OUR TEAM 

Our Founders 

MBE Rev. Clive & MBE Mary Beckenham, 

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. 

Our Story 

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. 

MMr. Charles Misiani – Board Chair

A career architect with a background in architecture for people living with disabilityHe owns his own practice and is the head of architecture in a local university.  

Dr. Paul Wangai Jr. – Chair, Medical Committee

A founding member and very instrumental in the establishment of NLHT in 1994He owns his own medical practice and serves as a medical director in various corporates.

Mrs. Margaret Wanjohi

Chair, 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

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. Beauttah Siganga SC.  – Chair, Fundraising Committee:

Advocate of the High Court and has served for many years in the governmentHe was previously a member of the Local Advisory Committee in NLHT-Kisumu and greatly contributed to its set up and growth.

Mrs. Jaine Gichangi – Chair, Finance Committee:

Has a background in financial oversight with expertise in stock taking and auditing. She is currently the owner of a local communications firm

Mr. Tom Onyambu – Chair, Legal Committee

A seasoned advocate and partner at his law firmHe is a gifted critical thinker and meticulous in executing his mandate.  

 International Advisers  

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

Dr. Chad and Jane Stephens, USA 

Rev. Mark Beckenham, Sweden 

David Wright, UK 

OUR LEADERS

Dr. Janet Mutinda, National Director

My connection with NLHT began when I was still a college student. We used to come and volunteer at the Kilimani home. Fast-forward a couple of years, six of my friends adopted children from NLHT, one of whom is my godchild. Later, I was invited to join the Board, and I served for seven years. When Clive and Mary began their transition process, the Board approached me to consider stepping in. Following prayerful consideration, I felt the call and the need to serve here and accepted the invitation. I formally joined the staff team in October 2014, and these have been a fantastic couple of years with no regrets. I know this is where I am meant to be. 

  

Even though I am in administration, my work is more than just paperwork. It is more often people work. During my administrative duties, I love connecting with the staff and attending to babies. I would say God’s faithfulness has continually stood out to me. I was in a completely different line of work and mission as a Pastor, yet here I am. Economically, things have been quite challenging before and more so upon the advent of COVID-19. I keep reminding myself that this is God’s work, and he has been faithful to us.  

  

Clive and Mary left us with such an amazing legacy. I want to keep it alive and grow it much further. As an organisation, we rely on month-to-month donations. I prayerfully hope that when I hand over the baton to the next leader, we will have an endowment fund to keep this vision burning brighter and longer. I want to leave New Life better than I found it. I want to inspire Kenyans to partner with us in caring for the children because these are Kenyan children based in Kenya. 

Ann Wambugu, Chief Administrative Officer 

After completing college, I started looking for work, having done I.T., but at that time, nothing was the right fit. Interestingly, I came across someone who encouraged me to pursue my passion. Once I heard that, I knew exactly where I wanted to be around children. That is how I found myself volunteering at NLHT in August 1999. In February 2000, I was back as a caregiver and eventually started helping in the office. Long story short, I started working full-time, and it was a dream come true. Although I had received an offer to work for another organisation, it was clear that I had to be here at New Life. My role has morphed over the years to where I am as a Chief Administrative Officer handling administration and human resources across our homes.  

  

Working at New Life is a calling and has been my passion from a tender age. To paraphrase John C. Maxwell, your passion fulfills your why. God created me to serve these children, and coming in to work every day fulfills my purpose. Particularly, vulnerable children tug on my heart and putting every effort to restore them and give them a new life is incomparable.  

  

Even though I work in administration, I am grateful that I have been accorded the opportunity to continue working directly with children. Some of our older children, whom we rescued as infants, are now transitioning out of the home into adulthood – a process I have majorly been involved in. A child does not cease to be a child during the transition. So long as God allows me, I want to continue providing them with that sense of belonging and family, having seen them from childhood. This continues to be my joy, helping them move to this new phase of independence and integration into the community.  

  

When I started, I wondered what would happen 20 years into the future of the young ones we would rescue and place into families. Well, it has been 20 years, and seeing them now is just an incredible journey. Some of these children have gone through school and employment, with some having their own families and are now giving back to the community. Sometimes, the adoptive parents share with us the progress of the children they adopted, and witnessing that first-hand proves to me that our efforts are not in vain.   

  

I pray that NLHT maintains its good name because the children carry this name with them as part of their story. I want to protect this for the children grounded on the same core values of the institution, especially caring with compassion, integrity, growth, gratitude and being Christ-led more than anything else. 

Yvonne Muthiani, Acting Nairobi Home Administrator 

In 2005, a former colleague with NLHT invited me for an interview after hearing of a vacancy. Initially, I started working in our Kilimani home, and about a month later, I went to our Nakuru Home as one of the first staff members. After all these years, my favourite part about being here is seeing the change in the home and our children. 

Many times, babies are admitted to the home in critical condition, but after a bath and feeding, a significant change in their health is observed. Therefore, witnessing a baby freed for adoption and getting loving parents and, at times, siblings is a thrilling thing to witness, albeit an emotional part of the job. Nevertheless, this is something I look forward to every day.  

One experience that stood out to me was when a particular child whom I loved dearly from the moment he was admitted to the home. Over time, we grew close, and he eventually got parents from another county. I was tasked with taking the child to his new home. It was overwhelmingly emotional to part with him. This is the nature of our work – bittersweet. We love the children dearly but must part with them as they connect with their new families. It is always my biggest hope that all our babies get loving families. 

Bernard Macharia, Nyeri Home Administrator

Interestingly, I joined NLHT as a casual labourer for the Nyeri Home when it was renovated in 2006 and have been here ever since. Two things excite me about coming to work every day. First is rescuing these children who have been abandoned. Secondly, it seeks individual and corporate partners willing to join hands as we try to accomplish our mission.  

  

My standout experiences have been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic with all its challenges but persisting nonetheless in our mission and vision and, more so, seeing how our donors have remained faithful despite the economic shake-ups that have transpired. Additionally, rescuing a vulnerable baby from a difficult situation, watching them grow in stature and health with the help of our committed and dedicated team who lovingly care for them. 

  

I would like to see significant growth and expansion of this small home regarding the hosting capacity of rescued babies.   

 Emma Makokha, Child Sponsorship Coordinator 

I first came to NLHT with a church group for community service. Then, in 2011, a friend informed me of a vacancy. Coincidentally, I also used to teach Sunday School to some of the home’s older children. Later, I left my job at NLHT, and one year later, I returned with a group of volunteers. It was not long before I was recalled back to work. Clearly, I was yet to accomplish and fulfil my calling to work and support our children. Like the story of Jonah in the Bible, I was brought right back to where I was meant to be.  

  

My favourite part of working with NLHT is knowing what I do is a life-changing experience for these young ones. Seeing it with my own eyes and the impact NLHT has on these children makes me feel like this is not just my career, but it is my calling, and there is nothing more satisfying than doing what you are called to do. I particularly remember the story of a child who was admitted to the home in critical condition. At nine months old, the child weighed less than 1 kilogram. After three months at NLHT, the child was completely different and had begun to thrive. This showed me that what I do every single day can result in transformation for our children. It has been an incredible journey at NLHT, and I am happy to be here. 

Peter Lang’at, Accountant  

I first came to NLHT as a consultant from another accounting firm. Oddly enough, I shifted jobs to work at an audit firm that just so happened to be responsible for the financial auditing for NLHT Trust. As fate would eventually have it, in 2017, I started working here as an accountant. The exciting thing about working with New Life is that I am not an accountant half of the time. I have played many roles according to the needs of the different emerging situations. I have found myself wearing various ‘hats’ including I.T., conducting training, caregiving, storekeeping, electrician, driving, and administration. I get up and do whatever is needed of me. 

   

Working in such an organisation is unparalleled and quite time-intensive. Caring for all these young ones requires us to give our all. Still, something that particularly comes to mind is our Christmas celebration of 2018. We had a wonderful time as the men put on a production during the end-of-year staff party, and that was just fun. This was an opportunity for all of us to get together and fellowship as staff and decompress after such a long year. It was simply refreshing! 

NLHT exists because of our generous donors and volunteers. Being a home, well-wishers by default donate formula milk, clothing, and the like for our children (for which we continue to be grateful) but forget that at the end of the day, these children pass through the hands of many people from caregivers, to housekeeping to nursing and so much more. 

Therefore, I look forward to long-term financial sustainability, particularly in two primary areas: undesignated funding and endowment funding for investment. The opportunity to be financially independent and sustainable, where we can easily cater to our babies’ needs and the unfunded administrative expenses like our staff salaries, is a state we all hope to achieve. 

Polycarp Orinda, Accounts Assistance – Kisumu 

Before joining NLHT Kisumu Home, I was an auditor with an audit firm. I joined NLHT in 2017 after a vacancy announcement for an Accounts Assistant. 

My favourite part about working with NLHT includes Cash flow management to ensure that the organisation does not suffer from any cash crunch, embracing total quality management, encouraging positive teamwork, and maintaining the quality of work in the organisation. I also enjoy helping the administrator and various departments to ensure the smooth running of the home’s operations. 

Aside from my day-to-day work in accounts, my highlights have revolved around the children. Playing and singing with toddlers in the morning, engaging our teenage boys in community work in the home, and encouraging them to work hard through our academic clinics. In addition, interacting with the children in our Amani Unit (our special needs unit) has been a humbling experience for me, seeing them endure their various challenges. 

My biggest wish for New Life is to attain more income-generating activities to promote long-term financial sustainability. We are grateful for the donations we continue to receive. Still, these income-generating activities would be an excellent way to augment the benevolence of the donors. 

Naomi Ndung’u, Nursing Manager 

 In 2016, the then NLHT Public Relations Manager came to the hospital where I worked and mentioned the need for a Nursing Manager. I was not looking for another job then, but something kept pushing me to pursue this opportunity. I had never thought I would end up in a children’s home, and it took me about three months to make this decision. I then realised this was my calling – to serve these children, even though it would be a significant shift from the hospital setup.  

  

My favourite part of being in NLHT is witnessing the transformation of our children’s health status. I often see them come in a dire state, get intervention, and ultimately turn around in terms of their health and general well-being. There was a case of a severely malnourished 1-month-old boy who initially came from Kisumu with a distended abdomen and was later diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. We really worked hard and struggled with his care for about one and a half years and finally were able to get him a surgeon. Getting him to the point of the surgery was a miracle on its own after being postponed a couple of times, in part due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cut a long story short, it is a blessing to date to see the boy healthy and even walking. He has since been adopted into a loving family. 

  

I would want NLHT to continue offering holistic care for our babies. This goes beyond the medical department but extends to other sectors like our volunteers, well-wishers, and other staff members. Maintaining the highest standards of care for all our babies and expanding our reach beyond the four homes are things I constantly pray for 

OUR STAFF

Before they join their forever families, our babies, toddlers, and youngsters enjoy exceptional care from our remarkable staff. We celebrate our wonderful workers here. 

Our Nurses

Where 2 or 3 babies are gathered together, there is a considerable risk of catching a cold, fever, or virus. Fortunately, our dedicated nurses work round the clock, caring for our little angels, whether they are suffering from sniffles or locked in a life-and-death battle with pneumonia. As you can see, it is a big job our nurses are entrusted with. We consider them angels, too. 

Our Housekeepers

When you come to visit us, be sure to notice our spotless playrooms, spick and span bathrooms, neat nurseries, and freshly washed baby clothes. Our conscientious housekeepers are committed to keeping our homes squeaky clean and germ-free. They are wonder-working women, and we greatly appreciate them!

Our Groundsmen

If you think running a baby home is all women’s work, we must meet the men who also help improve our children’s lives before we can go further. They are responsible for the meticulous maintenance of our environment, but do not be too surprised to find them taking time to give a boy a haircut or chase after one of the toddlers in a quick game of ‘tag’. 

Our Office Workers

As you can imagine, taking diligent care of our property, staff, donors, and well over 100 children generates a pile of paperwork. Thankfully, our office team has all the administrative acumen and professional proficiency to make them more than a match for the task. Of course, our offices are situated right in the middle of our homes. So do not be surprised to see our office workers sneaking away from their desks to play with the children. 

GET INVOLVED 

Volunteer 

It is a joy to acknowledge & applaud the countless volunteers, from near & far, who have become part of the New Life family and story over the years. Enthusiastic volunteers from all across Kenya and around the world enrich the lives of our children and staff in countless ways. 

Run & Bike poster-calling all volunteers-campaign folder 

other pics – volunteer folder 

Adoption/Foster Care

As much as we are tempted to hold onto our little ones, we know that the best place for any child is in a loving family. We move mountains to find ‘forever’ families for our babies. Do you have room in your heart and home for one of these precious ones?  

LINK

Be a CSR Partner 

“Charity begins at home but should not end there.” 

~ Francis Bacon 

Are you looking to help vulnerable and abandoned babies? Look no further. Join us in giving new life by making cash or in-kind donations, e.g., donating products you farm, manufacture or purchase on our behalf or donating professional services.