Community service may be referred as a work done by one person or a group of people to benefit others. This is usually done around where you live, so that your community can benefit from your services. Community service work is usually done by volunteers without force applied, though sometimes volunteers are given small appreciation gifts such as t-shirts, food or capes.
Community service is benefited by needy people such as orphanage, people with disability, people who learn a new language and more.
Community service is often performed by a group of people from school, church or nonprofit organizations.
There are numerous ways to participating in community service. The most used ways are:
What are the benefits of community service?
There are many benefits of community service on both sides. Some common benefits are:
Community service is a good program that helps people to come together and be fruitful.
REHEMA PEFA is a home that welcomes orphans and it operates in Nairobi, off thicker road. Rehema means mercy, Pefa is the acronym for PENTECOSTAL EVANGELISTIC FELLOWSHIP OF AFRICA. This institution was established in 1999, by Irvin and Ruth Schwandt together with the PEFA church leader. Rehema Pefa is sponsored by churches, individuals and businesses.
Rehema Pefa’s purpose is to rescue and care for abandoned and orphaned children with an emphasis on HIV + children. The goals and objectives of Rehema Pefa, is to care for the above mentioned children as long as they need care, and to find adoptive homes. The beneficiaries of this institution are children who need love and care.
Rehema Pefa Home considers for admission, children from under 4 years, and with no families, under special circumstances they accept if there is family. These children are taken from hospitals, social workers and police.
Since this institution was established in 1999, the enrolment growth was slow and steady. Currently, Rehema Pefa home has 70 children in total, 49 boys and 21 girls.
Regarding the staff of the institution, the directors Irvin and Ruth are responsible for hiring. For hiring criteria, there are no special qualifications required unless employed for a special job, i.e., nurse or teacher. They simply refer to the desire to work with children, ability to follow instructions, love the children and being a Christian.
Regarding the categories of workers, there are care workers, cleaners, laundry and kitchen, but all workers are to help at busy times, i.e. feeding. The management committee makes major policy decisions and assists in day to day decisions as necessary.
About the terms of services, workers work full time 40 hours per week, 2 days off and pension fund.
The hierarchy of the administrative structure is as follows:
The role that the government has been playing in this institution is referral of children and supervising adoptions.
As any other institution, since its existence, Rehema Pefa home has been facing some challenges such as financial, health of children, finding adoptive homes and many others. Therefore, they have taken some measures to deal with those challenges such as making new contacts, employ nurses and doctors who donate their time.
As a kind gesture from their surrounding community, they participate by bringing gifts of food, clothes, milk and so much more. Two ladies donate milk regularly and one family has adopted so far.
Some other institutions such as USIU students and GGCH also contribute by providing voluntary services and free hospital beds.
Since the institution has been established, as a success, children have been changed from sick, malnourished, unhappy individuals to health, happy and secure children. All this happened because staff is committed to giving the best they can to meet each child’s needs, good nutrition, good health care, lots of love and mostly lots of prayer.
Rehema Pefa home’s vision for their children is to raise them to become useful members of the society, and God fearing children.
Rehema Peha home raises these children with a lot of passion. These young children are being taught obedience, discipline and how to work hard. During their free time, I observed most of the children volunteering to help the maids in the kitchen, laundry and cleaning. This is a good thing because they understand that they are obligation to learn things through life as we all know, life is easier to those who are hard working.
Among these children, 2/3 is schooling in baby class, primary class, secondary and university. The Schwandt family and the PEFA church leader, are doing their best to educate these children, if though it is not always easy because the other 1/3 are babies and non-schooling children due to limited funds.
The first time i stepped into Rehema Pefa home, i did not know what to expect, since it was my first time to be in an orphanage, let alone providing my services to this place. So it was a very early morning on 6th of May which my friends and I went looking for a place to provide our services. And we landed to Rehema Pefa home as we waited to be received. We were finally welcomed inside around 11am. We were received by a supervisor of this place called Michelle, she talked with us about this place, and she also walked us around. She divided us into small groups two by two, and gave us days to come to work.
I felt impressed about how we were being treated with kindness and respect. It gave me an idea on how these children were being taken care of. The truth is, many institutions as this one around Kenya or any other places do not usually have such quality standards due to low motivation for doing this job.
The first time I actually started working, was on 9th May and everyone was kind to guide me as I was given things to do. Honestly, it wasn’t my first time to do the work i was doing (washing dishes, ironing, cleaning, mopping, peeling, etc.) because where i am from, from a young age we are taught to do such work, so obviously it was not hard and it felt good doing it for the community.
Another thing that made me happy is that, this place is not very far from my residence which makes it easier to be punctual. I am able to reach to the cite at 9am or even earlier and finish at 12pm and still make it to my class at 1pm.
Another good thing is, during our work time, we are given a pause and tea for 15 minutes, and we are able to stretch and probably interact with other workers, and try to know everyone. That way we are able to know how they live and what they like about that place and also try to build friendship because it’s always good to know people you work with day to day.
As a Christian believer, working at Rehema Pefa home is a blessing to me because it’s an institution of believers, and their principles are based on Christian’s beliefs. They teach their young children to love, trust, obey and believe in God. This will helps these young children to grow well and improve their characters.
Rehema Pefa Home’s strength is the sponsors and donors who are willing to finance this institution unconditionally. Rehema Pefa home has many people who care much about orphans and would like to contribute to improving their living conditions. Among these people, the sponsors are Irvin and Ruth Schwandt, together with the PEFA (PENTECOSTAL EVANGELISTIC FELLOWSHIP OF AFRICA) church leader. The donors are other churches who are friends with the Schwandt family and also two ladies who donate milk constantly.
Rehema Pefa home also has many workers who are charged with different duties. This institution has about 20-25 employees who works are divided in two shifts, day shift and night shift. These workers are in charge of different things. Some take care of young babies, others care for other children, others work in the laundry, others are cleaners, others are cooks, others are guards, and others are drivers. Rehema Pefa home has a nurse and a doctor, who provide their medical services to these children for free. This team works tirelessly with dedication and determination, to provide these children a happy and better environment.
Rehema Pefa home also has a good and big space. This is an advantage for the children because they have a big and enough space to use for a playground, since they don’t go out very often. In addition, they have a dog that protects them from any danger.
Rehema Pefa home location is favorable. This institution is located in the city, near a highway and a mall. This facilitates the shopping and the means of transport and also it makes it easier to be noticed.
Rehema Pefa home is located in a safe and clean place. The environment around has no liters and it has a road in good conditions, in addition, the area is safe due to enough security guards.
As a weakness, Rehema Pefa home sometimes have financial problems. This means that they run low in terms of money which results into shortage of food, clothes and late payments.
As an opportunity, Rehema Pefa home is supported by the government, therefore, it can be known through people from high places and gain more donations and financial support.
As a threat, Rehema Pefa Home already has competitors due to other children’s home around the same area. This means they have to improve their services.
As i mentioned it in the beginning of this report, I cannot say that I have experience in things related to orphans and orphanages, but I believe there is nothing special one can have in order to understand how these institutions works. So far i have understood that, it only requires a merciful, devoted and determined heart to do this.
Most of these children were given birth by their parents but because of different reasons, they ended up throwing them on streets, in the cold and hunger. So, it takes a big heart, full of love and passion to rescue these children. This is an amazing act that everyone should respect and contribute to because after all these children are the upcoming generation that has our next leaders and great people. Therefore it is everyone’s responsibility to help them.
So, because of that, I have decided to dedicate my 9 hours per week, to these children by doing everything necessary to make the place better for them. Honestly, when I started doing this work, I knew I was doing it for the sake of my academic obligation, but as I went on, I am learning new things that I never cared about before like how other children live mostly the ones with no families.
So I expect to work willingly for this institution as long as i am assigned, and i am to provide my services willingly and tirelessly. I will keep working together with people of Rehema Pefa home, to improve the conditions of the children and also learn several things as I go. I hope my services will be of great use because, after understanding the conditions in which these children live in, especially the ones with HIV/AIDS, it is automatic to compassionate. These children with HIV+ need a lot of attention and during my work time I participate in their supervision.
For the 10 weeks I will be working at Rehema Pefa home, am expecting to make this place better by doing everything better. I am willing to clean, iron, clean etc., at my best knowledge. This means that as I do this, I will not do it just to complete my assigned time, but I will do it as I can do it for myself as a sign of respect for the institution and for the children.
So in general, Rehema Pefa home is a nice place for someone who wishes to donate their services or any other help, because these children always need financial help and any other help but mostly love and care.
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