Pamelah, our fantastic Matron at the CBCH Home told me about her typical day. She clearly works very hard and is a mother figure to all of the children. From what we can all see, she keeps the home running like clockwork.
Pamelah gets herself up at around 4.30am and then gets the children up at around 5am.
She supervises breakfast and then sends the older children off to school. School appears to start incredibly early in Kenya and the older children are in school from 6am starting their first lesson at 6.10am.
The younger children are left at the Home and Pamelah must now get them ready and then walk with them to Tieng’re Primary School which is about 1 mile away. There are currently 12 younger children for her to escort.
Once they are safely in school, Pamelah returns to the Home and does the washing. She strips the beds of those that are not yet dry overnight and she mends the children’s clothes.
At 1pm the children come back from primary school for lunch and are escorted by the older children. Pamelah supervises lunch and then walks with the children back to school again where they will remain until 3.30pm when they walk Home, the older children accompanying the younger ones. Pamelah counts them as they return and if someone is missing, she will phone the School Headmistress, Alice, to find out if they have been held back in detention. If not, she goes looking for them, retracing her steps to school and she will usually find them playing with school friends rather than coming home!
Once all of the children are safely back, it is time to do homework. She and Winnie, our assistant Matron, help the children when they are having difficulty and make sure all homework is completed ready to hand in the next day.
Pamelah then supervises dinner.
After dinner the children shower and wash and Pamelah helps the little ones. The younger children are put in to bed by 9pm but the older children can stay up until 10pm so that they have time to do more study. This is done within their dorms and Pamelah remains alert to make sure that everyone stays put particularly making sure the girls and boys stay in their own separate dorms. At 10pm she ensures the older ones are now in bed with the lights out and that there is no more talking.
At 11pm she finally relaxes, confident that all is quiet and everyone is asleep. But, it doesn’t end there for Pamelah who wakes in the night at the slightest sound of footsteps, checking that it is only the sound of a child going to the toilet and it is not the sound of children moving between dorms or the sound of an intruder.
In between all of her daily duties, she offers emotional support, counselling, basic medical care and is really passionate about teaching the children life skills so that they will one day be self-sufficient and confidently independent away from the comfort and security of Home. She really is a full time mum to all of the CBCH children and I don’t know what we would do without her!