Belwop Playground Creates Laughter Among Kenyan Orphans

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By Kim Merrefield, Extreme Women Communications Writer

“Veronica has such a mother’s love for the children. The kids had never been on a swing or slide. She longed for them to connect with each other, and for it to be another step in their healing. I knew we had to help.”

Laughter and smiles fill the playground. Children swinging on the swings yelling “higher!” A little boy grips tight to the monkey bar rocking his body back and forth to grab another bar. A young girl giggles as she slides down the giant twisting slide, screaming “wee!”

playground finished 4All of these sights and sounds seem so common for many of us, but for 41 children in the small town of Nyeri, Kenya, this scene was just a dream.

Kelly McClelland, Director of Women’s Advocacy, recently sat down with Belwop Rescue Center founder Veronica Mumbai. Belwop, which cares for abandoned, abused and orphaned kids, has been an Extreme Response partner for many years. After hearing Veronica’s story and feeling compelled to help, Kelly asked, “If you could dream big, what would be one thing you would desire for the children?”

20150611_173830Veronica told Kelly she dreamt of a playground. A playground where laughter could abide and giggles would be endless. A playground where the children could run and skip and hop. A playground where imagination could flourish and dreams could be built.

“Veronica has such a mother’s love for the children. The kids had never been on a swing or slide. She longed for them to connect with each other, and for it to be another step in their healing. I knew we had to help,” Kelly said.

In early 2015, Kelly and the Extreme Women team set out to accomplish this giant task. Through advocating and fundraising, they were able to not only raise the funds for the playground, but also provide Belwop with additional funds to help with the children’s schooling for the year.

A playground company in Kenya was able to complete the project in just a few days. The playground consists of monkey bars, three slides, a pair of swings, and a jungle gym. The kids are looking forward to enjoying more time on it during their summer break in just a couple months.

finished playground 5“The playground we got through this partnership has brought much excitement to our children, as well as the children of the neighborhood,” Veronica said.

Many thanks to all the generous donors for helping Extreme Response make this dream come true! You are making a difference in these children’s lives!

Kim MerrefieldKim Merrefield manages communications for Extreme Response International’s Extreme Women. ER recognizes that women disproportionately bear the burden of poverty throughout the world. Women living in extreme situations are in desperate need of advocates who will share their stories with leaders and influencers. That is why we’ve established ER’s Extreme Women, an advocacy program created by women to help women in need. 

KellyFor additional information on Extreme Women and how you can get involved, please contact Kelly McClelland at a kmcclelland@extremeresponse.org or visit http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-programs/womens-advocacy.

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This year, Extreme Response is working to rescue more kids from hunger, poverty, human trafficking, homelessness and more. Read ER founder Jerry Carnill’s rescue message here.

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