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KIBERA

Meet Kibera woman who feeds her 31 children

Ian Three
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In Kibera where earning a living is a tough thing, Mama Pamela Owino hustles every day to put food on the table for over 30 children daily. [PHOTO/Standard]

Although many people associate philanthropy with wealth, the case is not always true.

In Kibera where earning a living is a tough thing, Mama Pamela Owino hustles every day to put food on the table for over 30 children daily.

“With food in your stomach you can survive another day,” says Ms Owino.

“I used to interact with girls who had had babies and were struggling with providing for them and motherhood issues,” she says.

“I would watch their children as they went to buy small items for sale. They used the profits to feed their children.”

She says she began the business of fending for the needy sometime in 2002 when strangers dropped off two boys to her house in the middle of the night.

“They said they picked the boys from the streets hungry and with nowhere to sleep. Someone led them to my house – because apparently I was helping small children,” she says.

“My husband and I were shocked. Not to mention that we had five children of our own that we needed to look after,” she says.

It turned out that the boys belonged to a neighbouring woman suffering from a depression who threatened to kill the if Owino returned them to her.

From there she began to attract more people to drop off kids and by 2006, she had 31 of them.

“Somehow my husband and I made just enough to buy us food,” she says.

At some point, the husband left her after unsuccessfully trying to convince her to drop the children.

“I couldn’t chase the children away; they were totally innocent. So my husband left for another woman,” she says.

Owino has seen some 145 children go through her home. 

She currently has 37 who are in various schools and who depend on her for everything.

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