There is Magic..
“There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen."
Do you remember the times when you were great? Maybe it sounds a bit mock able but it’s really true. All of us were great, but not all of us DO remember that. Just recall the time when you could become any person, any animal, any state, any object, anything in the world only by means of fantasy, of your unique fantasy. Please, recall the moment when things around you transformed absolutely, changed in an unnoticeable way only by your wish, when, for example, you wanted to sing, and the TV remote became a microphone, the simple dining room became a real stage and your toys were the real viewers fighting to buy the tickets to the first row of seats. Yes, right you are! This is all about childhood, the sweetest and the most memorable time in everybody’s life. Remember mum’s smell, gentle touches, warm hugs and kisses, playing tricks with father, his stories, support and sense of safety he always gave. Recall your favorite places, games, toys, sweets, books, first tough experience, and first success. After recalling that time, you feel good, you are smiling. And now, imagine - all those memories have disappeared, your childhood has sunk into oblivion. Not so pleasant, really?
“But how on Earth can it be?”- you may ask. Unfortunately, the answer is - “Simply”. Nowadays nearly one in four children around the world is being robbed of the childhood, simply because of who he or she is, or where the child lives. They even don’t associate themselves with children cause they are bereaved of simple things, and it’s even more about plain respect, love, tenderness, warm hugs and sincere support rather than materialistic stuff. But we are here not to complain, not to cry telling sad stories about children, who were deprived of happiness, we are here to tell you a real life story that shows that magic happens not only in fairy tales, and main heroes of such magic are simple people, but very kind-hearted, generous and single-minded. So, let’s get the magic start!
“Today determines tomorrow” – the main motto of the organization which creates a haven for children, makes magic in reality. The name of this miracle is DCI, Dignified Children International. It was officially established in 2013 and is registered as an NGO, exclusively for charitable purposes. DCI runs community-based child development camps for children from impoverished families. The camps provide these children with safe conditions, places to play, give the opportunities to learn and develop them physically, mentally and spiritually.
Speaking about DCI, it’s impossible not to mention its main magician, its founder, its mother - Phoebe Muthoni.
This woman is a gifted person with a grand heart. Phoebe has founded DCI without anybody’s help, it was her own desire, her aim. After having not so simple childhood, she grew up, reached success and founded the place where she presents children the thing they should have – childhood. Phoebe comes from Tambaya, a place with a very small population located in Central Kenya. Phoebe remembers that most things she dreamed about as a child never came true. That’s why she feels and understands children deprived of childhood all too well. When people ask this woman for what she has founded DCI, Phoebe always answers : “Each time I hear or see my son play and laugh when he got a new toy, my heart is filled with joy and at the same time with sadness because it reminds me of the many children who do not have this simple opportunity. I see many children who look just like me. Their condition resembles mine when I was young so If I can, I want to change it”. Phoebe is a real mother to all DCI children. She does cares about their happiness, success. She runs all DCI projects, takes part in any activity, and spends lots of time with the children. For example, recently she has conducted a goal she has been striving for. DCI mother has done a Library at a primary school in the community they work at. The Library is now operational though it doesn’t have enough books. It’s the first ever Library in the school and community and it will be a great boost in academic improvement of her targeted children.
DCI runs a special camp, a real child centered development and enrichment camp dedicated to help children from impoverished families. The DCI program provides tri-annual camps that involve leadership training through academic, art, and social projects, as well as through sports, to children ages 4 to 14. “We believe that the physical and social challenges children face in their early years can make them more vulnerable to negative peer pressure”. These camps are a platform to teach these children constructive activities that help them successfully navigate the transition into adulthood. The camps are opened during the 3 school vacations (April, August and December). The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for 10 days. What is more, each camp involves 80 children from impoverished homes, selected by community leaders. Furthermore, DCI also works with Bewomi Children's Home. Bewomi is a home to 50 orphans with a very tough past. DCI has developed a program that focuses on tapping and unearthing the God given gifts and potential within these incredible children. “We aim to create a bond between them that allows them to develop the confidence to communicate their dreams, needs, and problems through creative arts, such as music and dance. Most of these children are able to rise above their difficult past through music”.
One of the latest DCI’s huge successes of is the 3rd edition of the "DCI -Tambaya Camp” which has started on the 21th of August, 2017. The camp has met peak amount of the children – 200. The number includes children from Tambaya village, Bewomi Children's Home and the Korogocho slums. At the last day of the camp Mrs. Phoebe gave a great and warm speech about how the camp was a success, and encouraged the parents to take care of their children, no matter the situation. The Chairman of DCI, Professor Charles, was also in our presence and expressed how happy he was to see the great success the camp had created. Everyone, from the children, to the parents and facilitators, then celebrated the success and final day of camp with a piece of cake, several other snacks, and some juice. Now DCI has set for the next project “9th December 2017: Christmas Smile in Tambaya Camp”. DCI desires to make a vulnerable child smile like any other by giving them gifts, spending time with them and just letting them know that they are special and are loved since Christmas is a time during which people celebrate together as families and friends.