Hope for Huruma Executive Director and short term missionary. written after her 3rd visit to Huruma.
It's unbelievable to me that I have been in Kenya for 17 days. As the end of my trip draws near I fight sadness. Instead, I'm trying to make the most of every minute of my remaining 4 days at Huruma Children's Home. During this, my third trip, I have grown to love "my" kids more deeply, have become closer with others, and have begun new friendships with children I've only just met. Truly, I love them all. Each precious face tells a story and if you'll only invest some time and caring they will trust you with it. The stories are all very different but most include significant elements of struggle, rescue, and restored hope.
HOPE. It's why we do what we do at Hope for Huruma Foundation.
For each of its children Huruma Children's Home provides a safe home, a good education, and hope for the future. Its founder, Mama Zipporah, has a vision to do all this and more.
Huruma is a haven for children who have been abandoned, rejected, or whose parents are unable to provide a safe home for them. At Huruma, I have met HIV positive children driven out of their communities due to the stigma associated with the virus. I have met infants left at the hospital by their ill-prepared young fathers after the death of their mothers during childbirth. I have met teens left to survive on their own in the slums when family members were no longer able to provide for them. Young abuse and rape victims work to put their lives back together within the walls of Huruma. Offspring of parents whose lives were torn apart during tribal clashes seek shelter there as well. Over two hundred children call Huruma their home and are deeply grateful to Mama Zipporah for taking them in.
Mama Zipporah gives jobs to women in need enabling them to care for their children. She goes into the slums to share food with the poorest of the poor and share with them her message of hope. Mama is well-respected in the community and it is not uncommon for residents of her village or police officers from nearby towns to seek her out when there is a child in crisis. I sat next to a Kenyan woman on the airplane from London to Nairobi. She was very familiar with Mama's story and her good works in her country. Mama Zipporah is mother to the residents of her home but her hope extends to all Kenyan children.
Mama was given a sizable piece of land about an hour’s drive from Huruma. She has big plans for the land, including planting crops to feed the children at her home. Before that is possible, Mama will install a well to provide water not only to her land, but to the surrounding community. Currently, these folks must walk a mile or more to buy water for cooking, drinking, bathing, and so forth. Mama plans to share the water from her well to lessen that burden.
Every child holds promise but will best reach his potential in a safe, supportive environment. The teaching staff at Huruma work tirelessly to prepare their students to succeed at whatever they might choose for their future. Their salaries are meager by U.S. standards and are low compared to other Kenyan schools. But the teachers at Huruma are dedicated to Mama's mission and to serving the children in her care. Last week teachers from Arizona visited Huruma to provide professional development for the school staff. Upon receiving gifts of backpacks full of supplies the Huruma teachers cried with delight, "It's like Christmas!" Even more than the gifts, they were extremely thankful for the encouragement, friendship, and learning poured into them.
Mama has developed a mentoring program that allows children to explore various careers in which they are interested. College-bound students participate in a year-long transition after high school that enables them to work and learn to be more independent before leaving for a college or university. Other students choose to enter the workforce right away and Mama assists them by connecting them with nearby businesses.
When Mama Zipporah's vision is advanced EVERYONE wins.
Children's lives are saved. They are given hope and a future.
Teachers are employed and provided with a purpose that gives them pride in their work.
Communities are enhanced when their poor are cared for and their land is improved.
Visitors are blessed when their lives collide with those of Huruma's family.
Donors are rewarded when they see the positive impact of their financial support.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
— John Holmes
Hope for Huruma board member and short term missionary, written after her first visit to Huruma Children's Home.
After I came back from Huruma June, 2017, I spent many weeks shedding happy tears. I couldn't believe the overwhelming feeling I had in my heart for this orphanage after only eight days. How could ones heart triple in size overnight? Although I had questions for God, I knew in my heart that this was my calling and where Jesus had been leading me for over ten years. I had finally felt complete and am still to this day am in awe of how He is working. I feel so honored and blessed to be apart of this beautiful story.
When you walk onto the grounds of the orphanage, you can sense the presence of God—its undeniable. The kids are so genuinely happy, and their smiles are infectious. It was so amazing to watch the staff and teachers shower love on these children and us.
I felt like I was a part of their family from day one. But the thing that impacted me the most was how much they know love Jesus. The way they worship and study the Word was breath taking.
I desire to come alongside Mama and her incredible staff at Huruma Children's Home by making an impact in these sweet kid's lives. I look forward to seeing the movement that God has for our foundation in partnership with Huruma Children's Home.
Hope for Huruma board member and short term missionary, written after his first visit to Huruma Children's Home.
On 3 hours of sleep following over 24 hour of international travel I was suddenly awakened by a loud choir of heavenly voices singing praises to God. No, it wasn’t heaven, I went on a once in a lifetime trip to Huruma Children’s Home in Kenya. Our job was to help with kids to transition from the home to life on their own. When you are an orphan couch surfing is much harder.
At Huruma, Mama and her team take in kids that have no other options. The use whatever resources that get to feed, cloth, educate, and love the hundreds of children in their care. These children have nothing by way of possessions yet they are joyful and excited to learn. It was very special to play with them and show them God’s love. I am amazed at how happy one can be when you focus on being where you are.
Our mission was to help students that were graduating from high school be ready for life after Huruma. For many of these students Huruma is the only home they remember. We helped them get a place to live with the blankets, pots, beds, food, and other essentials one needs to live on. The Home helped with finding jobs so the students could support themselves. Our team also taught classes on cooking, finance, relationships, and careers. Many of these students are headed off to university and trade schools next year. It was very impressive to hear the passion these young people had to make an impact on the world.
It was also possible to introduce some of the younger kids to carpentry. They were overjoyed to see what they could create with their hands. Truth be told, as a grandpa I was probably have the more fun helping the kids discover new things than they were. The few short days I spent with the people at Huruma were very enjoyable for us. On my next visit 4 months later, I got to reconnect with people I had met in November.
About 5 years ago I first was introduced to these children and I fell in love with their smiling faces. I decided to sponsor a girl who was close to my son’s age. I made the commitment to write to her at least one a month. Through our letters I have watched her grow into a lovely young girl. I have learned about her family and how she is encouraged by my letters. We have built a long lasting friendship.
This summer I was blessed with being able to visit Huruma. There I met my African daughter face to face. We were able to spend a lot of time together. She introduced me to her friends, showed me the school and showed me what she did for fun.
During my visit I got to see how Mama’s leadership and love has inspired all of these children. They are very thankful for everything they have,and have been blessed with. All of the children at Huruma have a huge heart for Jesus, are very polite, kind and humble.
Sponsoring a child has changed my heart. You truly know you are making a difference everyday.
Tara, child sponsor and short term missionary, with her sponsored daughter, Damaris.