Providing a safe haven for children in need
Sons of Manaseh Children’s Home was founded by Beatrice and her late husband Joseph. The couple had a passion for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable in the society, which led them to share the Children Bible Club’s Gospel with vulnerable children at a slum in Dagoretti, Nairobi. Here, they would meet with children every Saturday, share a small bite for lunch and fulfill the missionary call.
“We soon realized that these children needed more than just our words. Most of them were orphans whose parents had died of HIV/AIDs. Others were abandoned by their parents who were brewing illicit alcohol and dealing with drug abuse. This abandonment had led to these children dropping out of school. They also lacked basic needs such as food, shelter, and education. That led us to open Sons of Manaseh Children’s Home,” Beatrice says revealing that the home was opened in 2007.
The name Manaseh was drawn from the book of Genesis 41:51 where Joseph named his first child Manaseh, saying “it is because the Lord has made me forget all my troubles.”
“We are concerned with the holistic development of these children. When they come to our home, we focus on meeting the children’s every need and giving them a safe place to grow up. We hope to help them forget their troubles,” Beatrice says.
In the beginning, Sons of Manaseh consisted of Beatrice, her husband, their children, and 20 orphans. They lived in a small rented house in Nairobi’s Dagorreti area. Here they faced a number of challenges. “We needed finances to cater for the children in our care and pay rent for our house every month. Besides the basic need, we also struggled with language barriers as our children are from all over Kenya and spoke many different languages,” she recalls.
The majority of the children also needed psychosocial support and counseling. Some had also been diagnosed with HIV, meaning they needed regular medical care as well. Then there was the issue of educating these children. “It was difficult at the beginning, and it’s still challenging today,” Beatrice says. “However, we have managed to weather the storms through the help of well-wishers like Moja Tu,” she says.
From these humble beginnings, Sons of Manaseh has grown tremendously. Currently, the house and supports 60 children. “Since its inception, we have supported over 300 orphans in our in-house program and over 300 children in the outreach program. We have children at the primary, secondary, and university school levels,” Beatrice reveals. The home has also relocated to a fully-fledged facility in Kiserian, about an hour’s drive from Nairobi.
For Beatrice, seeing the children she has taken under her wing grow and transform into responsible young adults with bright futures is very fulfilling. Beatrice came to learn about Moja Tu through the internet and she reached out to the organization about a potential partnership. “Moja Tu’s team was eager to help. The organization now sponsors many of our children who are in different levels of education. Besides paying their school fees, our students also benefit from school supplies such as stationery, laptops, textbooks, and uniforms,” she reveals. “They also have access to quality medical care and counseling if they need it.”
Besides helping the sponsored students at Sons of Manaseh, Moja Tu also helps everyone else at the home as much as possible. “Moja Tu makes consistently generous donations to help ensure all of our children have access to good, nutritious food,” says Beatrice. “I love working with and taking care of these sweet young children, and I wouldn’t be able to continue to do what I love without the help of donors like Moja Tu.”