The house mothers are the core that keep the house going. We have four ladies that live at the house full-time and two part-time. They wash the kids every morning and get them ready for school. They cook, give medicine, clean (the house and many of the children), feed the kids and keep an eye on them at all times, even at night they rotate checking on them. If one of the kids is hospitalized, they will stay at with them until they are well enough to come home.
Alice (Mama Zipporah) came to work with us shortly after Anna did. She is also a great worker who loves the kids at the house. There are a few kids that are a little more difficult to feed and Alice is always the first one to grab their food and start feeding them. She lives at the house with her daughter, Zipporah.
Anet was also filling-in when other staff members couldn’t make it to work, but she has such a big heart for the kids at the house that, when a position opened, it was evident that she was a great fit for the job. She is a hard worker who really loves all of the kids with all of her heart. When her hands aren’t full cooking or cleaning, she can almost always be found holding one of the smaller kids. Her daughter, Joy goes to school with the older kids at the house who attend Greenfields Primary.
Christine comes for a few days each week to stays with the kids so the other house moms can have a day off. She is one of the most organized women on our staff; if anyone needs to find something in the house (a hammer, a needle and thread, someone’s shoe) she knows exactly where it is. She is a hardworking reliable member of Precious Kids Center.
Theresa started working in Endebes to care for Pamela (the mother and caregiver of several of our children) when she was very ill in her final months. She fell in love with Junior, Allan, Stella, Marvelous, Emmanuel, and Ezekiel. These kids needed a place to go and we didn’t have the room to add 6 more kids at the center, so she offered to let them stay with her and her family during the school holidays. She has a great heart and also comes to the center a few days a week to help out.
All of our teachers take pride in their work and find joy in teaching such a diverse group of students. They work together to find new ways to present material to the students who are struggling to grasp what they are learning and each one has a real connection with their students.
Christabel is a wonderful teacher. She has been working as a teacher for 18 years and is still so enthusiastic about her work. She will never say no to a student. Some people would view some of the students at our school as unteachable, but Christabel says that if they can breathe they can learn. She has two young children that she adopted that also learn at the school. Christabel teaches the Pre- unit class which is the Kenyan equivalent to Kindergarten and also has the students with more severe disabilities in her class. I am amazed at her ability to be able to understand any student, where they communicate verbally or non-verbally within the first few minutes of meeting them. Chrristabel hopes to further her education and learn sign language so that she can better communicate with her students.
Caren started working at Precious Kids center in March. I have known Caren since she was in 7th grade being sponsored at a local primary school. It has been great to watch her grow up, and even better to see her heart for children with special needs. She is still in school to complete her degree, but she works half day with the students with disabilities that need a little extra help and support.
Josephine teaches the baby class, which is made up of the youngest students mostly between the ages of 3 and 5. She is also an enthusiastic teacher with a love for teaching. She also has great patience and teaches some of the students with milder disabilities in her inclusive classroom environment.
Agnes teaches middle class, which is the year between kids starting school and before they go to Pre-Unit. She is the newest teacher, but also has a great heart for teaching. She also teaches some of the students with milder disabilities in her classroom while pairing them with their peers to create the best possible learning environment.
Phoebe is the social worker for the center. She keeps the child files updated, is in charge of giving medication and providing guidance and couseling. She attends meetings with potential children for the house and comes to doctors appointments and checkups. She also helps oversee the giving out of food items at the house and attends school parent meetings. Basically she is ready and willing to help wherever help is needed.
We also have four ladies that come and work during the day. With so many kids in diapers, the amount of laundry done at the house daily is staggering. These four ladies come and hand wash the laundry, hang it up on the line and put it away when it is dry. They also iron the school uniforms and fold everything into the cupboard so it is ready to go in the morning when forty kids need to be washed, clothed and fed before school. If there is time in-between they also help with the kids in the house.
Jacki is one of the faithful women who keep our children in clean clothing. Most of the time, when it’s time to hire new people, I ask one of the other house moms to find me someone, but Jacki came to us. She was walking home with her four children one day and was tired so she sat outside the gate. We had visitors come to the house who asked her and the kids to come inside. I talked to her and found out that her husband left her for their neighbor and they recently moved away, leaving Jacki to care for four children on her own. Her oldest boy Kevin, has Autism and none of her children were in school. She asked us for help, so we offered her a job doing laundry, while her kids (Kevin, Esther, Mary, and Christine) come to learn.
Beatrice is one of the women that works daily to make sure that our kids have clean clothes. She comes and does laundry for about six hours a day with three other women. Susie and Willy often will sit and watch as she does laundry, she will sing to them and talk with them while she works. Many of the other kids enjoy playing with her as well.
Katherine originally came to the center as a temporary employee while Carol was on maternity leave, but she is such a hard worker, is so responsible, and so good with the kids who love to hang out around the laundry area, that we decided to keep her on. With four incredible women on the team, the days are a little shorter for each of them and we now can rotate days off. She comes five days a week, with her son Isaac who plays with the other kids while she works.
We also have four men on our staff who support the center (present and future sites!) in various ways.
Mike finished high school and then came to work at Precious Kids Center in January of 2014. He is a hard worker who helps with the managerial work at the center and is also willing to help out where ever he is needed, whether it be to go pay some bills in town, or stay at the hospital with a sick child, Mike will help wherever help is needed.
Ben is in charge of keeping the property clean. He sweeps the outside, trims the bushes on the fence, washes the classrooms at the end of the day. He also is ready and willing to do anything asked of him, even if we need an extra pair of hands traveling to the doctors or helping to cook. He has a great heart and all the kids love him too. Everyday before he goes home, all the kids gather in the living room and he says a prayer for God to keep them safe through the night until they meet tomorrow.