Giving vulnerable and abandoned children a second chance at life
Dream Children’s Home was founded in 2004 by Rachel and her husband Stephen. For Rachel, who is fondly referred to as mum Rachel, this was a childhood aspiration.
Rachel grew up in a single-parent home. They lived in a slum near a coffee farm that her mother worked at. What she earned on the farm was barely enough to sustain them. The plights of the families of the slum they lived in caught the attention of a wealthy old man in the area. He loved children and he did all he could to ensure that Rachel and the children like her in the slum never lacked for anything they needed.
“The old man’s generosity transformed our lives, and I swore that when I grew up, I would change child’s life like he did mine,” Rachel tells us.
Fast-forward to a few decades later, Rachel’s resolve to help the needy was put to the test when she met an elderly woman struggling to raise her two grandchildren after their parents’ death. Rachel did not hesitate to ask the grandmother if she would allow her to take in one of the children. Though they had three children of their own already, Rachel and her husband were doing well financially and would have no trouble taking on one additional child.
At the time, many people in Kenya were succumbing to the then-mysterious and dreaded HIV. As such, many children were orphaned and dealing with the virus themselves. This bothered Rachel to no end. She wanted to end the suffering of these children, but her husband kept resisting, unsure how they would manage many more children.
“We were beginning to struggle financially, and in any case, our house couldn’t accommodate any more children,” Stephen, who is a special needs teacher by profession, reveals.
One day, Rachel was called to visit a grandmother who had been left with four children after their parents passed on. After returning from the visit, Rachel knew she had to do something to help the struggling family.
“I had sworn to myself that I would never let an orphan suffer,” she says.
She thus begged her husband to allow her to take care of the four children. After seeing the passion that burned bright in his wife’s eyes, Stephen knew he couldn’t stand in the way.
“I asked God for grace and He supplied it in abundance. I decided to do everything I could to support my wife and since then, my heart has been at peace, even when we were struggling to feed, educate and clothe these children,” he explains.
And so, word spread around that Rachel was housing children in need, and within no time, she opened their home to more orphaned and abandoned children from across Kenya. And thus, Dream Children’s Home was born.
This year marks 16 years since Rachel opened the doors of her home to children in need of shelter, love, and care. She is now a mother to over 140 children who are in various levels of education.
“We eventually started a school – Lekuruki Primary School – as it became dangerous for young children to attend the nearest school, which was around 2kms away. We started the classes in our home – the sitting room would serve as a classroom during the day and the living room in the evening. Then our plight got the attention of Standard Chartered Bank’s Risk Department and they constructed three classrooms for us,” Stephen recalls.
Rachel says that the home’s partnership with Moja Tu has been a blessing and she fondly remembers the day she met Margie, our Kenyan program manager.
“Besides their generous food donations, Moja Tu sponsors the education of more than 25 of our students, pays the salary for the teachers at the school, and buys uniforms for all the children at the home – can you believe that?” she exclaims.
“We can’t thank Kathy and the whole Moja Tu family enough for the blessing they have been to us and the children. Last year, when the coronavirus pandemic brought world travel to a halt and all of our volunteers had to return to their home countries, we had no idea how we would be able to feed all of the children for an undetermined amount of time. Moja Tu quickly stepped in to provide us with enough food, sanitizing equipment, and other necessary supplies to last for months. As if that was not enough, Moja Tu also made sure that everyone was taken care of when a small number of COVID-19 cases showed up at our home.” Rachel says. “Everyone here is now happy, healthy, and COVID-free thanks to Moja Tu.”
There are very few people like Rachel and Stephen, who gave up their comfort and stability to give love to those who needed it most. The founders, staff, and children at Dream Children’s Home are very special people, and we are so happy to partner with this loving home!