What a Home Visit Looks Like

Story and photos by Donna Atola, Kenya Field Communications Specialist

Child Champions in Turkana, Kenya, go the extra mile to check on kids in their homes.

Justus Lomuria has been serving as a Child Champion in Turkana since 2016. He currently serves at Lokori Hope Center.

Turkana is in northern Kenya, over 300 miles from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. The area is hot and arid and receives little rainfall. Water is scarce, and people struggle to find clean water and, in the remote parts of Turkana, health care services.

During a home visit, Justus brings the child’s folder from their Hope Center to review how the child has progressed.

The Hope Centers in Kenya are located in the remote parts of East Turkana. This has over the years helped bring hope to kids living in poverty who are able to access food, medical care, and clean water at their Hope Centers.

Kids also get to learn about Jesus, borrow schoolbooks to use at home for their studies, and play on the playground equipment at the Hope Centers.

In addition to meeting children’s needs when they visit the Hope Centers, Child Champions make a point of helping with their needs at home.

Champions like Justus visit the kids at home to check on them. They ensure that they visit each kid’s home annually.

“Home visits allow us to bond with not only the kids but their families, too,” says Justus. “It is a golden chance for us to understand the families better and give them hope, too, because truth is that, apart from the kids, families in hard places need hope.”

Justus shares with the family information from the sponsored child’s folder from the Hope Center.

Preparing for the Visit

Before visiting a child, Child Champions inform the kid’s caregiver of the home visit. Justus says he either makes a call or does a pre-visit if the caregiver has no mobile phone. He also prepares a gift basket for the visit.

On the actual day of the visit, in addition to the gift basket, Justus brings the child’s folder from the Hope Center. The folder contains all the information about the child since they were enrolled, including all the letters the child has received from their sponsor. It also contains written information about the child’s dreams.

“It is important for the folder to be kept at the Hope Center because safety of the child’s data and memories is guaranteed. We carry it along so that, together with the caregiver, we can assess the child’s progress at the Hope Center,” Justus explains.

After greeting the family at their home, Justus leads them in song and prayer.

Discipleship at the Home

Upon arriving at the home, Justus finds the family of the child waiting for him. After greetings, Justus leads them in a song and prayer before sharing the Word of God.

“This is usually a very important part of the visit,” he says. “We get a chance for discipleship because apart from the sponsored kid’s family being present, at times friends and neighbors are usually at the home. It’s a joy to minister to the community.”

During the home visit, the child is given the chance to speak about what they have learned at the Hope Center.

Chance to Listen

After the prayer session, Justus discusses the child’s progress with the family. The child is given a chance to speak about any new thing they have learned at the Hope Center, and what they enjoy about the program.

The child is also asked to speak about anything that made them sad in the recent past, and from there, Justus helps address the issue.

The child’s caregiver is also given a chance to talk about how they have been doing as a family and the blessings and challenges they have faced in the recent past.

Justus also asks about their needs as a family.

From these conversations, Justus takes note of issues that the Hope Center would help deal with and pray about.

A Child’s Dreams

Then, Justus talks to the child about their dreams, as he asks about any challenges the child faces in school.

“As they are enrolled into the sponsorship program, they tell us their dreams,” Justus says. “We remind them about their dreams at the Hope Center and also during a home visit. As we hold the child’s hand, we also seek to have the caregiver involved and that is why we talk about this during the home visits.”

After meeting with the family, Justus gives them a gift basket from the Hope Center.

The gift basket is then handed over to the family before the Child Champion prays for the family and leaves.

Justus leaves after his visit to the sponsored child’s home.

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