Permission to build a home was granted in November in 2002 and was registered (Reg No. SS/MSA/CD/SH/02/364) by the Department of Social Services in Kenya as Tumaini Children’s Home. The foundation stone was laid in May 2003 by the District Officer 1 on behalf of the District Commissioner, Mombasa. There is room for up to 70 children – two dormitories, one for girls and one for boys. The upper floor will also be used for the older children, to study and play. All of them are orphans who are infected or affected by HIV/Aids virus.
At present there are 60 children living at the Home. The children range from 6 months to 15 years of age. As you can imagine most of them have already led tragic lives and little is known about them. One little child was found, abandoned, at a busy roundabout. This had a profound effect on us all and reminded us of why we all work tirelessly for this charity.
Many of the children living at Tumaini Children’s Home arrive with serious and complex medical and psychological needs. Recently a young girl arrived who had been repeatedly abused. This prompted Tumaini Children’s Home to immediately set up a partnership with AIDS Orphan, a UK charity offering psychological and emotional support for children who have experienced trauma. This partnership is ongoing.
The UK trustees of our charity learned recently of a lady, who, at the tender age of 72, raised sufficient funds to refurbish the large nursery at Tumaini Children’s Home. This was her second visit to Mombasa – and this time, she knew exactly how she wanted her donations spent. The nursery was re-painted, and furnished with tables, chairs, rugs, lino, toys, mattresses, sheets, buckets, and curtains. On top of that, she organised a big party for the kids – who were, naturally, delighted.
What makes Rosemary’s story so inspirational is that she has been battling cancer over the last 6 years and is still working at her local Marks and Spencer store. She spent hours organising charity evenings, boot fairs, and rallying friends – and even strangers, to donate to her cause. She did so well, in fact, that her employer, Marks and Spencer, awarded her the Runner-Up prize for “Most Inspiring Individual Volunteer 2012”. She has also been given £500 to spend on her favourite charity. She has asked Mary Leadbetter, Founder and UK trustee of Tumaini Homes of Hope, who will be visiting Mombasa in January, to purchase much needed school shoes for the children at the Home.
In her spare time Rosemary has done various other voluntary work, including 5 weeks at The Athletes Village at the 2012 Olympics, seeing the athletes onto their buses and checking their accreditation.
Rosemary is doubly pleased as she has now just been given the all-clear from the hospital. She continues to raise the profile of Tumaini Children’s Home and is frequently heard on Radio Essex and speaking at the local Community Centre as well as having featured in their magazine and Marks and Spencer Retired Magazine.
Rosemary has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. What a legacy she leaves to them: an ambassador for humanity and generosity of spirit. We salute you Rosemary!