Tom and Farida Okong'o

Tom Okong'o
Baby Rescue Home, Nyeri & Toddler Home & Carmel House, Nakuru
Joint Home Administrator & House Parent

1. How did you come to work at New Life?
I first heard about New Life Home through a colleague at the school where I used to teach. He used to volunteer at the home way back in 2004. Later, I got closer to the home when I began tutoring a child who resided there. It turned out that the child’s parents were Clive and Mary Beckenham, the Founding Directors of New Life. Through this assignment, I got inspired by the kind of care the home was giving to the children. I whispered the same to my wife, Farida, who shortly after joined the home as a staff member. It was not long before I joined her – in August 2007.

2. What’s your favourite part of working with New Life?
I count it a great privilege and honour to be part of the team that provides parental guidance to our beloved children. Besides that, I also delight in creating a peaceful environment which allows our children to flourish in their physical, psychological, social and spiritual development.

newlife3. What are some highlights from your time at New Life?
My highlights range across the whole process of, first, reaching out and rescuing a baby who is in dire need of help, and then providing the loving care each of these precious ones needs, and finally seeing each child placed in a loving family. And for those children who are not adopted, I take great pleasure in steering them through their education. One final highlight is seeing our team grow in their ability to nurture the children.

4. Looking forward, what is your biggest wish for New Life?
Just like the Samaritan woman who met the ‘Person’ who had the answers to humanity’s need, I am persuaded that New Life has a solution to the plight of vulnerable children who need care and protection. It would therefore be absolutely wonderful to spread our wings to all the 47 counties of Kenya and beyond.

 

Farida Okong'o
Baby Rescue Home, Nyeri & Toddler Home & Carmel House, Nakuru
Joint Home Administrator & House Parent

newlife1. How did you come to work at New Life?
My husband, Tom, is a professional teacher. Some years ago, he was tutoring the son of Clive and Mary Beckenham, the Founding Directors of New Life. Around this time, they began to look for someone to do secretarial work in the social work department. I joined New Life in this capacity. Working on those documents was the beginning of a major life-changing event.

2. What’s your favourite part of working with New Life?
In the Kilimani Home, where I began, I really enjoyed typing detailed letters, case files, and court reports/statements that I knew would change the children’s lives. I also enjoyed reporting to work one hour earlier, so as to spend time feeding and cuddling the little ones.

When I moved to Kisumu, as an Assistant Administrator to John and Prisca Ondeche, mentorship was key. The couple facilitated an environment that promoted rapid learning, thereby shortening the learning curve. I realized the importance of building a strong mentorship community within the team.

Here in Nakuru, I enjoy times spent brainstorming, and then implementing, ideas on how to raise the children in a manner that will ensure a better future for all of them.

3. What are some highlights from your time at New Life?
Some of the highlights from my time at New Life include baby rescue, staff training, and offering spiritual guidance to team members. Another highlight from my Kilimani days was typing up (and benefitting from) lots of notes on leadership for the Founding Directors.

4. Looking forward, what is your biggest wish for New Life?
We are not there yet. Looking forward, my biggest wish is that God would continue to use New Life to further His kingdom on earth, as we all keep doing the many little things that speak of the one great big thing: God’s love.

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