Small Hands Change the World

Kenya, August 2012

In August, CCAI’s Director of Policy, Becky Weichhand, traveled to Kenya to continue to build on the work of The Way Forward Project. She spoke at the East African Orphan Summit in Nairobi, visited local orphanages, schools and development non-profits, and met with staff at both the Kenya and Regional offices of UNICEF and the PEPFAR programming staff at USAID to learn about their work in Kenya and the region as it relates to orphans and vulnerable children and to discuss efforts to continue to make family-based care for children not only a best-practice but a reality for children in the region.

The following is a short photo essay of this trip.

Neighborhood children in front of a home in Soweto, the largest slum in the capitol city of Nairobi.
Children in their school uniforms at a school run by a church in Soweto await the opportunity to greet their guests at the end of the school day.
A toddler looks out the window into the yard at the orphanage in which he lives.
Children in this orphanage enjoy play time with orphanage staff and volunteers.
Becky holds a little girl who lives in the orphanage while the child sitting alongside her holds a toddler who also lives there.
Becky visits the top of the Kenyatta International Conference Center overlooking Kenya’s Parliament building with her friend Winnie. Winnie serves on the board of the Kenya Network of Care Leavers. The Kenya Society of Care Leavers is a grassroots youth empowerment movement that promotes the well-being of those who have spent time in institutions in Kenya by creating support groups for young people who have left orphanages in Kenya as well as educates children and youth still in orphanages about their rights.
Jeromy Smith (far left), a U.S. citizen and adoptive parent of Kenyan children was a tremendous support to the East African Orphan Summit leadership and its emphasis on empowering local government and church leadership to promote in-country, family-based care for children in the region. Here he is pictured with the director of Rwanda’s PEACE Plan Initiative as well as two Kenyan attorneys who spoke to the East African Orphan Summit audience about the process and timeline for domestic Kenyan adoptions.
A sign on display at the Nairobi Giraffe Center reminds us that our work impacts generations and that as we work to promote family care so that children in the U.S., Kenya and around the world can thrive, they in turn can change the world.

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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