‘Children of hope‘ is an organization which supports children living in the slums and rural villages of Silchar. It was founded by Maurice Kevin Chabi, a B.Tech student at NIT Silchar who hails from Kenya. Let us learn more about him from the founder himself.
- How did you start ‘Children of hope’?
This idea started tickling my mind while volunteering for FAMILY HOPE CHARITY, an NGO in Nairobi.During that moment, I developed some intimacy with the slum dwellers. My heart was moved by the situations I saw at Korogocho slums in Kenya. Moreover, being from a humble family,I could easily feel their needs. While reflecting on my earlier situation at home, I began to think of coming up with a group that would directly reach the poor and the low earning families in the society. When I arrived here in Silchar I got so many difficulties while interacting with the locals due to the language barrier.It took me exactly two years making friends and establishing the grounds to start the organization. I kept on talking with the director of FAMILY HOPE CHARITY, the late DR. Thomas Ohern and its sitting Board chairman Mr. Ed Noriega of USA for a strategic plan of having this started. They provided me with all the moral and advisory support on the dos and the don’ts of making a setup children of hope. I had to survey Silchar town with my local friends searching for potential areas to start the work. We visited backward slum areas and villages to request permission to uplift the children in such regions through our programs. For a long time, we had challenges since nobody was willing to give us a free house and compound for the work. However after visiting CHALITAKANDI in May 2014 we got permission to start our project there.The place is cool and is the center of Children of hope. We began with 18 children and now we have 50 children along with 10 adults who are school dropouts enrolled into our program.
- What are the various activities you carry out at ‘Children of hope’?
We carry out various programs for the welfare of the society in a particular village known as chalitakandi. The programs are- Capacity building for children, Re-envisioning the children, Feeding program, Health Scheme, Family Relief programs.
- Who were the people to help you take up this initiative?
I have some good friends who are localities of Silchar, we began discussing this idea with Janu Achhami, the founding president. After she accepted my idea, we shared it with many other people and very soon I formed an executive committee of seven members. At present, we have more than 20 volunteers and 8 members of the society.She did most of the work backed by her proficiency of the local language.She has played a huge role as the founding president in the day to day running of our organization.
- Tell us about yourself.
I am 22 years old from KENYA .I am a B.TECH student of electronics and communication engineering at NIT SILCHAR. I am a partial orphan and the sixth born from a family of nine. I finished my high School at Orero Boys in Homabay county with a score of 72 points out 84 in the KCSE national exam of 2010.I have worked as teacher at RABANGO ,OLUSO AND WIGA secondary schools respectively in 2011 and early 2012 teaching Agriculture and Biology. I have undergone certificate courses in psychological debriefing and trauma counseling, business management, entrepreneurship, and leadership. I am a passed volunteer at KAREN REHAB IN NAIROBI a center for AA, Alcoholic anonymous where recovery therapy is done for several drug addicts training to quit alcoholic and drug habits. I did my internship on counseling practicum and observation in that place and gained lots of skills in one on one counseling of alcoholics and drug users, meditation and Yoga therapy for recovery. I have also worked as a volunteer at FAMILY HOPE CHARITY an NGO in Nairobi that works on improving lives of slum dwells through child education and skill development for the slum dwellers. I worked there as counselor visiting recovery coaches for alcoholics and a teacher at of the after school. Program for kids in the slum. I have lots of experience in doing voluntary work, counseling and NGO management. I have also worked at a radio station known as MAYIENGA FM in a program known as THE SHIELD OF THE YOUTHS. The program focuses on equipping the youths with the right information on drug abuse, Hiv /Aids prevention, and career.
- How do you like India?
I like India so much due its diversity and multicultural nature. It’s a good place to meet various exciting things and people.I love the people of Assam and Silchar as they have been sincere, loving and exciting. However, the climate is very harsh as it’s either very hot or very cold unlike in my country where we experience moderate temperatures throughout the year. India is an incredible place and so is staying here.
- How has NIT Silchar helped you in your initiative?
Nit silchar has provided me with lots of support since 2014. At the onset of our program the college provided us with full stationary for all the kids in terms of monetary donations. The annual cultural fest of the college 2015 supported our programs hosting our video at the incandescence stage, printing for us banners and creating for us publicity. The college has also supplied us with more than 20 volunteers, all the way across all departments and various levels of studies. We have volunteers from B.TECH, masters and Ph.D. from NIT SILCHAR. The college has also in the recent past sponsored a health camp for our children. The Director Prof .N.V DESHPANDE has been of great help and influence. He has been following our activities and supporting us monetarily and materially. We are looking forward to having more programs together with the institute in the future.
- What is your vision for ‘Children of hope’?
My vision is to have a global movement that will be reaching to millions of disparate kids in the whole world. I needed a platform to start this and that is why we have children of hope. In future, we want to put more expertise in the field with people from various fields of studies contributing under various departments to bring a change in the society. We want to have far better life skill development for school dropout who are teenagers and those with no or less help. Such skills will help them to be self-dependent in the future.
- Would you like to add something?
I love doing things in extraordinary ways, I like to take an opportunity in the fields neglected by others. I naturally love serving and making others happy. My role model and teacher is Jesus for His teaching on love and compassion moves my heart like a whirlwind, I want to share more love with all people. I am planning to further my studies in International relations and build my career in the humanitarian organization in civic leadership.