In Mutomo, Kitui County, Kenya, Centers of Hope teamed with Pastor Harrison and wife Alice over 3 years ago to build an orphanage that would provide safety and shelter for children who might not otherwise have food, water, a roof over the head, a bed to sleep in, or a chance to go to school. Sometimes, the backgrounds had even more heartbreaking elements involved than those. What started as a conviction to help the poorest among us therefore has materialized into a beacon of hope for the local and surrounding communities: Zion Home for Children.
There are currently 110 resident children who are provided with food, clothing, shelter, schooling, medical care, and biblical teaching. The project is directed by Pastor Harrison Kimwele and his wife Alice who also lead church in the orphanage. The church weekly attendance has grown from 7 to 250.
Most but not all the children of Zion are orphans. In Africa a child is labeled an orphan if at least one parent is missing. A “total orphan” if both parents are missing. When a father dies or leaves, in most cases the family income also disappears. The mother is usually left with several children to care for and send to school. There are very few jobs, and most are sporadic. Often school is the first “luxury” eliminated due to cost. When a mother dies the father usually remarries, and it is common for the step mother to reject of mistreat his children. Sometimes grandparents try to care for them but cannot due to health or poverty. We accept children from various situations but only the most desperate. The background of each child is likely similar to the other children at Zion. Those who still have family homes are able to visit between school terms to maintain the relationship, but they are eager to return to Zion where there is ample food, clothing, their own bed, education, hope, love, and God.