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Pocket money for needy kids

04 June 2012, 11:13 Steve Wambugu

Making merry for college and university students is part of their life, they make use of  penny availed to them by parents or guardian as pocket money but a few students in Nakuru, for the last three years has been spending theirs to assist less destitute children in the town.

The students who are studying in different institutions in Nakuru and Nairobi resolved to commence an organization where they were to visit the overgrowing children’s homes in the town particularly in slums areas like Rhonda, Kaptembwo, Kapkures, and donate food and clothing’s to them. nakuru
The organization which has been operating for the last three years is now dubbed ‘The Smile Dispatch’ whose goal is to put a smile on the faces of less fortunate children in the society.

After the 2007 disputed general elections, street urchins and families increased in an alarming rate. NGO’s, individuals and business people extended their gratitude’s by erecting homes and taking others to the existing one but due to lack
of food and basic amenities, many homeless children go back to the streets.

The Smile Dispatch concentrates on children’s orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Nakuru slums areas. In future they expect to accommodate more less fortunate children.


According to the group coordinator Timothy Olobulu, it was hard to gather a group of five and convince them to donate their pocket money.

“Majority of my colleagues could say that they could not get time and money as they had a lot to do in school but despite I had to press on to gather 5 members who became volunteers.” Olobulu noted.

Though the organization started at a slow pace, the initial idea to help the children never vanished as the members used social sites, Facebook and twitter to attract and recruit members who were willing and committed to offer services without expecting financial gains.


Due to commitment in school, the members through their coordinator have to use the same social sites to communicate on the activities and
plan the way forward.

Their visits to selected Children’s Home are during the school holidays when every member is available where one is supposed to
contribute Kshs 1,000 in every visit therefore in a year the conduct 3 visits in different homes.

The organization which started with 5 members has currently recruited 28 permanent members who are constantly in touch with the organization welfare on contribution and visits and more than 20 who are visitors though not in regular visits.

According to the Smile Dispatch Chairman Wycliffe Momanyi, the group started with the contribution of less than Kshs 5,000 as the members
were few but the handle has been broken as the members has increased  and cash contribution, clothes and other basic amenities are  constant
due to well wishers assistance hence can budget for Kshs 15,000.

“We have been able to visit 10 Children’s Home in Nakuru town for the last 3 years where we usually budget for the amount of money we
collect and we purchase food stuffs, books, soaps, and sanitary towels for girls as they cannot afford to get them in those slums areas due
to level of poverty they are exposed to.” said Momanyi.

Having visited 10 Children’s Home in Nakuru Town, the group has long way to go as Nakuru County has more than 112 Homes according to
Provincial Director of Children’s Affairs but they are not worried with the numbers as they are set to do their best and spend every coin
they save in order to see the kids are happy and can feel the love as those who are at home with their parents.

The students who are studying different courses in their respective institutions uses their knowledge during interaction sessions to guide
and counsel the kids and give them hope and also on what to do so as to be successful in life.

“According to what a member is well versed with, games departments, educational, guidance and counseling, and religions matters so as to
instill a sense of self acceptance to the children’s we interact with.” Margaret Wangeci a member said.

Martin Kipto who is studying Sociology in a local University has proposed that, so as to minimize the influx of Orphanage in the
Country, there should be a law which is friendlier to those people who are willing to adopt the children and this will help to raise kids in
better environment than the one they are exposed to.

“The children’s department and the government should be able to entice people who are eager to adopt children and this will reduce the homes
which are being erected daily but should scrutinize the person so as to avoid children trafficking”. Steve said.

The sacrifice of the group members has not gone unrewarded as they have been awarded various certificates of participation and other

Though the members are in their final years in school, they are not leaving anything to chances as they are committed and focused to
continue and expand the organization to accommodate members who will support them to achieve their goals of diminishing the child
suffering, availing basic needs to them and instill sense of self acceptance and bringing up a moral upright citizen.

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