About The Orphanage
The St. Dorcas Orphanage is located near Bungoma in western, rural Kenya and provides a safe home for over thirty children from the age of six years.
The children are cared for by Matron Juliette and 3 other members of staff, all paid by H&A.
The orphanage is located in a very poor and remote area close to the Ugandan border at an altitude of 7,000ft. The closest town, Bungoma is approximately 30 miles away.
The current orphanage was opened in August 2013, after the land the original orphanage was located on became insecure.
The orphanage is supported by H&A, a company that makes children’s toiletries, based in York. Angela Hall, MD at H&A, heard about the situation of the orphanage via the Bungoma Calling charity. As H&A is a children’s product company, it made sense to Angela that some of the profits made selling products to children in the UK should be shared with children who are significantly in need. H&A allocated funds to build an orphanage on a new site with facilities to improve the children’s quality of life and also give them security.
All the children go to school; however, school fees need to be paid. Half of the children attend St. Dorcas Primary School which is situated nearby. School years depend on ability not age, so children do not move up until they reach a certain standard. The work ethic in the orphanage is amazing. The children rise at 6am weekdays for school, they clean and tidy their beds, have breakfast and get ready for school. They leave at 7am every morning. Homework is completed every night after supper, with the older children helping the younger ones. Every Saturday is spent washing clothes, washing floors and generally tidying up. Meals usually consist of porridge, beans, spinach, rice and maize, with egg and milk from the orphanage animals.
The second chicken shed was recently built and new chicks are added every 18 months. The milk from the orphanage cow is important to the children’s diet and any excess is sold locally. Maize and beans, which form the staple diet, are both grown in the fields belonging to the orphanage. There is also a vegetable patch.