December 26th saw the Christmas celebrations continue, for some of the Future Stars children, with a trip to Karura Forest for a picnic, nature walk, and lots of playtime. For these children, it was a very rare excursion out of the slum: providing new experiences and building plenty of great memories. A bus was hired and filled with the resident children of the centre plus a selection of Future Stars schoolchildren who really benefited from a fun day out.

Arriving at Karura Forest

On arrival at the forest reserve, the children needed to pass through a health checkpoint due to concerns over coronavirus infection. You can see the children wearing their masks for this check and their temperature being taken at the wrist.
Once through the health check (all of the children passed the check) it was onward to an open area where the children could play. At this point, away from other members of the public, they could remove their masks once again.
It’s not often that the children of Kibera get an opportunity to play in such an open environment and they made the most of the space with lots of running games.

A Christmas picnic – burgers all round

Plans had been made to provide burgers for the picnic and the staff quickly got to work setting up the ‘burger bar’. It’s a type of food the children rarely experience so a real treat. To complete the meal, the children each received a banana and a lollipop along with a cup of juice.
Organising the food for this picnic was a significant undertaking but definitely worthwhile and the children loved eating something a bit different.
After the meal, hands were washed and it was onward to the playground…

At the playground

For some of the children, this was their first experience of play equipment. You can see the joy on Slaven’s face as he plays on a slide for the first time. The children made the most of their time playing together with swings, slide, and seesaw all available for the group.

Nature walk

Karura Forest Reserve has many signed trails for hiking and general nature walks. For the children, such an environment is a rare experience and they enjoyed spotting the wildlife along the trail.
A visit to the main waterfall provided lots of photo opportunities with most of the children wanting their picture taking as they stood in the light spray.
Time spent at the waterfall was followed by a trip to the historic caves where supplies were maintained during the Mau Mau uprising that eventually led to Kenya’s independence.

A wonderful day

It’s been amazing, and an experience like this will provide memories to last a long time.
Huge thanks must go to everyone who, through their support of Chaffinch in 2020, enabled us to provide this experience.
Take a look at the video as the children sing to you once again and end with their message of thanks.

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