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Kenya

Population: 45,925,301
Percent Below Poverty Line: 45.9%

In 2011, a famine crisis hit Kenya. It was caused by a perfect storm of events: prolonged drought, escalating food prices, and an influx of refugees from conflict-wrought areas in Somalia and Ethiopia. Disease infiltrated the Horn of Africa, tearing apart families and adding to the general suffering.

The mission in Kenya began in 2012 to evangelize people in remote areas, and to bring hope in the midst of famine and suffering. The Missionaries of the Poor saw the needs of the people and knew they needed to expand their mission to meet basic needs: food, clothing, medicine, and education. They work around the clock to meet the needs of people physically, and spiritually.

Explore the tabs below to learn about our projects in Kenya.

“We are trying to stand on our own feet, but we are struggling.” -Missionary of the Poor, Brother Roshan

Missionaries of the Poor Reaching the Community

About

The Missionaries of the Poor came to Nairobi in 2007. Their mission was to feed the hungry in the area and tell them about Jesus. These brave missionaries are no strangers to desperate need. Drawn to serving the poorest of the poor, and armed with a large container of grain and basic food staples, they opened their hearts and their shack to everyone in need.

Slowly the word spread and families began migrating to the shelter each day: widowed mothers with their children, the stragglers and the sick, the desperate and lonely. Brothers organized a daily feeding plan for families, many of which had been forced to choose which of their children would eat that day.

Over time the feeding program evolved into more: facilitating delivery of medicines and doctor visits, making sacraments and mass available, and community support.

And while the famine eventually ended, the consequent poverty in Nairobi has escalated. Families there are more reliant on charity now than ever before. MOP brothers understand the roots of generational poverty are planted in times of desperation. Education, employment, and life skills take a back seat when people are hungry.

The Missionaries of the Poor are working to stop the cycle of poverty here before it takes hold. Thanks in great part to CWM donors, they have opened a school for the children and are engaging the adults and teens in the work of the community. They also have plans to refurbish an old building on site to turn into a bakery, where community members can use the crops grown on site to feed the community.

Today they feed up to 275 people per day, educate 120 children in full time school, and house and care for dozens of homeless people, including those disabled and unable to care for themselves.

It sounds like a success story: and it is. But in truth, the brothers are barely hanging on. The cost of food, water, textbooks, facilities, clothing, and medicine is more than they are able to cover most months.  However, the brothers do not lose hope. They know that God has provided, and will continue to provide.

Families

Serving Over 275 Families

The Missionaries of the Poor are serving over 275 families from their base in Nairobi, Kenya. The families are made up of disabled children, elderly, poor single mothers, orphaned children, and impoverished parents and their children. The brothers struggle to meet the needs of their community, but never complain. They only ask for generosity and prayers.

To meet the needs of the community the brothers fill the peoples’ stomachs with three meals a day so they are then able to learn. The Missionaries of the Poor brothers also prioritize daily Mass and the sacraments to lift up the community. John, pictured at left, came to the center four years ago when his parents could no longer care for him.

“The brothers pray with me and prepared me for my baptism.” – John

The brothers know that if children are not educated, they will continue to live in generational poverty. The brothers along with missionary volunteers teach the children in a structured school setting. Classes are offered in the Good Shepherd School from pre-k to kindergarten, a run-down multi-purpose structure that was supposed to be temporary. The structure also serves the permanent residents of the community as well as office space, classrooms, a kitchen, and dorms. The brothers hope to have dedicated buildings for each of these needs one day instead of continually shifting between being a place for beds, desks, and as a dining hall.

See more photos of the community here:

Meet Ramesh

Ramesh Nganga is 14 years old and is an orphan. He has never met his father, and lived with his mother until her sudden death in 2010 which left Ramesh and his young brother orphans. For three years he slept on the sidewalks, like a street boy, without the love and affection of anyone. He has other street boys with him. For his meals either he begged or stole food from the market. Without the love and the affection of the parents, like any other boys of his age, he got into cheap drugs.

Life was not easy for him the three years when he spent on the street. Thanks be to God, Brother Edson of the Missionaries of the Poor met Ramesh while he was going to the home for the abandoned children. That was the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Ramesh.

Now he is helped by the brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor and regularly attends school. One day he hopes to become a Religious brother and offer his service to the children who live in streets.

Food Lines

Food for the Hungry

The brothers continue to serve over 275 families three meals a day out of their soup kitchen, not including the disabled children; those that can bring food to workers in the quarry when there is enough. The brothers also have a small school for 100 children, whom they provide food for, and a medical dispensary where they serve the poor every weekend. Their resources are often strained and when there is not enough food they choose to go without food for themselves in order to feed the families. The brothers not only care for the poor – they live among them, share in their poverty, and love them with the love of Christ.

When there is not enough food for the community the Missionaries of the Poor brothers go without. Your generosity to the mission in Kenya ensures they do not go to bed hungry.

Today, you can start setting aside $2 a day to continue helping to provide food for the families, disabled children, and orphans the missionary brothers care for.

The goal in assisting the brothers is to help them provide for 100 more people until the summer when crops are ready to be harvested. For $61 a month this can be a reality. To care for 100 more people for the next six months, we need your help and generosity to raise $36,600. This not only provides for the parents that will be working hard to harvest come summer and fall, but for the small children who cannot work due to a disability, or who have been abandoned by their families.

Pope Francis boldly calls us to serve the hungry and malnourished daily, saying, “It is a scandal that there is still hunger and malnutrition in the world! It is not just a question of responding to immediate emergencies, but of addressing together, at all levels, a problem that challenges our personal and social conscience, in order to achieve a just and lasting solution.”

Evangelization

Celebrating the Sacraments

The Missionaries of the Poor brothers prioritize daily Mass and the sacraments to lift up the community. The brothers have brought many members of the community to the faith through their good example. Children, who were once vandals in the streets, have learned morals and how to be good Christians through the brothers. The brothers have helped many people turn their lives around! It doesn’t end there. The brothers get the whole community involved for the holidays…

December 2015

It is so good to feel the love of God on Christmas! The Missionaries of the Poor feel so blessed to serve their community through the donations of Catholic World Mission donors! On Christmas, they had one of the largest gatherings yet. So many families came to partake in their Eucharistic celebration! There was dance, singing, and so much joy! The missionary brothers were also able to provide meals for local villagers. Additionally, the missionaries were able to use the donations to buy medicine and new cribs for the disabled children they care for. Thank you so much for your support!

See more photos of evangelization here:

Medical Mission

Medical Mission

At least 40 people are treated each week in the make-shift medical clinic. The brothers spend nearly $100 per month on medicine for ailments ranging from typhoid and malaria to common infections and injuries. Without treatment, people in this area can easily die.

“It is hard to know where to put our resources, “the brothers tell us. “There is so much need.”
How Can You Help

Their Need

The brothers need your assistance to feed and care for more people as the community in Nairobi and the Missionaries of the Poor continue to find ways to be self-sufficient. Let us join hands with them. There are more people we need to feed and rescue! We need to let them know there are caring people far away that understand how it is to be hungry, and how it is to be given a fighting chance. Let us not let the brothers go to bed at night hungry after a long day’s work serving people, because they themselves do not have anything to eat.

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Today you can start setting aside $2 a day to continue helping to provide food for the families, disabled children, and orphans the brothers care for.

Your generosity aids the poor and hungry. It builds the community up in Kenya, and ensures a future for the children, and their families who depend on the brothers for food. Today, your gift will expand the community, and feed the hungry.

Help the brothers bring hope to the people of Kenya today!

“I will open up the rivers on the bare heights and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland and the dry ground into springs of water.” – Isaiah 41:18

Serving the Children

About

About the Children

The Missionaries of the Poor in Kenya serve over 25 mentally and physically disabled children. The children these men help, with your support, come from families who are the poorest of the poor. The parents cannot provide for the cost of raising the kids and so, wanting a better life for their children, the parents put them in the brothers’ care. The brothers teach the children, provide physical therapy when needed, and give them three meals a day.

The brothers could easily care for more children but they lack the proper facilities to care for more. Your generosity enables more and more children to be cared for by the Missionaries of the Poor. Explore the tabs to learn more about the children to whom the Missionaries of the Poor are bringing Christ.

School

Good Shepherd Academy 

The Missionaries’ school, Good Shepherd Academy, feeds and educates 170 little children – for free! The Missionaries of the Poor believe the dignity of every child should be met with a full belly and a full mind leading children to Jesus through the sacraments of the Catholic Church.

In November 2014, Good Shepherd Academy graduated over 26 stuents! Approximately 700 people from the community attended the graduation to express their appreciation. Thanks to your generosity, Catholic World Mission recently sent a new round of financial support to Kenya to provide schooling for those 170 children. Pictured at left: Father Paul with graduates of Good Shepherd Academy.

It is always a joy to see the children, and to see the brothers take them on field trips. Sometimes they take boat rides in the river and ensure the disabled children in their community also get to enjoy the outings.

Support for the Good Shepherd Academy offsets the costs of feeding the children, uniforms, shoes, and special outings. Last year your generosity enabled the community to purchase new desks, chairs, and school supplies for the year. The brothers teach the children free of charge, and other members of the community volunteer out of love for the children, and the desire to see them rise out of generational poverty.

See more photos of the children below:

Orphanage

25 Children

The Missionaries of the Poor have opened their hearts and home to orphaned children in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. The brothers believe that, “The Spirituality of our Institute is to be in union with Christ on the Cross, as we give joyful service to the least of our brothers and sisters and to one another in the community. We will cheerfully serve our suffering and crucified Lord as He appears to us in the poor, knowing that through the Cross He attained for us Everlasting Life.” The brothers live out their mission by helping poor orphaned children in the slums. The brothers lift them out of the slums and bring them into their home where they can find the love of Jesus through the brothers’ service.

25 children are in the brothers’ care at the center. They live in the multi-purpose building that also serves as a school, kitchen, dorms, and medical clinic. Seven of the 25 children are disabled. They are bound to wheelchairs and daily need physical therapy, as well as the love and compassion of the brothers’ attention. The brothers take on children who would not survive in their families–families too poor to care for them or give the attention they need. There are countless stories of the brothers rising up to be Christ for this poor community. Remember to read the stories in the tab below labeled “Stories”, and to check out the pictures!

Meet the People

Children with New Lives

Ramesh Nganga 

Ramesh Nganga is a 14-year-old orphan. He has never met his father, and lived with his mother until her sudden death in 2010 which left Ramesh and his young brother orphans. For three years he slept on the sidewalks, without the love and affection of anyone. He and other street boys wandered together for protection. For his meals either he begged or stole food from the market. Without the love and the affection of the parents, like any other boys of his age, he got into cheap drugs.

Life was not easy for him during the three years when he spent on the street. Thanks be to God, Brother Edson of the Missionaries of the Poor met Ramesh while he was going to the home for the abandoned children. That was the beginning of a new chapter in his life.

Now he is helped by the brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor and regularly attends school. One day he hopes to become a religious brother and offer his service to the children who live in streets.

Gabriel

One of the boys the brothers care for is Gabriel, and he has an amazing story. He was brought to the mission by an elderly woman, a relative of his mother, because his family couldn’t afford to care for him. Gabriel is the youngest of eight children. He was born paralyzed from his neck down – he is only able to move his head! His mother loves Gabriel, but as a single mother, she was unable to care for him and provide for the needs of his siblings. She entrusted him to the Missionaries of the Poor, and she visits Gabriel whenever she can. Her decision to trust Gabriel to the brotherss care has brought graces down from heaven on her family and Gabriel, who now receives physical therapy, all his meals, and the attention he needs every day!

Expanding

Help Meet Their Need

The brothers are praying to be able to expand their mission even further, and help more and more of God’s children. To do this they need to be able to physically expand into another building. Plans are already in place to build a home to accommodate 50 more children! Doing so would more than triple their capacity for accepting children and elderly. Not only will this new building have more living capacity, but also a kitchen, dining hall, an office, pharmacy, and doctor’s room. Right now the children are in a tin house which gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter – an expanded building would mean better care for all.

Construction is already underway at the Missionaries of the Poor community in Nairobi! But it will not be finished without your generosity today. These Missionaries of the Poor in Kenya will be able to help 80 children born into extreme poverty reach their fullest potential with your gift.

How Can You Help

Their Need

The brothers’ needs are varied and many. But for the children they have one dream: to give them a future full of hope. Your gift today enables these children to have a full life and cast off the chains of poverty for themselves and their families. Please help provide the children with:

  • $2 a day or $60 a month to feed a child for a year.
  • $25 to offset the cost of a child’s uniform, school supplies, and shoes
  • $65 to purchase a new mattress for a child
  • $200 to help expand the community and build a second dorm
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Help us heal more disabled children in Kenya by donating today!
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