Catholic Missionary Work in Kenya
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.
Lives are Being Transformed at Saint Joseph the Worker Home!
Give Disabled and Mentally Handicapped Children Independence & Hope
St. Joseph the Worker Home in Kakamega, Kenya is helping disabled and mentally handicapped children experience life to the fullest. The Sisters of Mary of Kakamega guide these children towards self-reliant and dignifying lives even with their bleak reality of discrimination and a lack of basic healthcare.
YOU can help these precious children receive essential care by helping them build skills that will give them long-term success! Children like Ivan will be able to live rewarding and joyous lives as they thrive in a positive and Godly environment.
The Sisters work hard to give disabled and mentally handicapped children the rehabilitation, medication, vocational training, and care they need. For Ivan, this life-saving care brings forth remarkable opportunities to use his God-given talents and become closer to living an independent life.
St. Joseph the Worker Home was initiated in 1998 by the Sisters after witnessing that children with disabilities in the surrounding community were not receiving adequate care.
Ten-year-old Ivan grew up in difficult living conditions that caused him to become malnourished and socially isolated from his community. The Sisters found him during a field visit and after a medical examination, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Since joining St. Joseph the Worker Home, he partakes in speech and physical therapy, which strengthens his social skills.
He can now enjoy activities that children his age engage in such as playing and socializing with his friends and watching games. He currently is in a pre-vocational class where he is gaining essential skills that will deeply richen his life in the years to come. His family commends the Sisters’ devotion and perseverance as he is improving greatly and sees that he is heading towards living a meaningful life.
Wheelchairs, Seeds, & Sewing Machines
Your bountiful support has given the precious children who live at the Saint Joseph the Worker Home a healthy and flourishing environment!
Thanks to you, along with the Sisters of Mary of Kakamega who run the home, we have been able to give the children what they need to succeed. This includes wheelchairs, which have helped children with cerebral palsy move around the home easier and attend physiotherapy.
Your donations have also gone to supply the home with nutritious food that sustain them as they await the yearly harvest. They will take the seeds you helped provide and plant them to grow food. Cows have also been purchased which help support a nutritious diet in the children as they consume dairy regularly now.
Along with these successes, vocational training machines such as sewing machines are training the children to develop essential skills with tasks such as sewing their uniforms.
The Sisters also thank Catholic World Mission for helping to supply the home with essentials such as medicine for the children who struggle with epilepsy and enough mattresses and beds for each child.
These children can shed a light on their community and are grateful for your support as it is positively changing their lives!
The Mission of the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor
The Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor are asking for YOUR help to bring up 22 devoted candidates who wish to fulfill their spiritual calling in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Establishing the Queen of Mercy Formation House and Mission Outreach Center will give the Sisters the chance to uplift and save countless lives in impoverished conditions.
The Sisters have faced many challenges while practicing corporal works of mercy and attempting to develop a new mission in Chokaa, East Nairobi. Now, the existing challenges have been amplified because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the sisters passionately persevere, knowing how desperately the Chokaa slums need their help and the Lord’s presence.
On the night of December 23, a massive power outage in the slum occurred while she was at work. Alone and scared, Tiffan and Lian lit a candle and then fell asleep. Unfortunately, Miriam returned home to a mother’s worst nightmare and saw the shack had caught fire, and both of her children had not been able to escape and passed away.
Miriam’s gut-wrenching story sprung the Sisters into action. They realized the desperate demand for not only the necessities but also faithful people who are devoted to caring for others when they need it the most. This is how the Queen of Hope Formation House and Mission Outreach Center was born. This formation house will train the aspiring Sisters in their holy way of life and the ministries of mercy they joyfully fulfill for the love of Jesus. The passion for spreading the Gospel and empowering others has already inspired 22 young women to sacrifice everything to help others like Miriam who are in critical need.
“May God’s blessings and peace be with you always, as you help us to spread His loving mercy and compassion to His little ones in great need!”
— Sister Rita Bandola
This program will provide aid to struggling mothers by giving free day and night care to their children as they are at or looking for work. With YOUR help, we will not only lift the faithful women who are training in their religious sisterhood but also hard-working women who want to make a better life for their children.
Your donation towards establishing this new mission in the Chokaa slums of Nairobi will provide for the basic needs, formation programs, and development of these devoted and radiant Sisters. In return, they will be able to provide the proper care to mothers and children in this community through the outreach center. The items the Sisters are kindly asking for, such as bunk beds, classroom materials, and Bibles, are essential to truly making a difference.
The CFSOP Kenya Order has been established!
Thanks to your abundant generosity, the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor have been able to establish their Order in Nairobi, Kenya! The Sisters have been training dedicated candidates in their Formation programs over the past few months. YOU have been able to provide classroom necessities including chairs and desks along with household essentials such as a stove, refrigerator, sewing machines, and more!
Your support has also helped open the Mercy Child Care Center, which aims to give working mothers the care and counsel they need to give their children adequate nourishment including childcare during the day and night. The Child Care Center both empowers mothers and saves the lives of children who would normally be left unattended under different circumstances.
The Sisters have also started a feeding program at Maua Primary School for forty children who do not have access to daily meals. Along with this initiative, they also volunteer as part-time teachers at the school and assist with administrative tasks.
Your kindness has already changed the lives of many in Nairobi. Sister Rita Bandola personally thanks Catholic World Mission and YOU for your selfless giving:
“All these humble works and the growth of our dear Sisters and our Kenyan mission and Queen of Hope Formation House and Child Care Center have been helped and made possible through the kindness of CWM and we are truly grateful and thank God for His infinite mercies!” –Sr. Rita Bandola
Missionaries of the Poor Reaching the Community
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.
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:
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 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.”
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…
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:
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.”
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.
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!
Serving the Children
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.
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:
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!
Children with New Lives
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.
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!
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.
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
Help us heal more disabled children in Kenya by donating today!
Teaming Up to Help the Most Vulnerable
With your help and the MOP brothers’ compassion, CWM was able to provide new furniture for the monastery and food and help with other expenses for the orphanage. These 25 children have been lifted out of the slums and provided loving care including feeding and daily therapy.
“We are very grateful to you Deacon Rick, Amber, the staff, and donors of Catholic World Mission. Thank you so much. God bless you for everything you do for the love of the Lord and His children. Please be assured of our humble prayers.” – Fr. Paul