Kenya is often known for its stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and fascinating wildlife. Yet, despite the beauty, there are many underlying issues that adversely affect its citizens. Systemic problems such as high crime rates due to unemployment, lack of access to clean water and adequate social services makes the poor living conditions difficult to overcome.
Kenya continues to be one of the most HIV affected countries in the world. With approximately 1.6 million people currently affected by the disease and 36,000 AIDS related deaths reported in 2016, many children are left without family. Unfortunately, due to the stigma that surrounds these deaths, extended family are reluctant to care for these children because of fear that they might bring the disease into their homes.
Despite these challenges, Serving Orphans Worldwide is proud to support Agape Hope Children’s Home, whose purpose is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for vulnerable children in Kenya. Every child who calls Agape Hope their home has a different story. Some have lost both parents and have no relatives or close family friends to take them in. Some have been abandoned due to gender preferences, disabilities and extreme poverty. Many of the children have also been rescued from sex trafficking, forced labor, displacement due to armed conflict and child abuse. No matter the story, Agape believes that each child deserves to be loved, and that they are not defined by their circumstances.
Alina is a happy, healthy nine-year-old with big dreams of becoming a doctor. She hopes that through this career, she can help bring healing to her community. Bursting with pride, Alina often shares with other children that Agape Hope, the place she has called home for the past six years gave new life to her.
When Alina arrived at Agape Hope, she weighed just three kilos. Her growth was stunted because she did not have enough food to eat. When she was rescued, she received immediate medical attention and was put on a special diet. Over time, staff at Agape Hope were over joyed watching her gain weight.
Alina’s mother was stigmatized and shunned from her family. With no other support systems in place, she turned to abusing illicit substances to cope. She was unable to care for her children or provide for their basic needs as the stress of life drove her deeper into drug abuse. One day, Alina’s brother went out and never returned. It was discovered later that he had drowned trying to find food to feed Alina and her older sister, Ruth.
After the death of their brother, Ruth took on the responsibility of caring for Alina. They were left alone with no food or water for over a month. During this time, Ruth would climb out of the window to beg for ugali from anywhere she could find some. She would bring it back home and share it equally with Alina. However, many times they still went hungry and became desperate.
Alina and Ruth were rescued by Agape Hope Center, right before their mother sadly took her own life. Their father is incarcerated and therefore unable to care for them. This year marks six years since their rescue.
Today, Alina weighs a healthy 25 kilos. Along with the other children at Agape, she receives regular health visits, recommended immunizations, attends school and enjoys three meals a day.
Both Alina and Ruth are thriving, with high hopes for their future. Despite their circumstances, they have been given a new hope and shown the Love of Christ. We look forward to seeing them reach their full potential and the rich life the Lord has planned for them!
Like Alina and Ruth, Agape Hope is currently helping over 100 vulnerable children, most of which have lost both parents. They are giving the children hope through the knowledge of who they are in Christ and that they are unconditionally loved.
Story by: Susan Anderson