Where the idea of the IDP Housing project was conceived, many of us have no idea. But one thing is for sure. There is no doubt in my mind that the minds that conceived and executed the idea were in it for a reward. As far as I can remember, there was no one moment in time when it was mentioned that we could get a mention at the forthcoming District Conference or even in a local newspaper. No one ever mentioned we must do all that PR and Fundraising coz we could get an award! Not once, never. At a personal level, I had no idea clubs get awards at the District Conference (thats how ignorant I was back then). There was psyche; there were the hearts that wanted to help another Kenyan; there were hands that were willing to get dirty; there were feet that were willing to stand the whole day fetching water, pushing and pulling wheelbarrows; there were busy schedules that were willing to take a break and go down to Maai Mahiu to help put a roof over another Kenyan’s head. There were Rotaractors, a Rotarian and friends who took up the idea and gave each according to what he could. We had no idea that on top of receiving an award, banner and mention in a local newspaper we were beginning a journey: a journey of great friendships. I know long after the award has gone to another country and the banner is worn out and the link to the newspaper mention is no longer accessible, we shall still have great friendships that began with the IDP Housing Project.
After all of us had gone back to our clubs and embarked on other projects and when the IDP Housing Project was part of our reports in our archives, what we had done without expecting anything in return came back to visit us.
Sometimes we do things as routine, sometimes we do things with an end in mind. While we went down to Maai Mahiu because we were on our usual routine of carrying out community service projects and while our end in mind was to see at least 2 roofs over 2 Kenyan families, we had no idea that we had made an impact which at its own time in the future would show itself.
We are in deed humbled by the recognition we received both at the recently concluded District Conference, the newspaper mention and the continued reference by Habitat for Humanity Kenya. But most of all, we are privileged to have formed great friendships that I must say began with the IDP Project. The great lessons we must learn from this experience: the perfect service is that which is done from the heart, not expecting anything in return. This service rewards more than any other kind of service. The greatest reward of this service is bringing humanity together. That for me, remains the greatest reward I have received from any Rotaract Project I have been involved in.
But I think there is more to this than meets the eye and the heart off course. Why is it that when we had forgotten about the IDP Housing Project, it suddenly pops up? Why the sudden attention? I believe more than ever, we need to revisit this project. Maybe this is a call for us, not necessarily as clubs (by now most clubs have their agenda for the next Rotary year set and IDP project may not be a priority) but as individuals to do something more about this project. With only less than two years left before we go to the general elections, we still have people living in tents! What are we doing about it? This is a personal call. Think of something you can do about this and do it! This is just a reminder that we did not reach our target of 2 housing units. Imagine we only broke ground and set two foundations and we are getting all these in return. We have not build the walls and put up the roof and the finishing – the windows and doors. If we formed great friendships by just ground breaking and laying foundations for the two houses, I think we can get a wedding and maybe a president of the republic if we build the walls, put up the roofs and give 2 more Kenyan families a roof over their head.
This is not the end at all, we are far from it. The journey has just began!