Taking the class closer to sick children

By: JOAN THATIAH

I first walked into the paediatric centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital in November 2013. I was just looking for something to do over Christmas. Two years in, the children I met that day are the reason I get up in the morning.

“I am not a morning person. I got up at 7.30am and after devotion and reading my emails, I touched base with my volunteers online. I lead a team of 68 volunteers, but leadership is proving to be harder than I thought.

“At 10.30 am, I arrived at my workstation on the third floor of KNH. I have a community development degree from Daystar University, but I’m thriving at teaching. I teach the languages. To break the formality of the lessons, we usually have a lot of singing and dancing. Most of these children are here for many months, even years. I want them to have a smooth transition when they go back home and back to school after they are discharged.

SEEING FRUITS FIRSTHAND

“The best part of it is that I get to see the fruits of what I am doing firsthand. I get to see children write their names for the very first time. Very fulfilling!

My worst days are when we lose a child. You can’t get used to that. This pain was what informed my decision to handle the older children. It is easy to get overly-attached to the really young ones; like there is, Joy, a little energetic girl I met a year ago whom I can’t forget.

She was to have surgery on a Monday and be back in class on Wednesday I am yet to get over the impact of her death

“School was over by 3pm and the children hugged us goodbye and went back to their wards. I spent the early part of the evening with friends. What I do is intense and because I do not get to talk to a psychiatrist about it, my friends come in very handy.

“I was home by 6pm. The hardest part of the day is when I am alone with my thoughts. That’s when I get to deal with issues like how frustrating it is to get resources for my cause.

Many people have the misconception that I make a lot of money out of this. They do not know sometimes we can’t even afford simple learning supplies.

“Before turning in, I read a few pages of Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts in which she writes about overcoming negative thoughts and coming out of a mental rut.”

SOURCE: DAILY NATION