The first day a child boards a school bus alone can be a stressful event for both parent and child. It’s understandable that this moment of detachment and uncertainty can be overwhelming for the child who is suddenly relying on a stranger for their well-being.
For the children of Lodwar, this bus never comes. And because New Hope can’t currently afford a vehicle to drive them, they begin their 6 school days a week with a 2.5-3 mile walk alone through dangerous roads scattered with strangers and speeding vehicles. Beyond that, some of the children go to school over 35 miles away from Lodwar where terrain is not conducive with the use of New Hope Children’s only motorized transportation method, a motorbike.
Without a vehicle, cases of emergency, like common scorpion bites, malaria or other illnesses, become extremely stressful situations and are even more difficult to tend to with the hospital located 3 miles away. Calling a taxi in Lodwar is unreliable at best, and when a driver does finally show up, the cost is frequently doubled when the call is placed at night. So far, no taxi driver has been willing to come to our center at night, even in medical emergencies.
The children aren’t the only ones affected by the shortcomings of not having a car. New Hope Children’s director, Dickson, experiences tremendous difficulty in even the smallest day-to-day tasks. With the use of a motorbike only, bringing food and water back to the compound for over 20 people is challenging. When pickups are light, he makes use of the motorbike, but when heavier loads are required, he must hire a vehicle for assistance. Imagine hiring someone each time you needed to make a grocery run. Simple chores like gathering supplies and monitoring students during school days are a logistical problem.
Logistics aside, riding a motorbike in Lodwar is a big safety issue for the driver. Chest problems and bronchitis are a common problem because the winds create a constant dusty environment. The terrain’s loose sandy soil also creates frequent accidents and falls, sometimes resulting in serious injury.
Having use of a car would make the work of the director much more efficient, effective, and significantly less stressful. Children wouldn’t risk their lives walking to and from school each day. Another huge plus of having a car in Lodwar? The ownership alone commands respect and could be hired out to other organizations, such as medical camps and government health campaigns, to bring some income into New Hope Children.
If you’d like to help New Hope Children obtain a vehicle, please visit our donation page: christmas.newhopechildren.com or donate below.
Thank you for your support!
NHC Team Members