Jimmy and I arrived a RM at 1.30 when the all the girls were inside having lunch,. I was met by Joyce and our cook Agnes. All the girls were just finishing their lunch as I went into the lounge… I was met with shouts of …”it’s JOHN TIPPER”……. Plus a lovely welcome song.
Many hugs later, the main question is where is Anne-Marie???? (they were not happy to be told she was back in the UK). Followed by many shouts of “where is Janet” and many calls of “where is Peter.”. I think I was their 4th preferred option..
I explained that Anne-Marie and Janet would be over in July with many others.. ” Is Peter coming?” was the most asked question. Sorry Peter, I think you had better change your holiday plans…
After being dragged by many hands to come and see the new baby rabbits (not easy for me, no being the right size to squeeze through the very small gate to the rabbit enclose, I was astonished just how many rabbit we now had….I could have sworn we only had two in December?
After saying a quick hello to Malika (one of our guards dogs) who roams free as she just loves the girls…. There were many shouts of “sorry, sorry” when Malika in her great excitement to see me jumped up down waging her tail, but just managed to scratch my arm in her frenzy. The tiny bit of blood that appeared brought much concern and the insistence of the Detol bottle making an appearance.
Off to see the boys!!! Jimmy leading the way and me following in out van close behind.
We arrived at Rafiki Familia as the boys just arriving back from playing in a nearby field with Ray, out brilliant manger…
Again many shouts of “its John Tipper” and a few of “Hi dad”. They showed me into the small compound.
They boys are amazing, bright eyed full of fun and seemed very happy to be there.
Ray, Mercy and Nancy from Rafiki Mwema were all smiles as the boys jostled around.. My first impression was of a happy family group.
They had written my name on the blackboard and a lovely welcome message.
Then they all sang welcome to Rafiki Familia to me. It was very moving.
I had brought some clothes, footballs, kit and football boots, from the kind donations we have received over the last few weeks.. Unfortunately I could only bring a small selection due to the meager BA baggage allowance, but the next group coming in July can bring the rest.
There was much excitement as the suitcase were opened. I think the greatest excitement was for the football stuff. I was extremely impressed with how well behaved they were, not pushing and shoving despite their obvious excitement..
Seeing the boys putting on their boots ( a few who picked totally the wrong size, just because they looked snazzy) and kicking the football around in their small compound in their obvious excitement, was very moving.
Ray has done unbelievable job, (with the help of the staff at Rafiki Mwema) to get this place and get all the boys out of the police station to this, their safe haven.
However, the place and compound is just too small.. We need to find these boys a home with some land where the boys can play football and other games as kids like to do the world over.
Of course we will need to raise more money, but I believe we need a place of similar size to Rafiki Mwema where the boys can have their own beds and room to play outside.
So my first priority this trip, is to try and find them a bigger home…. Well according to Anne-Marie it is!!!!
Charity No 1136902
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