Children at the Urafiki Center were born into harsh conditions in the slums, many of them left orphaned at an early age and having to cope with varying degrees of physical deprivation, loss, abandonment and other emotional trauma.
Miles for Smiles places great importance on building a supportive, caring foundation that will help the children transition positively into adulthood. Not only are their physical and educational needs met, but they receive moral guidance and emotional and spiritual support.
Mario, Sandra and staff strive to instill a sense of self-worth in each child, helping them feel loved and discover their unique inner potential. As a result they will go on to live happy and successful lives in spite of the harsh realities of their upbringing. Simple gestures like a listening ear, a hug or an encouraging smile go a long way in helping to heal wounds and instill renewed hope.
Special events, such as excursions, birthday and graduation celebrations, help build a sense of belonging and pride.
Recreational activities nurture friendships and are a great source of joy for the children in their previously dismal lives. A happy day for everyone was when a playground set was first built for the center!
Christian character building studies, group discussion and personal mentoring help to impart faith, courage in spite of difficulties, and a desire to help others.