Electricity is a luxury in many Kenyan homes, especially in the slum. Our residents at Mercy House often turn on a light switch for the first time when they enter our home. But even with electricity, power often goes out, sometimes several times a week for hours at a time and normal everyday functions are done in the dark. A backup generator would help us continue household duties and programs even while it's dark.
It could also be life-saving. In 2012, we experienced one of these weekly power surges and one of our new moms woke in the middle of the night to feed her hungry baby. She was still new at breastfeeding and needed a light, so she lit a single candle to help care for her baby.
Unfortunately, she fell asleep and the candle caught the curtain behind the bed on fire, as well as the wall. As the fire caught the bedding on fire, she woke, grabbing her baby and alerting the rest of the girls in the room. Thankfully, the home was evacuated in time while the house staff put the fire out. We are so grateful injuries were minimal, but the home sustained thousands of dollars in damage, all of which could have been avoided with a generator.
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