Posted by RC Nairobi Connect


Purity Wanja* is a class 8 student at Deepsea Primary school. Together with her three siblings and mother, they live in a tin-roofed house in Deepsea Slum that is found between Westlands and Parklands. Life has never been easy since their father passed on several years ago, leaving her mum, who earns a living as a domestic worker in Parklands and Westlands to fend for them. Even before Covid hit, they were living hand to mouth, not knowing where their next meal would come from, and if they will be kicked out of the house if they didn’t pay rent, something that happened severally.
Enter Covid and all hell broke loose. No one wanted a stranger cleaning their houses, and with that, their meager source of income went up in flames. Even if they wanted to, they could not travel upcountry as inter-county travel had been banned. A bleak future looked at them. Rent was even a luxury, getting food for the day became the real priority.
“With an empty stomach, the government’s directive on wearing of masks, washing hands and keeping social distance meant nothing to us,” says Stella Wanjiru, Purity’s mother
Unknown to them, some help was in the way. It is families like Purity’s that Rotary Club of Nairobi-Connect had in mind when they teamed up with District 9212, working closely with Consolata Shrine to rally their members and well-wishers to take part in the Adopt a Family campaign. For KSh. 3,000 someone could adopt one family, and get them a hamper that consisted of wheat flour, maize flour, rice, sugar, beans, green grams, cooking oil, salt, tea leaves, and bar soap. This was estimated to be able to keep going a family of four for a month.
The club’s initial plan was to touch at least one hundred (100) families in the community of about five hundred (500) families.  But the response from the club members and well-wishers was so overwhelming, that two hundred and thirty nine (239) families were supported.
“Thanks to Adopt a Family, domestic violence reduced, the walks to the church (Consolata Shrine) for handouts reduced and a lot more people stayed indoors thus reducing the chances of Covid 19 transmission,” says Phyllis, the programs coordinator at Consolata Shrine.
“With the food we received from Rotary, I was able to concentrate on my studies,” says Purity, who adds that she had believed they would die of starvation and asked God to rescue them “God answered my prayer through Rotary.”
With food addressed for a good number of families, next was satiation that was very critical in the spread of Covid 19. Working with Stanbic Bank, Rotary Club of Nairobi-Connect donated 15 poly pots with a capacity of 45 litres and 10 water tanks with a capacity of 1000 litres. The water tanks were distributed in Deepsea village, Maasai village and Consolata Church.
“We now had a place where we could wash our hand regularly,” says Stella. It is clear from her facial expression that it was a difficult time.
“With food sorted and hand washing stations availed, we asked ourselves what we could do with the many school going children,” says Paul, a member of Rotary club of Nairobi- Connect. “One member suggested that we could donate books to the Deepsea Library.”
And with that, the book drive was born. In just three weeks, the members of Rotary Club of Nairobi-Connect collected seven hundred and seventy nine (779) books which were donated to Deepsea community library.
We did not just donate books, we raised some money that was used to build shelves to hold             the books and created space for future donations. The stocked library is very beneficial to the students living in Deepsea as it has equipped the students with lifelong learning skills as well as developed their imagination.
By denying ourselves, and going above self in the true Rotary Spirit, we are proud of what we did to serve our fellow brothers and sisters in the Deapsea community and make life a little bit bearable at the time when the effects of the pandemic were most tough. We did not do this alone, we got a lot of support from Rotary club of Nairobi Industrial Area, our district (District 9212), Safaricom Foundation, Consolata Shrine and many more individual well-wishers, a true testament that Rotary brings together like minded professionals who unite and take action to create lasting change in our communities.
We are truly grateful that we were able to serve and change lives in the different area of Rotary focus i.e. Economic Empowerment, Basic Education and Literacy and WASH.
Caroline Kako is the Public Relations Direct, RC Nairobi Connect, 2021-2022