USFW Orphan Care Centre
The Kakamega Orphans Care Centre provides a home for children deemed most needy by the USFW women, who know the children in their villages well. The Care Centre opened in January 2005 and now houses up to 50 children aged 6 to 17 with house parents, a pastor/counselor, and support staff. Living at the Care Centre is a miracle for the children, who often arrived sickly, traumatized, and hopeless. It offers a cooperative family environment, where children receive healthy meals, loving care, medical attention, and the opportunity for an education.
A Letter from Beryl Busolo
Kakamega Care Centre
My father died in 1999 when I was 3 years old, and my mother died in 2000. After that, I lived with my aunt. I’m used to calling her Mom, so sometimes I just say, “I live with my mom.” My brother, sister, and I lived there. My aunt knew Mama Dorothy because we live in the same area, and I came to the Care Centre in 2005, when I was in Class 6. Since I graduated from secondary school, I live again with my aunt.
Before I came to the Care Centre, a big challenge for me was school fees. The Care Centre took care of them, and I thank God for that. The Care Centre has been very important in my life because it enabled me to go through my education without stress since they provided school fees and basic needs. When I first came to the Care Centre, I didn’t like to answer questions about my parents; I didn’t want to talk about those memories, but I came to accept that I was an orphan, and I learned to socialize with many kinds of people and made new friends, and I liked it a lot. My experience at the Care Centre was also fantastic because I learned drawing, painting, and knitting, and I enjoyed singing there. I believe that I sing well and have a passion for it, and I joined the Kenyan Girls’ Choir where I sang soprano. I also loved the discussions that we had at the Care Centre. Living at the Care Centre was wonderful, and I miss it a lot. I hope that one day I can come back to the Care Centre and help.
I would like to pursue a course in Public Health or, if not, a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at a university. I would love to work in a hospital, and I think these two courses would enable me to work in a Kenyan hospital or one abroad. I chose Public Health because it is very marketable in Kenya at the moment and nutrition because it is also marketable and I love things to do with cooking. I am a good student. My grades were very good; I got a B+, so the government will pay half my university fees. Math is my best subject. I would like to go to Moi University in Eldoret in September, which is the time for entrance for those who pass well in secondary school, and the government will chip in. Now I am at home, and I am doing some computer studies in Kakamega.
“The Care Centre is the absolute opposite of my Dickensian concept of ‘orphanage’ as a place where I would not want children to be or to be myself. The children get food, a safe home, and an education from the Care Centre, but, most importantly, they get the love they need to thrive. They happily share that love with all who visit and with those who donate to their well-being from afar.” – Kakamega Visitor
Care Centre History
It started with a pot of beans cooked by the USFW Kenyan women each week for hungry orphans in the area. This grew to a weekly, then daily feeding program, which brought Dorothy Selebwa, the visionary and founder of the Project, to the USA to find sisters to join her in the call to help orphans.
In Maine, she met Molly Duplisea-Palmer, Sukie Rice, and Sharon Salmon, who felt the call to join her. They all began to raise funds, and, within months, the generosity of people from New England made it possible to build the foundation for a dining hall and kitchen.
When construction began in 2002 , the original plans called for a dining hall and kitchen to house a feeding program for 100 orphans, who came daily for a large meal, often the only one they had. Soon, bedrooms were added above the dining hall.
When they were complete and staff was hired, the USFW women brought the first group of 28 children to live there. The Care Centre now has a third floor for offices, a computer room, guest rooms, and a community meeting room.
In 2007, a separate boys’ dormitory was built, and, the boys began living there in 2008. There is now space for 30 girls and 20 boys. Since 2008, all 50 beds have been filled, and each child has experienced a life-changing miracle. Since the Care Centre opened in 2005, 95 children have lived there, 45 of them now “graduates,” almost all of whom have gone on to high school.
Explore the links below to learn more about the Orphan Project of Kakamega.