I am the last born to Mama Bon, one of the Ndoto staff members. I grew up in the Obunga slums from the time I was a kid under the care of a single mom. I can recall vividly the struggles and hardships I went through in those childhood days, from lack of adequate food to lack of proper clothing. I’m well conversant with “Opiere,” a nickname that was affixed to me because I had a habit of putting on tattered clothes.
My education was not in any way spared. My mom had to do very odd jobs like making traditional liquor to sustain the high cost of school fees for both of her two sons, and traditional liquor was illegal thus making police officers our frequent visitors. But in all these trials the hand of God was sufficient enough to see us through.
|Fred Sadia at the student retreat in his final year as an Ndoto student|
It was in 2012 that I applied for a place in Ndoto, and luckily enough on a rainy, chilly evening, I sat before a panel of interviewees of Ndoto staff members. I was being queried on why I should be given an opportunity to be an Ndoto student, and to my amazement I passed the interviews. I was now confident that I had said goodbye to problems regarding school fees, but little did I know that in Ndoto it was not all about paying school fees but also developing youths spiritually.
In Ndoto I learnt the art of prayer; by spending some time with Pastor Michael, another Ndoto staff member, I learnt how to pray efficiently. I learnt that it is only through prayer that we get to communicate to our God in heaven. The visits I used to make to a juvenile correction facility in Kisumu town helped me share the love of Jesus to the kids who felt hopeless in that facility.
In Ndoto I interacted with my peers from all walks of life. We shared ideas and fellowship together, encouraged each other with our own stories and experiences of life, and at annual student retreats shared hilarious memorable moments together.
It is in Ndoto that I discovered who I was. Through the help of Ndoto staff members, I discovered that my love for children was like a fire deeply rooted in my heart, burning inside me with passion that I could not escape forcing me to give in to the call of God. I’m now an extremely happy man having joined the Ndoto team as a staff member.
Spending time with little Ndoto kids is my greatest pleasure, and when I teach them in Sunday school, I feel a truly complete young man living his life purposefully according to the will of God. I’m still continuing to learn a lot now as a staff member. Allison Schlack, the director of the organization, is such a good teacher, she keeps on giving us valuable life skills. I’m still looking forward to brighter, humorous, and educative days ahead.