Vulnerable Children: Our Partners

The long-term strategic goal of Just One Africa is to empower local leaders who care for vulnerable children within their community with sustainable solutions. These solutions provide long term access to clean and safe water, quality education, life skills training, adequate safe housing, and more efficient agricultural methods. These continuing viable solutions will reduce the reliance on outside sources of funding, and furnish them the means and ability to provide for themselves, as well as those they care for.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much ― Helen Keller

We have found it paramount to work closely with our local leaders by investing in who they are, and building deep relationships with them based on trust and respect. We take a great deal of time to listen and ask questions to determine what they desire to see happen in their communities. It is from that input that we move forward creating sustainable solutions that will be managed, constructed, and maintained locally.

Phoebe Onyango

Phoebe Onyango

Salem Orphanage

Salem Orphanage was started in 1992 by Phoebe Onyango, a woman who had a vision for serving children in an area of Kenya that has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic. Salem Orphanage was founded to provide neglected children a safe home where they receive love, education, and attention. Most of the children are HIV/AIDS orphans with no family support. Without Salem Orphanage, these children would be extremely vulnerable to abuse, child labor, and human trafficking. Over the last 20 years, Phoebe and her team have cared for and raised more than 700 children. She has worked tirelessly to provide for more than just their basic needs, making sure they have access to an education, medical care, shelter, and lots of love. She has a small farm in Bondo where the orphanage resides. Her struggles include finding the resources to feed and support the 85 children she currently has under her care. Phoebe is working towards greater sustainability but relies on the donations of others to keep Salem Orphanage open.

Phoebe leads and organizes training for widows and young moms so that they have the opportunity to learn different skill sets allowing them to provide for themselves and their children. She is a gifted visionary with a heart to lift others out of hopeless situations, speaking life and hope into the challenges that surround the community.

Phoebe organizes medical clinics, providing help in different communities each year. She started Salem Academy, a primary school to help vulnerable children, in 1997. This school is thriving today with hundreds of students from the local community. She also started a secondary school that is helping over 150 children each year to get secondary education.

In 1997, she opened a Community Clinic and trained 56 community health workers to help the Obunga Slums in preventing HIV/AIDS.

Phoebe is a Bishop and the pastor of a community church in Kisumu.

John and Dorcus Parit

John and Dorcus Parit

Lenkai Christian School

John and Dorcus Parit are the founders of Lenkai Christian School based in the Kimana area of south eastern Kenya. This is a private Christian school with over 250 students ranging from Baby Class (Pre-School) to Class 8 (or 8th grade). Their vision is to offer a holistic education to local Masai children, to equip them with the best possible education, and to develop their individual potential while molding them into future leaders.

They are also the founders of Lenkai Rescue Center which cares for over 50 children from needy cases such as FGM, forced or early marriage, child neglect, forced labor, human trafficking, and other abusive realities. The Center also offers non-residential support to orphans and other needy cases such as Albinism, within the neighboring community.

John is the African Director of The Olive Branch Mission, a US and Kenyan registered nonprofit with diverse projects in Kenya, including the world famous conservation program at Sidai Oleng Conservancy. This conservancy offers a wide spectrum of conservation of wildlife, water, and indigenous species of plants within a 7,000 acre conservation area managed by The Olive Branch. John is currently finalizing his dissertation for his Master’s Degree in International Management through the University of Liverpool.

Dorcus is the Volunteer Coordinator of the Water Filter Project by Just One Africa which involves training and distribution of the filters to communities. The Water Filter Program has seen distribution of over 1,000 water filters to various communities within a 150 kilometer radius from the school with tremendous success and great impact. Dorcus is also an active leader within the local and national stage where she is serving with the Local Peace Committee. She is the District Treasurer of the National Women Organization, and sits on other local and national committees involved in fighting for the rights of women and children while advocating against FGM and other forms of child abuse.

Together they have 6 amazing children, 3 girls and 3 boys.

Salem Orphanage

Salem Orphanage was founded over 20 years ago by Phoebe Onyango. She grew up in the slums and understood that most low income areas in Kisumu had a high number of orphaned and vulnerable children. She had witnessed the suffering these children experience and knew in her heart that she must do something to help them, or they would end up on the streets. The nature of support initially involved feeding programs, clothing, and medical care. Phoebe quickly realized that the provision of these basic necessities must also include education in order to help these children become self-sufficient. A school for the orphans was started with 20 children, but the number quickly increased to a level of kindergarten through 8th grade.  Today there are over 600 children in the primary school and over 150 in the secondary school.

In her efforts to ensure a well rounded education and a safe environment for these children within the slum areas, Phoebe has developed a number of programs.  These have an integrated approach to ensure that all the orphans are taken care of in a manner similar to those living with their parents. These programs include:

  • Quality education for orphans and vulnerable children
  • Vocational training for class 8 graduates
  • Medical, HIV/AIDS, and youth health programs
  • Water, sanitation, and healthy environments within the school
  • Agricultural and livestock farming

Salem Orphanage has moved from the busy city of Kisumu to the rural shores of Lake Victoria on a 20 acre farm.  Here the children are cared for, educated, and have lots of room to run and play.  The farm is a place of peace and love, and the children are thriving.  Phoebe continues to struggle to make ends meet and care for the 80 plus children under her care.  Just  One Africa, as well as a few other organizations, provide support for this worthy cause.  It is Phoebe’s desire that the orphanage become self-sufficient. Community development requires a long term commitment, one that is based on an open and honest relationship built on trust and respect for the community and the people within. This process includes a lot of listening to the local leaders and lots of questions to make sure we have a clear understanding of the needs and problems, as well as what Phoebe and her team have identified as being part of the solution. It is a very thoughtful process, designed to help and not hurt.

Impact:

  • Orphans under her care: 85
  • Children in Salem Academy Primary School: 600
  • Children in Salem Academy Secondary School: 150
  • Children in Godsent Academy Primary School: 160
  • Widows in Sustainability Groups: 250 (caring for over 1,000 children)

Lenkai Christian School

John and Dorcus Parit are the founders of Lenkai Christian School, situated in the heart of Masai Land at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in southern Kenya. Lenkai is a school that was founded under a strong Christian foundation in 2013. It has offered educational services to the local Masai people with the aim of transforming the lives of the community surrounding the school. The school is committed to offering high quality education.  The school is at its capacity with 250 students ranging from baby class to grade 8. They continue to add a new grade level each year.

The Parits also run the Lenkai Rescue Center caring for over 50 children who have been exposed to early marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM,) and others whose parents were unable to offer parental care from the Masai community.

In 2015, Just One Africa partnered with Lenkai to build a large multi-purpose building used for dining, musical productions, and community development seminars. It can also be rented out, bringing additional income to the school to cover other expenses. Just One Africa has also partnered with Lenkai to build a kitchen for the school lunch program and to prepare the meals for the rescue center. Another goal of the kitchen was to launch a bakery, which will bake bread for the students and rescue center children, to provide additional loaves to be sold for sustainable income for the school, and to provide jobs for a few local workers. One of the most recent, exciting initiatives is the drilling of a borehole as a reliable water source for them to use in agriculture, instituting other income generating activities and giving clean water to the students and kitchen for food preparation. This borehole will be a catalyst for bringing sustainability to Lenkai for years to come!

VISION:  To be the center of excellence in providing quality education that ensures holistic development of each child.

MISSION:  We are committed to providing the best possible Godly atmosphere conducive for learning growth and development of each child unto their full potential.

PHILOSOPHY:  Train up a child in the way he should go and when he or she is old he or she will never depart from it.

Impact:

  • Children at Lenkai Christian School: 250
  • Children at Lenkai Rescue Center: 50
  • Community Development Center for Enrichment and Education
  • Community Training to stop FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
  • Recycled Paper Bead Program – Providing education, income and clean water (Read More)

Within the two years, Just One has been successful in increasing productivity of the orphanage farm that serves both to support the nutritional needs of the orphanage as well as source of revenue for the orphanage. They have improved the orphanage infrastructure through expansion of dorms, classrooms, improvement of sanitation facilities. When you see the structure that had no walls, no roof that served as a classroom. To seeing the smiling faces of those same children learning in a classroom that is a proper shelter, with black boards and teaching materials then you realize that whatever you do to support JOA truly impacts the lives of God’s very own children and this is a great honor and joy to be able to do so.

LifeWithAPurpose – A review on GreatNonProfits.org

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