Abbotsford’s Kim Lee (middle) visits with the kids and staff of an orphanage in Narok

Abbotsford’s Kim Lee (middle) visits with the kids and staff of an orphanage in Narok

Abbotsford group supports orphans in Africa

The Imani Orphan Care Foundation was recently gifted an orphanage in Kenya.

The Abbotsford-based Imani Orphan Care Foundation recently received the gift of an orphanage in Kenya, allowing for the care of even more kids.

The home, located in the city of Narok, about two hours west of Nairobi, was gifted to the foundation by another Canadian charity. It sits on three acres of land and has 40 kids currently in care.

Imani plans to build new sleeping quarters for the children. The existing buildings will be used as a larger dining hall and a church as an outreach to the local village.

Imani also plans to build walls around the home to protect the kids living there.

Abbotsford’s Kim Lee, who started the foundation in 2010, said the children in the home are from the Masai tribe.

“In their culture, the kids are not educated, and the girls are married off in order for the guardians to receive a dowry of a cow. They are often the fourth or fifth wife to an older man,” she said.

She said the boys tend to become the herders of the livestock, which takes up all of their days, leaving no time for education.

“We know that there are bright futures for the kids, and we are so thankful to allow the children to stay in the home and to receive the care they deserve.”

Lee and her husband Geoff travelled to Kenya in October to look at the new orphanage.

During their time there, they also visited with two-year-old Marai Shauri, one of the orphans, who received life-saving surgery.

The toddler suffers from a condition which is causing the left side of her body to grow faster than her right. The 14-hour surgery corrected an overgrowth on her face that was causing breathing problems and also ensured that her organs will keep functioning properly.

In addition to the new orphanage, Imani Orphan Care provides sponsorships for children in need, supports the In God Our Faith home in Malindi on the Kenyan coast, and is working toward building other children’s homes.

The organization currently cares for 215 children who have been orphaned – mainly due to the AIDS epidemic in Africa – or abandoned because their families cannot afford to care for them.

Imani also has projects in place, including a 20-acre farm that not only helps feed the kids but is used as a training facility to develop skills for their future.

For more information about the organization or to make a donation, visit imaniorphancare.com.