Living for Others, a Gift of Oneself

Balloon in a Summer SkyDorothy and her husband are a middle aged couple with one child, Emmanuel, who is 6 years old. Until an evening that changed their lives for good, Dorothy and her husband were employed in non-governmental organizations, earned a very handsome pay, and had made investments in various sectors, among them being real estate. They were among the rich.

One particular evening, an unexpected revelation happened. Dorothy, her husband and son were seated by the fireplace at home as was the norm to tell stories and share jokes to pass the chilly evening. The prevailing silence and the biting cold, which was slowly being replaced by warmth from the fire, made Dorothy’s mind to drift away to a land of myriad thoughts. She imagined having many children yet her womb had only produced one off-spring. She saw herself in angelic white clothing; with a tiara made of yellow and red flowers adorning her head, she was clapping her hands and singing melodiously to a group of well-fed, healthy, and happy children. The children’s smiles made their eyes sparkle while their teeth shone like diamonds. She saw herself teaching the children and she was content, then the children ran towards her as they announced how happy they were and their excellent performance in their school work and she warmly hugged each one of them with pride.

Dorothy’s dream was interrupted by her husband when he shook her by the shoulders and announced that it was time for Emmanuel to go to bed. She then realized she was dreaming and narrated to her husband and son her dream. It dawned on her that all their wealth would only be inherited by Emmanuel. They realized they had more to live for than that.

On a recent Saturday, Dorothy, her husband, and son lovingly welcomed me and my friends to The Josephine Wambui Center, a facility for destitute, orphaned children in Kenya. As she took us around the ten-acre property, she narrated her dream and how that was the turning point in their life plans and purpose. She stated how they are now working to make a home and be family to 25 destitute, orphaned children. They had discovered that their mission was to transform the lives of children by giving them parental love and support.  Their lives were made for and of more than they originally envisioned.

WYA values the human person and we believe that we all have intrinsic dignity regardless of skin color, religious background, family background and current status. As affirmed in the WYA Declaration on the Human Person, “The freedom of the person is most and rightly lived in the gift of ourselves to others”. Through Dorothy’s story I believe she is living freedom rightly. I hope you meet her to notice her joy and contentment.

By Gladys Muthara, a Regional Intern at WYA Africa.