Ten years ago we were informed of the need to support some helpless and abandoned children. Convinced of this necessity, we decided to respond and looked for a place of our own in order to accommodate all those little children, to whom we also provide food, clothes, pay for their tuition and many others.
“O, my God!” I thought to myself. “Will we be able to make it?” We are starting with no money, no preparations. There were already fifteen little children on the list. How could we start though? Depending on which prospects, which projects, which persons, and especially in which place and with what staff? Here in Africa everything works out in a miraculous way. Each and every person has been called for one specific purpose and behind his action lies the plan of God.
The idea was worth-praising and would definitely offer great and valuable services to the little children. Years ago the Holy Metropolis was accommodating a female monastic fraternity. The building installations already existed but after the nuns left, they remained closed and deserted. This is how the place required was found.
Here in the Mission we always say, when we want to start something new, “we cross ourselves and move on”. We talked about it, examined everything in detail, and things started getting under way. We visited the place and started the first preparations. We found local people who would staff the place.
A spur of the moment decision then, honors the name of Orthodoxy today, not only in that region but in Kenya in general because it turned out to be a model orphanage. We started with thirty-five little children. This way, we had entered a new phase in the course of the Mission in Kenya.
Our effort became known every time we had visitors from out of Kenya. They could see that our effort was genuine and offered substantial help to those children who really needed protection. Meanwhile, among the staff was a seminarian, victim of the civil war in Congo, who eventually took charge of the whole project, showing fervent zeal and exemplary dedication, since he had lost his own parents and had personal experience; he was living the drama of orphanage himself.
We did our best to make sure that they had everything they needed. Our seminarian was not only responsible for the protection and encouragement of the children but he also turned out to be the one who catechized them into the Orthodox faith. Right beside them was the parish of Saint Nicodemus, where now, every Sunday these children attend the Divine Liturgy and participate in the Holy Mysteries of our Church. Eventually, after profound and appropriate catechesis, the children are baptized and become full members of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Almost ten years have passed. The needs have increased. There are one hundred and fifty little children that are currently being hosted there. The installations were in need of almost full restoration. Also more buildings were required. The “Sophia Foundation for the Children” which is seated in Cyprus, has undertaken all the expenses for the restoration of the whole building complex. With great sensibility and excellent specifications, the procedure for the construction of the new buildings has been completed. The new orphanage comprises spacious, comfortable kitchen facilities and separate wards for hosting the boys and girls of the institution.
We have also created a fully-functioning kindergarten and a primary school that caters for the needs of the children there. It is worth mentioning here that two more orphanages have been built, which will be functioning soon. On Tuesday the 21st of May we had the inauguration ceremony of the orphanage, which is situated in the district of Laikipia.
We are thankful to God for offering His generous blessings to the work of our Church in the field of the Mission.
† Makarios, bishop of Kenya