I didn’t know how to write this blog post . But, hey , we live and we learn , right ? So this is my story about my love for children , children’s ministry and everything about them .
I should probably introduce myself first . My name is Mwende Musau , I am a graduate Architect and I have a passion for children. But this wasn’t always the case . In fact , far from it . I thought kids were too much work. Too noisy , restless and the biggest one : kids will hurt your feelings. Big time ! Those little humans are so frank, they will end your career in minutes. This changed one day though…
It was my birthday. My 23rd to be precise . I was in school at that time , my fifth year of school. On a random Saturday, my friend and classmate Kanaiya, invited me to one of his volunteering gigs for Star Kids. I had heard of it before but I hadn’t paid much attention. On this particular Saturday though, I thought why not ! It’s probably the best way to spend my birthday , right ? (Plus Kanaiya had insisted that his friends should be supportive of him and any other blackmail you could think of, but we’re not mentioning that one )And so I went.
Here is where it gets interesting, nothing prepared me for that first day ! I mean, my friend had given me a brief of what to expect of course so it was not a big shocker. In any case I have been to many children’s centres either with my church or with friends. But this day was different , we were going to teach the kids. Not just hang out , cook , play and then leave. There was a lesson in between. I know that sounds mundane and you’re probably wondering “so now ?” Well, here is the catch : Some of the children have learning disabilities, some have too much going on in their heads to concentrate on what you’re teaching and some, well, they’d prefer to be playing outside. But the common thing about all of them ? They are really sweet children and even though life may have dealt them some cards which you and I are fortunate to have skipped, they have hope and are always ready and eager to see what they learn next . But it wasn’t easy getting all of them to focus on the lesson. However, we managed and we still got to play and have fun. What’s a day in a child’s world without play? It was a great first day experience. I remember giving my experience at the end of the session and I was pleasantly excited.
And so began my relationship with Star Kids and Songa Mbele centre at South B . I was not very particular on teaching so I found my niche in games. It actually became a tag of mine for a while . The kids would see me and the first thing that comes to their minds is games , or sweets . And we developed our relationship with them just like that.
I really really love them. Their tiny selves have seen so much more in their short years than I probably have seen in my 27+ years , yet they show up during every mentorship session. I have always been impressed by how eager they are to learn . With proper infrastructure put in place , these kids will transform their lives and that of their families. It usually gives me great joy when they graduate and join the conventional school system. It means the mentorship at Songa Mbele was successful . It means they get a chance at life and isn’t that what we all need ? A shot at life ?
I haven’t been a great volunteer these past two years. I am doing very very badly. And I have excuses from here to wherever you name : Work , tight schedule , bla bla bla . But I’ll tell you what came out of being a volunteer at Star Kids . I actually developed an interest in teaching and hanging out with kids . So much so that I decided to be a Sunday school teacher . It’s probably hilarious to those who know and have interacted with me in the past but I assure you the patience I have learned from being a volunteer prepared me for these things , lol .
The world through the eyes of children is the ideal place to live. I think we should all strive to be like children. Okay , not the hurtful part, because as I said earlier , those mini-sized humans will end you with their brutal honesty. But we can learn alot from kids on how to handle our friendships etc. For example, if there’s beef at the playground, they deal with it in sittu, finish it and go back to playing as if nothing happened. As we grow older, we lose that innocence and we tend to hold grudges in our hearts. These grudges sometimes cloud our judgement further down in our lives . But wouldn’t it be blissful if it was so easy to forgive and let go ?
All in all, I’m really grateful to have gotten the chance to volunteer and work with the kids at Songa Mbele through Star Kids initiative. Leaving your grown up self at the gate and immersing yourself in childhood bliss is something I’d highly recommend . This is not to say that it’s always rosy . No , there are days when the whole class is cranky and you question all the decisions that led you to be there on that day . But the happier times outweigh the crazy days by so much that they are negligible . And in any case , you were also a child and you also got to throw your tantrums around so you really can’t get mad .
This has been my experience with volunteering and mentorship. I promise myself to do better by them in the coming days. Did you know Star Kids has a mentorship session every Thursday from 10 am ? Well if you didn’t now you know ! I hope many of us will plug in and share whatever knowledge and resources we have with these stars . Pay it forward if I may use that term . Who knows , they may be the leaders we so wish to have in this country in their later years ! So why don’t we go ahead and Be Stars ?!