Living at Revival

The Revival Centre is a permanent home to 150 champions and around 130 boarders in term times. The champions and boarders all live in the same conditions and many of the boarders are from needy and struggling families and some would be candidates for the champions programme if there were places available.

Dormitories – The secondary age champions and boarders live in two large dormitories accommodating 70 girls in one and 60 boys in the other. Four additional smaller dormitories provide for primary age champions and boarders in separate girls and boys dormitories. They all sleep on two and three-tier steel or wooden bunk beds. Ideally each bed should be provided with a foam mattress, a mattress cover and a mosquito net, although the cost of keeping these supplied is an ongoing challenge. Mattresses wear out quickly in normal use but even quicker where young ones repeatedly wet the bed (given the traumatic situations some of the children have come from this is a common problem). At the foot of each bed the children have a box containing all they possess in the world, a pair of flip flops, school uniform, one change of clothes, school exercise books, a bar of soap, toothbrush and treasured letters that they may have received from their sponsor.

Food – The children get up very early to wash themselves using water in a plastic bowl, get dressed, have a drink of tea and prepare for school. They have to get past the middle of the day to have their first meal of Posho and Beans cooked in huge cauldrons and served out of big tubs. The children queue up with plastic plates and when served go and find somewhere to squat down and eat the food with their fingers. On school days the very basic kitchen serves 650 school meals. Those who live at the site also get Posho and Beans for evening meal. Not only is this diet monotonous but it lacks the range of nutrients the children needs to grow properly and to stay healthy and alert. It would be good to be able to help make sure they regularly got some fruit and vegetables and ocasionaly some meat, but the increasing cost of food and food shortages are making it difficult to even provide Posho and Beans; the agriculture project has been initiated to tackle this problem (see the Agriculture Project page for details).

Water – In 2007 it was shocking to see dirty water being taken from a shallow well on the site. The water was making the children ill, giving them skin problems and was a potential source of cholera. So later in 2007 support was raised to install a deep borehole and a water pump which has continued to provide a good supply of cleaner water. It is clean enough for washing but should be filtered and boiled before drinking.

Washing Clothes – Living in a dusty and muddy place with only a school uniform and one set of clothes means washing one set of clothes every couple of days.

Toilets – Most of the toilets at Revival are tradtional 40′ deep pit latrines which involves squatting over a hole in the ground. They are very smelly and not very hygienic so washing of hands is a high priority, especially before eating meals. A stream runs through the site and to protect it a new six unit composting toilet block has been erected. Three units are used for six months then they are closed off to compost while the other three units are used over the following six month period.

Love, Care and Support – Each dormitory has a matron who lives with the children as a mother figure. The matrons care for and encourage the childern and teach them how to look after themselves. They care for them when they are sick, in partnership with Ruth’s nurses in the Revival Clinic if they need medical attention. Pastor Ivan and his wife Allen are the highly respected and much loved parents of the Revival family who have committed their lives to providing for these children. The children know that, regardless of their previous circumstances, they are valued, loved and being given the chance of a future.

Kids at Play – With 650 children trying to use them every school day, the swings and slides are in constant need of repair and occasionally replacement – there is no fund for this and it is usually addressed by visitors. Having no toys available in shops the children at Revival make their own toys using whatever materials they can find and create some impressive things.

The Revival Centre may struggle to meet material needs but it is a very positive and happy place for the children to grow up.

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