Xlestrade met Lara Bertoncello and Francesco Moschini, volunteers and spokesmen of Watoto Kenya Onlus in Padua.
Watoto Kenya Onlus was born in 2004 by a group of friends from Rome following Sabrina Sabbatini and Italo Cipriani initiative to move to Malindi, tourist town that they were used to visit since the 1980’s.
In Kenya they decided they would like to help the locals, especially the children that are always the more disadvantaged. They started by developing sustainable projects in the Makobeni plateau that is a very poor area in the African country.
The project was supported from the beginning by the partnership between Watoto Kenya Onlus and the local people as well as by the self-sustainability of the intervention.
On the first place, Watoto Kenya Onlus financially supported the construction of a shelter home for 30 children thanks to the availability of a plot arranged by orphans children’ tutors.
The Association’s main objective is to help disadvantaged, abandoned and HIV positive children and young people.
In fact, the name watoto, is the Swahili translation of children.
During the past years, Watoto Kenya Onlus provided education in public schools and first grade, second grade and university school support as well as professional help to all the children that stayed at the shelter. At the same time, the Association was able to arrange the same financial support for a few really talented and poor children of the community.
In the past years, the shelter represented a place opened to the local community and multiple has been the activities realized. They’ve organized trip to better know the environment they are plunged in, they’ve realized a small newspaper that is supplied in the near villages, they’ve opened a clinic and started a work partnership with the Malindi Child Protection Center.
Another task that Watoto Kenya Onlus would like to fulfill is to make the project self-sustainable and try to find the way to make the community economical self-sufficient. This objective is accomplished only for 3 month a year, thanks to the pastoralism, the agriculture, the fishing and a tailor’s lab.
The production and selling of the food, the milk and the bags and the other objects realized guarantee an economical return that enable the locals in charge of the Association to work.
Watoto Kenya Onlus would like to reach the self-sustainability of the shelter to give the chance to all the local volunteers to have the knowledge and the ability to repeat the same experience in another area in Kenya.
We asked about their activities in Italy.
In Italy the Association works with volunteers from every part of Italy: Rome, Padua, Arezzo, Bassano del Grappa, Milan, Turin, Genoa. There are a lot of events as well as local markets realized to collect funds and make aware the community.
Who would like to volunteer with the Association can easily contact them and share their own ideas and time. The experiences abroad are organized only as small group holidays to better know the local culture and live a great sharing moment.
The message they leave us contains the meaning of dream and how to realize it: “If you dream alone, it is just a dream, but if we dream together, it is a reality that begins”.
We thanks Lara and Francesco and all the Watoto Kenya Onlus friends for their friendship and their liking!
We will go on embracing in our path all the children of Kenya!
Traduzione a cura di Monica Zambon