Saints Orphanage International Orphans Centre, is based in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi, It is situated on the Eastlands part of Nairobi at the heart of the sprawling Kayole estate in Embakasi Division. The few all-weather roads that cut through the estate are so narrow and difficult to navigate. With the teeming population of this sprawling estate and the absence of pedestrian footpaths, driving in this part of the world is not for the faint hearted.
The Centre is surrounded by numerous slum dwellings, which include Soweto, Kwa Ngurue, Kibarage, Mworoto, Matopeni and Humama. These areas are characterized by inadequate infrastructure, squalid housing structures, abject poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, acute HIV/AIDS prevalence, disease, crime, and family violence.
The hardest hit and affected by these conditions are the children, especially those orphaned through HIV/AIDS and crime. The Centre takes care of children who have been orphaned by providing free education, accommodation, food, clothing, healthcare, individual skills enhancement and spiritual support to the children. Counseling is an integral aspect of the services provided at the Centre, especially to traumatized children whose parents have succumbed to HIV/AIDS, or who have a history of physical and/or sexual abuse.
The Director of the Centre, Pastor David Oyaro, has seen it all. Countless are the times he has attended burials of parents of children now under his care. These disadvantaged children, some of whom are disabled, look up to My evangelism as their only hope. In turn he does not disappoint; for he is man of faith and in His ability to take care of His children.
Saints Orphanage International and Education Centre was registered by the Kenyan government in 2006 under the Ministry of Children, Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services.
The Centre has local Kenyan volunteer workers who include teachers, counselors and cooks for the 80 children.
The children are fed and educated at the Centre.
The Centre has 8 classes measuring six-by-ten feet for various grades (from Kindergarten to primary school), and a rental home where they sleep.
Message from the director:
During my evangelism in the community, I came face to face with the ravages of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The plight of children whose parents had succumbed to the deadly virus was too much to bear for me. So, I decided to take action.
In the early days, Pastor David would assist the families with the counseling, word of God and prayers to give hope to the families affected with HIV/AIDS. I would only afford to provide for a child’s basic needs during that time of service in the community.
Soon, parents who were infected with HIV/AIDS started dying, leaving their children with nobody to take care of them. Most of these children had already dropped out of school to look after their ailing parents. Even after the government started offering free education in primary schools, it was very difficult for the ailing parents to afford uniforms and other school requirements for their children, which the government could not provide.
After the parents died, the children could not go back to school since they had to take care of their siblings. Hungry and helpless, many went to the streets to pillage in garbage sites, in desperate search of food. Others were kicked out of their parents’ rented houses, leaving them with no choice but to hit the streets.
Unable to accept the unfolding scenario, Pastor David started looking for a shelter for the children where he could house and feed them. He also decided to set up a school for these children. With no money, but a big faith in God, Pastor David purchased land that is currently under construction..
Pastor David rallied the community to support with food, clothing, and building materials etc. At times they will not donate enough for the children to eat, since most of them live in less than a dollar a day. Although during difficult days, God is always at hand to provide.
With people volunteering to teach the children, formal learning was gradually introduced at the Centre. Despite the fact that we don’t have desks, stationery and school uniform for them. The need however, is still very high as a number of the children continue to sit on the bare floor during lessons. Also during night we have problem of beddings and a nice place for them to sleep.