Our Founders

We congratulate our Founders, Clive Beckenham MBE and Mary Beckenham MBE, for officially receiving their MBE awards before King Charles in March 2023.

In the U.K., there is an old custom of the monarch granting honours or awards to people of special merit. Clive and Mary were each awarded an MBE, which stands for Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. An MBE is awarded for outstanding achievement (often in politics, science or education) or service to the community in the U.K. or a Commonwealth country. That service must have had a long-term and significant impact and stand out as an example to others.​

Clive & Mary Beckenham,
Clive & Mary Beckenham,

Starting a children’s home in Africa was Mary’s dream from age 7. This dream came true when she and her husband Clive were 50 years old. Within those years, their day-to-day lives prepared them for the fruition of this dream, ultimately equipping them with the necessary skills and expertise required to take care of abandoned and vulnerable babies who were infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Mary was a trained nurse and midwife, while Clive was a building engineer and Pastor. These skills were necessary for the management of the homes and organisation.

“We first came to Kenya in 1989 to take up a 2-year assignment at a local Bible college. In 1992, towards the end of that assignment, I, Mary, read an article in the local newspaper about HIV-positive babies being abandoned in Kenyan hospitals. This article reignited my dream to establish a children’s home in Africa. I began researching what establishing a home in Kenya would involve by inquiring about other homes. In consultation with a renowned doctor – Dr. Paul Wangai Jr., who was already working with HIV-positive adults, I quickly realised that no one was working with HIV-positive children. This was the gap that I sought to fill.

The first baby we identified for care had been held in a hospital indefinitely because there were no medically trained people outside the hospital setting willing to provide the care needed. It just so happened that this baby was released to us because I was a fully qualified nurse capable of taking care of the baby’s medical needs. This baby was our inspiration to continue pursuing our dream, our vision. The baby was three months old when he was released from the hospital. We witnessed exponential growth and development for the first few months of nursing the baby back to health. My husband and I fell in love with the baby and decided to adopt him. We initially applied for foster care. However, the courts looked at our application so favourably that we were awarded custody for an unprecedented 18 years. In those days, such long foster awards were rare. We eventually applied for adoption, and we were successfully awarded the same.

In the early 1990s, people did not grasp the concept of seroconversion. Most babies who were abandoned as being HIV positive died due to malnourishment, much too early for seroconversion to occur. Eventually, we noticed that many of the babies coming in as HIV-positive were testing negative for the virus after a few months. There was a conversion rate of at least 80%. This incident baffled even the medical community to the extent that the Kenya Institute of Medical Research (KEMRI) did a study to evaluate this phenomenon, concluding that it was true. What a miracle!”

Clive and Mary retired from active duty about seven years ago. What a legacy they bequeathed those to whom they handed the work! To date, NLHT has been able to care for over 2500 children….and counting. Clive and Mary continue to play a significant role on the NLHT Board; they also offer invaluable wisdom, prayers, and support and faithfully cheer the leaders of the home on in the work.

The Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees consists of seven appointed members who have overall responsibility for NLHT. Together, they bring on board their relevant expertise, drawn from a wealth of varied experience. The BOT, who are highly esteemed members of the community, serve in a voluntary capacity, having recognized the charitable nature of the Trust.  Their dedication and commitment over the years, have been the backbone of success in the overall mission to rescue, care, and placement of abandoned and vulnerable children in Kenya.

Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Dr. Paul Wangai Jr.
Dr. Paul Wangai Jr.Chair, Medical Committee
A founding member and very instrumental in the establishment of NLHT in 1994. He owns his own medical practice and serves as a medical director in various corporates.
Mrs. Margaret Wanjohi
Mrs. Margaret WanjohiChair, Education Committee:
A seasoned educator with a strong background in governance and management of education institutions including informing government policy. She has served in the boards and as a director of many institutions.
Hon. Philemon Waisaka
Hon. Philemon WaisakaChair, Administration & Human Resource
Chair, Administration & Human Resource Committee: Career civil servant with a wealth of experience in management and administration. He has held various positions in county government and quasi government and currently serves as the deputy chair at a private hospital.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.

International Advisers

Our Board of Trustees is complemented by a team of astute advisers representing our key international partners.

Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.
Mr. Charles Misiani
Mr. Charles Misiani Board Chair
A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disability. He owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.