#NoPhoneDay: A visit to the Wings of Hope rescue home


Charity begins at home but should not end there.

-Thomas Fuller.


I was recently invited to attend an activity organised by the Community Outreach Program (COP) where we were to visit Wings of Hope Rescue Home, a  Centre that offers support to teenage mothers and their children. This being my first activity, I was quite excited  to see what the day held for us. When we met on a Saturday morning, we were welcomed by friendly faces. The atmosphere radiated with positive energy. 

We got on the bus and were led in a word of prayer before leaving the institution. Shortly after, our phones were taken as part of what I later understood to be part of the COP culture. The #NoPhoneDay practice is aimed at encouraging full-time engagement with each other and the children we were visiting. The journey to the Centre was relatively short, or maybe it seemed so owing to the stories and laughter shared.

After a warm welcome, we immediately took to the tasks of the day. I admired the teamwork that was displayed, whereby individuals not only completed their assigned tasks but also proactively offered assistance with any remaining work. By noon, the dorms were sparkling clean, clothes washed and hung,  dishes cleaned to perfection and the babies bathed and entertained. Those assigned to work in the kitchen were hard at work, cooking delicious food whose aroma told a story we were waiting to indulge in. 

Those of us who had completed our  tasks  joined the teen moms and children in the dining hall for an afternoon of great entertainment by our hype masters and self-appointed DJ. We danced to both trendy and nostalgic music while learning new dance moves from each other. In no time, we were enjoying a sumptuous meal while telling stories and learning more about the teenage girls’ daily routines and activities, followed by fun games.

It being my first experience in COP, I observed how the community was more like a family than a mere group of people who volunteered together. A good number of the COP members present were alumni of Strathmore who are active members of the community. Their love and benevolence towards one another was directly reflected in their actions throughout the day, characterised by kindness and thoughtfulness. I was impressed by their commitment to keep showing up for the community service activities, which is fuelled by love. Indeed, it was an affirmation that while charity begins at home, it should not end there. 

To our dismay, our departure time had reached faster than expected, and we had to prepare to leave. Closing remarks were made by the representatives from both COP and the Strathmore Law Clinic. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the COP volunteers was also a part of the Wings of Hope community and was deeply moved by her narration of the impact COP had had on her ever since their first visit to the Centre- her home- a couple of years back. It was a full-circle moment. Without a shred of a doubt, this was a beautiful day very well spent. 


This article was written by Mitchell Matalanga. 

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