the repairs. 30,000 Kenyan shillings ($300 US dollars) later, we had collected what we felt was more than enough to get a homemade swing set mended to the point of being functional and safe. The next day we informed Timothy, the headmaster of Kakuswi, that we would like to pay to get the swings fixed. He didn’t waste any time; upon returning from lunch that day, we found local workers welding on the swing set – and it didn’t take long after they finished for kids to put the swings back to work.
When it was time to pay for the repairs, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that our impromptu fundraiser had far exceeded the amount of funds required. It had cost just $5 USD, which left $295 USD to go toward future playground equipment. I think that speaks a lot about the hearts and genuineness of our team members. They went above and beyond without a second thought to do a simple kindness for others, and their impact will pay off in countless smiles for years to come.