NAME Sister Freda Robinson
BORN Western Kenya
PEACE PROJECTS Free Rural Clinic, Nursing School, Kindergarten, and Orphanage
SISTER FREDA ROBINSON
The embodiment of love and selflessness, since she was a child Sister Freda has committed her life to helping those in need. Along with her British ex-pat husband, Richard, this Kenyan nurse gave up her position at her district hospital to build her very own rural medical center. At a time of extreme crisis and chaos, Sister Freda was there to provide care – in every sense of the word. Endowed by what she calls “divine appointment”, she credits her faith in God for her success, as most of her patients cannot pay for the care she provides to run her center. Despite the challenges Sister Freda has faced for years, she has managed to bring countless children back to life and save local men and women from certain death – and that’s no exaggeration. In addition to the rural clinic, she has created a nursing school, day care center, and leads remote clinic services for the villagers on the fringes of the district.
What is now known as The Richard Robinson Child Care Center (RRCCC) was originally established as a small breakfast feeding program that Sister Freda’s husband, Richard, had started many years ago for 130 children. In it’s infancy, the program had little food and no form of early childhood education. Today, the once over-crowded single-room program is a fully equipped day care center housing 500 children from ages 3 to 6-years-old.
Momentum has built in the construction of the Center in large part thanks to American architect Kurt Beckman, who in partnership with a Nairobi-based engineer, designer and executed three classrooms built around an open courtyard of gardens. The front entrance acts as a reception and security area while the two adjoined wings each have their own staff room and administration office. The second wing has a children’ resource center and a nurses office specifically dedicated to the children and separate from the clinic. There are showers and toilets as well as a kitchen – a far cry from the rudimentary feeding program that sparked this dream day care center into what it is today.
Although Richard has since passed away, Sister Freda continues to run the program along with many other projects she has established to serve the need of her community. Resources are stretched and needs continue to expand but she’s not giving up. Next on her agenda: a dedicated orphanage and elementary school. And she already knows exactly how she’ll do it!
ON MIRACLES AT THE CLINIC
“Many miracles have happened here. Children coming who are not able to walk and they go home, after intensive physio given by our nurses, walking, going home. Babies have gotten here in coma, and they have gotten out of coma in a few hours or days; adults have gotten here in coma and have gone home. Yes. Many miracles.”
ON WHY SHE BUILT THE CLINIC
“Why I came nearer to the people is because they were really suffering. They were dying on the way to the hospital because it takes about 2 hours to walk to the government hospital, all with their makeshift stretchers. Really, I think the patients will really suffer if this place were to close down.”
ON HER DAILY ROUTINE
“I just work maybe 12, 14 hours a day. Then I sleep when I’m a bit tired. I work everyday, except Sunday, I go to church. I don’t get leave, I work everyday, every week, every month, all the years.”
ON HER FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB
“Midwifery, delivering babies. Seeing a new life created – and I thank God for the wonderful creation.”
Sister Freda is one of those people you just have to meet. She earned the title of “Sister” not because she’s a nun, but as a sign of respect from her community for the good work she has committed her life to for her people. And you can be part of that! Facilitated by Village Volunteers, people of all backgrounds and levels of experience are encouraged to apply. With projects ranging from a day care center to construction projects, farming, and medical care, there is no shortage of opportunity to create a lasting impact.