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Letters for my Rafiki

Fat Mum Slim /

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I’m not a religious person. I mean I’m not officially of any religion, but I believe in God. I also believe in the Universe and I often talk to that. Perhaps I’m just a little bit crazy. Or out there. {Oh dear, my husband is going to mock me about this post, and putting my crazy out on the internet, I’m sure of it!}. Ever since I was a teenager I promised the Universe and God that I would repay them for the life I had. I was lucky. Yes, stuff happened to me as a kid, but I was brought up in a cool family, with fun siblings and a mum who loved us with all her heart, and a dad who did the same. Being born in Australia was pretty neat too. I’ve always just been pretty grateful for my life.

And I’ll admit, I used the ‘repay’ thing as a bargaining tool too. “If you just get me through this {whatever it was that seemed so hard at the time} or is you just find me the man of my dreams {thanks for that one Universe/God} I promise I’ll do really good stuff in the world”.

So I’ve always tried to donate to charities when I can, and to give me time to people in need and just try and be a good person, ‘cos the world needs more good people.

But the pressure to give can be overwhelming at times, can’t it? There’s guilt that comes with not being able to give every single time as well.

So I decided I wanted to focus on giving to one charity, and then doing what I could outside that {like hay for the farmers etc} and then when my kids are a little older I’d donate my time to help with some local people in need. I want to help when I can.

My girlfriend Sarah started a charity a few months ago to help little girls in Kenya who’ve had a really rough start at life. The stories are heart-breaking.

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This little girl is only 17 months old and has already had the most brutal start to life. I don’t want to say what happened to her, because it’s really hard to process, and it’s upsetting. Rafiki Mwema {meaning loyal friend} is a safe house where children like this little baby go to, to escape harm, to be loved and taken care of. Sarah’s charity, Rafiki Mwema, raises money to take care of these girls. Sarah and her team cover and all the admin costs etc so all money goes towards to these sweet little people.

We sponsor sweet Tabitha each month to make her life a little better.

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The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel bad, or guilty for not doing anything, and that’s not what this post is about. I just wanted to share a little about what Sarah is doing. But also, there is something you can do that won’t cost the earth.

I shared something about Rafiki Mwema on my personal Facebook page recently and the reactions were really interesting. A few friends got together and sponsored one of the girls, and others shared that they wanted to do something but just weren’t in the position to donate monthly. I totally get that. So I spoke to Sarah and asked if there was something we could do, something to bring joy? And there was this:

The girls love getting mail. It brings them such happiness. They love little stickers and beautiful pictures and little letters. So we thought we could do a little happy mail project to the girls at Rafiki Mwema.

IMG_0007Letters for my Rafiki // Letters for my friend

If you’ve got kids, or want to do it yourself, you could write a little letter, add some little stickers and send it on to the house for the girls to receive.

Sarah did tell me a few things – the girls love getting mail but it’s best if you don’t address the mail to any one particular girl, because we don’t want others to feel like their missing out. Just general mail is the best {for everyone}. Stickers are easy for them to share. Also, the mail system isn’t as trustworthy in Kenya as it might be where we live, so sending a parcel is out the the question. Boring, small envelopes are the way to go.

You can address your letters to:

Rafiki Mwema
PO Box 4298
Nakuru, Kenya
East Africa

And as with everything I do {ha!} there’s a hashtag #lettersformyrafiki, so if you put together a little parcel, add a photo to Instagram with the hashtag so we can feel the love that will be traveling around the world, or share a photo on my Facebook wall.

And if you’re in the position to donate a little bit of money, or sponsor one of the girls, you can find out more details here. Or follow along on Facebook for updates.

  • Meggy Bee

    Lovely idea, i will send something for sure x

  • Montana

    What’s the area code? Eg ballarat is 3350?

  • Dragonfly Georgie

    I’m in! Thankyou for sharing this with us

  • naenazy

    i dont think you need a post code for a post box. I’m in ,

  • michelle barrington

    What a great activity for us to involve the kids in during school holidays. Helps us all feel globally connected and raise a spirit of gratitude in our kids. Off to find some sparkly stickers.

  • Laura Banks Lewis

    Count me in.

  • Done and DONE! xx

  • Chrissy

    It must be a sign…I threw that exact Kikki K writing set in my hand bag this morning determined to write someone a letter today! Thank you soo much for sharing this with us…I have wanted to sponsor a child for a long time but like many others I was concerned that my money wasn’t going to make it to where it was needeed most. Thank you…Thank you…Thank you!!! x

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing this Chantelle. I have shared on my facebook page & my 12yr old & myself are going to write a letter this weekend. Do you think it would be ok to send a photo or two? I have heaps of Australian animals I thought the girls might like 🙂

  • Chantelle, you are a beautiful soul. I am always thinking about sponsoring a child, but don’t feel comfortable with the big organisations distributing my money properly. This changes that – thank you for sharing this! I will definitely be sending a letter and strongly considering sponsorship xxx

  • Tcrafter87

    What a beautiful idea. I might get my little one to paint a picture to add to the letter. So keen to do this.

  • Such a beautiful and special idea. I will put something together with my boys tomorrow. Thank you for raising awareness x

  • Chantelle, what a gorgeous story, and thankyou for not disclosing this little girls history. It’s her private story for now xx Can you tell us how many girls are in their care usually , to be sure that anything to be shared has enough for everyone? I love this idea, we have a sponsored child through World Vision but I very happy to share the love further x

    • Kylie

      I read on the f/book page that there were 21 girls there currently

  • Thanks for sharing this. We have a lemonade stall each year that the kids help cook for and help on the day. We raised $334 for the Tassie bush fire appeal. The next one will be for the asthma foundation (they’ve given to us, so our turn to help them). The next can be for Letters for Rafiki! Hope that’s not too far away. X

  • Debbie Huxstep

    Fantastic idea. A nurse who I worked with set up Kenya Health for mothers and babies and nurses from Murwillumbah go quite regularly to Kenya to assist with clinics etc. Unfortunately Lyle passed away earlier this year from cancer but his legacy lives on. His wife Jenny, mentioned this project on the Kenya Health facebook page today 🙂 Letters and stickers on their way from here xxx

  • Katharine McPhee

    This is absolutely beautiful, Chantelle. I am absolutely keen to write, help and spread the word!

  • thegraniteflower

    Thank you so much for telling us about this wonderful cause. I can’t even imagine how hard life must be for those poor girls. The women and men who care for them are truly amazing people. i will be trying to scrap together enough for a donation, in the meantime my son and I are writing a few letters to help brighten the day for these special girls.

  • Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • val

    Can’t wait to send some stickers.

@Fatmumslim