Rhoda Namtende, 49, Kenya
Rhoda is the founder of her own children's home called “Springs of Life” where she cares for and educates needy children.
Before being admitted to the SOS Children's Village in Mombasa, Rhoda and her siblings used to live on the streets. A malnourished child at first, she quickly caught up at school and finished her primary and secondary education successfully. Later, immediately after leaving care, she secured herself a job at the Intercontinental Hotel in Mombasa. But her passion to serve others remained dominant and she kept coming back to the village encouraging other youngsters to work hard and pursue their dreams.
“Springs of Life”, in the spirit of Hermann Gmeiner, welcomes and accommodates young people, providing shelter and emotional advice. The home, founded in 2012, is growing and her initiative has inspired others to make a difference in the lives of those around them. At the same time, Rhoda is always there for children and young people at the SOS village when they need her.
"When things were not going as I had envisioned, I once reached out to Rhoda” an SOS sibling remembers. “Although she was busy, she dropped everything, called me back, listened to me and then gave advice on the basis of her own challenges and experiences. She followed up on me until I was back on track”.