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Nairobi café shares Valentine’s Day cheer with less fortunate kids

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? For Café Deli along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi, Valentines means sharing the love with the less fortunate in society.

On Thursday to mark the occasion, the restaurant prepared breakfast for 30 children from Vessels of Hope Kayole.

Excitement was all over the faces of the children as they enjoyed the meal. Cutleries particularly fascinated most of them who were are first-time visitors to the city’s CBD.

“I love children because my father left me with 13 of my siblings to take care of when he died. Children have a place in my heart and I always try to do small gestures to put a smile on their faces,” said Obado Obadoh the restaurant owner.

ORPHANED

Vessel of Hope Centre Kayole is an informal education center that was started in 2008 by Grace Omingo.

She donated her only piece of land to build the school with the help of a few friends from the US. The school takes care of 87 children who are orphans, half orphaned and some with parents.

A chef at Nairobi's Café Deli joins children from Vessels of Hope Kayole in cutting a cake to celebrate Valentine's Day. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
A chef at Nairobi’s Café Deli joins children from Vessels of Hope Kayole in cutting a cake to celebrate Valentine’s Day. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

“I came up with this Idea when I saw the children loitering in the slums. Some of these children had lost their parents but some were still living with their parent though the parents could not afford to educate them. Having been a teacher, I thought of how to bring the children together and give them education,” said Grace Omingo, the director of the school.

CHALLENGES

The home has had a fair share of challenges along the way but what they have struggled to do is to feed the children.

“We have assured them of at least one meal per day. None of the children stay with us. We have found a home for them because we believe in family settings,” she added.

When growing up, Mr Obado was forced to sell chang’aa, cigarettes and omena to raise school fees and money for the upkeep of his family.

“After finishing high school, I decided to look for a job instead of pursuing further education. I believe this is what shaped me into who I am today. I have no regrets and don’t take anything for granted,” he narrated.