Wapiganapo tembo nyasi huumia – When elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers
My name is Nina Haarklou, and I was born in Arendal (Norway) in 1989. I’m studying psychology at the University of Oslo,
where I’ll be finishing my degree in 2015.
In 2009 I traveled to Kenya to work as a volunteer at New Hope Childrens Home outside the center of Mombasa. I taught English and sport in the school attached to the orphanage, and spent the rest of my time playing, reading, singing and dancing and laughing with the children. We shared happiness. Experiences, histories.
It didn’t take long before I understood that I was fascinated. I fell in love with Kenyan culture, with the weather, caring (omsorg), the warmth, the people. I fell in love with Kenya.
I traveled without an organisation and lived in a Kenyan family. It was in the afternoon, when my workday was over, that I came in touch with the street boys. It first happened by accident. A young boy sat on the ground with a huge, open and grotesque inflamed wound. He was hit by a car a couple of days earlier, without anyone having helped him. I took him to the hospital where he got an injection, antibiotics to swallow morning and evening, and the advice of coming back every second day to change his bandage.
This is how my story with the street boys, who call themselves survivors, started.
The street boys soon became my main engagement. Day and night I spent with them; we wandered streets, painted drawings with the colors I bought them, we danced to music from a restaurant we got allowness to enter. I brought them food and drinks, I gave them medicine with the care of a mother. They called me “mum”, and the impressions got strong and many.
I have visited Kenya many times since. More boys whom I first met in the street, now live in orphanages and go to school. They have bright futures, are no longer addicted to drugs, and are comfortable in school and with playing football among friends. In the base of the street boys in Mombasa my face has become known, as my passion has included bettering the life of the boys still living in the street. Basic needs have been covered; visits to the hospital and medication has been on the agenda, and have, together with shoes, clothes and food, been prioritated.
My heart is burning for these street children, and the result has become the organization Survivor Fellowhip, formed in August 2010. In Januar 2011 the organization was registered and officially approved in Brønnøysundregistrene, as a non-profit volunteer driven entity.
Survivor Fellowship consists of four board members, and a number of paying members. Our dream is being able to offer the boys a worthy life. Our hope is that you share this dream with us. Our wish is that we, together, fight to make this dream reality.