By Fred Maingi
Alfred Anoh and Faith Lilianne, a couple living in Kenya from Ivory Coast believe neglected children can only enjoy better lives if they are monitored in a bid to rescue them from indulging in bad behavior.
The duo who have brought great impact to the poor slum children of Kibera started an intiative dubbed a bit of smile, a forum they say was formed to bring smiles to those living in the poor slum areas.
The couple started training tennis to the slum dwellers, a game largely associated with the rich several years ago.
The couple offers training in Kibera slums and other street childrens across the country. The duo who believe it’s a calling, are fully versed with Kenyan culture and one might mistake them as Kenyans. Lilianne offers the slum children with food and also clothing.
“We do this from our pockets. No one sponsors us, we do it from the small we have” ,said a joyful Lilianne. “Some of this children have no place to call home. They survive by begging in the streets for food. They are vulnerable to all manner of dangers.” she said.
“These children can only enjoy better lives and pursue their dreams if we intervene and rescue them, by giving them. Love and renewed hope in life, we shall reduce the rate of drug abuse, reduce the rate of crime and also create unity. When street children are rescued and educated, they become dependable people in the society “Anoh observed.
In the just concluded December festivities, the couple donated food and clothing to the kids. During the tournament, kids got a chance to mingle and share different stories of their life. This tournament was exclusively reserved for the kids of Kibera, a slum in Nairobi –Kenya, under the management of coach Ms Veronica Osogo of Zion Zone Tennis Foundation.
Over 100 slum children from Kibera and surrounding areas were selected to participate in this first event. Among the guests were widely travelled Ishmael Changawa, the Kenya tennis top star, also from Changawa Tennis Academy, top national coach Collins Abala, also from Extreme Tennis and Ms Ornella Frere, from the Association Serve for Africa, who happened to be former Central and Western Africa Champion for 14 and under 16.