Loving the poor, serving the orphan
Starting in 2008, a small group of Americans partnered with a Kenyan couple in Machakos, Kenya, to support local widows and orphans in desperate situations.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic had created a gap in the generations, leaving many widowed grandmothers to try to care for their orphaned grandchildren. Starting with 12 orphan children and a 8 widowed women, the East Africa Zarephath Ministry began supporting these families with food, clothing, and medicine.
The numbers have grown to reach approximately 65 women and more than 110 children who now receive regular food, medicine, clothing, and school fees for education.
The influence of East Africa Zarephath Ministry has extended to include a foster program for children without family and support for poor families in the remote and drought-ridden Tharaka region. Families in Machakos and Tharaka that were once starving are now healthy and thriving.
In 2016, the ministry began to transition efforts to focus on self-sustainability in these communities and families. A sewing program was opened to train women to make dresses and dolls for sale. Sustainable farming education was offered for our partners and for the widowed women to grow crops on their plots of land. The ministry also purchased land that will be used as a farm to grow crops and also provide a home to children in the foster program.
A new micro-loan program was another step undertaken in the desire for sustainable investment. The recipient of the initial loan was a local pastor who opened a small shop in Tharaka. The goal is to empower families to care for their own needs and the needs of the most vulnerable in their communities.