In Kisumu: Bethel House
Got some excess energy to burn? Make your way to Bethel House, where you'll find our older boys. They're always ready for some fun & games. Don't say you weren't warned.
1. When did Bethel House open, and how did that happen?
Bethel House began in Kericho in August 2008, before relocating to Nakuru in November 2009. In those early days, it was a home for both boys and girls, as was the other family home in Nairobi. Then in April 2013, it was decided to bring all the older children together in Nakuru, and to separate the boys from the girls. The boys’ family home kept the name: Bethel House. We held a small but memorable party for all the older children when the two family homes came together. Recently, we moved Bethel House to Kisumu, alongside Amani Cottage and Pendo House bringing the number of homes in this fishing town to 3.
2. What is the specific work that Bethel House does? What ages are the children you care for?
We care for New Life’s older boys. All these boys first came to New Life as abandoned babies, but (for one reason or another) were not adopted. Therefore, as each boy approached his 3rd birthday, he was welcomed into one of New Life’s family homes. Since April 2013, all the older boys have been living together in Bethel House, Nakuru. Currently, the boys are aged between 8 years and 14 years.
3. What are 2 or 3 of the major milestones in the history of Bethel House so far?
- Boarding School: we enrolled a number of the older boys in boarding schools, which they are enjoying.
- Life Skills Training: we have been helping the boys to develop their gifts, talents, and practical skills.
- Foster Care: we have been identifying good families who can offer short term foster care to the boys, so that they get some experience of living within a family.
- Disclosure Programme: we are helping the boys understand the reasons why they are with New Life and not with their biological parents.
4. As you look to the future, what are your hopes and dreams for Bethel House?
We are looking forward to having a permanent home for the boys, ideally with apartment-style accommodation where each boy has his own room. We want to see a smooth transition from childhood, through adolescence, into responsible and independent adult living. We pray that the boys will increasingly appreciate, even into adult life, the care given to them by New Life, despite not being with their biological families. Finally, we want to launch some income-generating activities (farming, workshop, etc.) to help support the home well into the future.