On Lamu Island: Day Centre

With its white sand beaches and luxury hotels, Lamu Island attracts visitors from all around the world. But that's not the reason we are there. We have other work to do. Permit us to tell you about it.

administrators1. When did New Life Day Centre on Lamu Island open, and how did that happen?
We opened our doors in July, 2001. This followed a time of agonizing over the plight of vulnerable children, especially the orphaned, and then witnessing firsthand the suffering of an HIV positive child whose divorced mother was dying of an AIDS related illness, a rare skin cancer. Around that time, we met with a few community leaders, shared our vision with them, and (with their encouragement) immediately began some community awareness seminars on the plight of children and their rights. Simultaneously, we launched a tuition class for needy children in our own living room. This was the origin of the New Life Day Centre on Lamu Island.

2. What is the specific work that New Life Lamu Island does? What ages are the children you care for?
We reach out to poor and vulnerable children – whether orphaned, abandoned, or neglected – with priority given to those infected with, or affected by, HIV-AIDS. The children, who are between 2 and 10 years old, receive the following:

  • Food: three highly nutritious meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and evening meal).
  • Education: a quality formal education based on Kenya’s 8-4-4 curriculum.
  • Medical Care: a doctor visits twice a week to check on the children’s health status, especially those that have chronic illnesses, or are on drugs; the doctor is also on call at any other time.
  • Child Welfare: we work in, and with, the community, raising the awareness of children’s rights and welfare, with a particular focus on combatting child abuse.

3. What are 2 or 3 of the major milestones in the history of New Life Lamu Island so far?We have witnessed a great transformation in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children on Lamu Island:

  • Many children have been nurtured back to good health.
  • The children infected with HIV-AIDS are now wholly accepted within the community and proper attention is given to their health status, education, and support.
  • The children are doing very well in the schools they attend after they graduate from New Life Day Centre; in fact, the best students in the local schools originate from our centre.

caregivers4. As you look to the future, what are your hopes and dreams for New Life Lamu Island?
We pray that the good work that God has done in the lives of these children will bear much fruit. We believe that they will go on to make a large and positive impact on Lamu Island and beyond. It is also our dream that the local community will assume responsibility for these children, ensuring the future sustainability of the programme.