Behold the new Celeb! Our Ndulu Woes Vice President as Twana Twitu dances in support of the less fortunate

It was December 15th, 2011 and watching little Ndulu Ndunge as she walked across the hall at Serena Hotel headed for a photo op with Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, comedian Nyambane and other dignitaries, one would have thought that she has always lived in this territory, enjoying good food and rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty.

But the confident, bubbly and sweet-faced Ndulu is a totally different person from the miserable little child that our Twana Twitu first met in Ngai Village, Mbooni some eight years ago. As we have often said, nothing could have prepared us for our first encounter back in 2003. She had been waiting for us – or so they’d said – but there was no sign of that anywhere, at least not from the way she was looking at us. ‘She’s always alone,’ her neighbors shared as though reading our thoughts, ‘she is left here to die but somehow, day-after-day, she stays alive.”’

On the particular day we met her, she lay under a mango tree condemned to die after being rejected by her community. If she had AIDS afterall, she was as good as dead. And so they’d left her with nothing – no food or water to feed her tiny and naked malnourished body. “The situation was pitiful,” shares Mwende, “but in our eyes Ndulu was a beautiful child…a person we had to save.”

As Ndulu, now thirteen, mingled in Nairobi, she found herself an instant celebrity. A treasured guest during the Twana Twitu Christmas for Children gala at the Serena Hotel where the Vice-President was the chief guest, she smiled shyly inbetween the sumptuous meal before her. If you were not in attendance, you should have been! It was an evening of fun, food and dance – but with a different touch from your usual gala. Here, as the guests dined, they also had the option of treating others – the less fortunate – to a sumptuous “Menu of Giving” that, according to the organizers, was designed to offer “individuals and companies the opportunity to get help the vulnerable by getting involved with Twana Twitu in a tangible, long-term way”.

Our Raindrops for Life, which involves supplying water tanks to HIV-positive children; Villages of Hope, a gift to households with dilapidated homes and no source of income or material support to improve them and Income Inc., a program we describe as “Twana Twitu’s response to the need to become self-reliant,” each offered an opportunity to make our world a better place for a needy and deserving child.

Stonyridge Developments – or Table Number 3 as they become known – grabbed 20 raintanks as a start to what they have pledged to be a long-standing relationship with Twana Twitu. THANK YOU, Stonyridge! Your generosity has ensured that our ill children get clean drinking water! Other guests such as Mr. Eddy Njoroge, gifted Twana Twitu with greenhouses that will not only enable us to produce more of our own vegetables but also strengthen our financial health. God bless you!

The highlight of the evening came when we presented two very special ladies awards for their kindness and positive impact on society. Kiss FM presenter Caroline Mutoko received the 2011 Golden Heart Award for her “outstanding contribution to the less fortunate in Kenya.” Ms. Mutoko is fully involved in projects that empower and give disadvantaged children hope to face tomorrow. For example, she provides sanitary towels to girls who do not have the resources to purchase them on a monthly basis.

Alongside Caroline, was Jane Wathome, Executive Director of Beacon of Hope, a community based organization that assists women who are affected by HIV/AIDS within poor communities, with the Humanitarian Award. Beacon of Hope has directly assisted over 79,000 individuals since its inception and now that Ms. Wathome has sponsored one of our children, her reach has extended even further! These two ladies emulate great citizens and we were humbled to honor them. Congratulations again, ladies!

We would like to thank all those who attended and helped raise the approximately Kshs 2.5 million we received for the Twana Twitu program. With you by our side, we are stronger to serve. We welcome you to visit us and to walk the journey with us. Thanks also goes to our MC, Nyambane and the Altimate Band for keeping us entertained and focused on the evening’s cause.

Special thanks go to His Excellency the Vice President, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka for gracing our event and joining our call to support vulnerable children. As he aptly put it, we should always strive to be a caring nation that remembers all its members particularly the marginalized. To Stonyridge, ZTE and KenGen, we are grateful for your generosity. Dr. Ekuru Aukot, we thank you for the customized copies of the Kenya Constitution that highlights the protections accorded our nation’s children.

It is our hope that 2012, we shall expand to serve more communities and that with your backing, we shall make greater dents at combating HIV/AIDS and the impact it has wrought on our society. May God bless Twana Twitu.

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