Fred Mwaura serves food to more than 1,000 poor and orphaned children on the streets in Mlango Kubwa, Kenya.
"I saw a need and I want to do something about the need. I'm just being practical," he shares.
Meet Fred: Caregiver
Mlango Kubwa, Kenya: Today, this porridge will serve 350 people.
Fred Mwaura: Wow. All these years I've been doing this, but the smoke still gets the best of me.
Speaker 2 [In foreign language]: Stop complaining, keep going.
Fred [in foreign language]: I can’t get on a bus after this. They’ll wonder where I came from.
They mention, people over the years, they say that, "Oh Fred, you have this calling." I tell them, "No, I didn't hear God." Because, to be honest, I know I never had God speak to me and say, "Oh, cook for the street families. Cook for the street children." No. I see the need and I want to do something about the need. I'm just being practical.
My faith also tells me that you have to do something. And we need to remember the orphans. We need to remember the widows. We need to remember the elderly in the community. We need to remember the disabled.
When we started out, so many children couldn't afford to go to the local schools, and most of their parents were HIV positive, widows, and they had a number of children and they couldn't afford to take their children to school, or even couldn't afford to give them a meal. So together with friends, we decided let's start a simple project. Let's start cooking porridge for them. Eventually it ended up being that we were mobilizing like a thousand street-related families.
Fred is building a haven for homeless children.
In the city there's so much noise pollution. There's so much, if I may even say confusion. So getting them from the effects of the drugs and being stereotyped, just bringing them to such a place and engaging with them. We can do — besides the fun stuff, like camping and hiking and bonfires and eating — we want to have sessions with them for counseling. We reach out to the next of kin, get to verify the information, if... Are they true orphans? What caused them to run away from home? And try to bring reconciliation.
There's great satisfaction just seeing a child who had no hope, now getting hope. I'm a believer in not shutting other people's light, but putting on other people's light so that they can shine. And the more you shine, the brighter it is. That's been my... Yeah.