From the Field

Life frames: A reason to smile in Kenya

World Vision photographer Jon Warren introduces you to Abu, a World Vision staff member in Kenya who even the smallest children know by name.

Written and photographed by World Vision photographer Jon Warren

Nikon D810 camera  

70-200mm lens, 1/800th at f/5, 250 ISO

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Shout out his name the way Cheru and other kids do every time they see him zoom by—“ABOOO!”

Abu (his real name is Abraham Lokilimak) is a driver for World Vision in Kenya, but like many of our field staff, he does much more. I joked with Abu that he should have six desks in the office. An obvious one for transport, his official job. Another for IT solutions: I listened to him advise others on the most efficient formats for email attachments. Yet another for translation services: Abu speaks at least three languages fluently. Add community development: Abu is deeply involved in programs to make children’s lives better. And don’t forget guest relations, where he really shines.

Abu drove us down an impossibly bumpy road to Cheru’s house the second day we came to film her walk for water. I had my Nikon D810 and 70-200mm lens ready as soon as I got out of the car, in time to witness Abu’s happy reunion with Cheru in one of the rare moments she smiled. His gentle affection for Cheru didn’t stop there. When she got tired on the long, hot walk for water, Abu hoisted her onto his shoulders and carried her tea kettle filled to the brim with water.

With a great big smile, Abu says, “The children love me.” Not just the kids. I love him, too!

Editor’s note: Cheru’s story was featured in our spring 2017 World Vision magazine. See photos of her walk for water and a video clip of the road Abu drives to reach her.

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