The purchase of 52 acres of land was finalized in 2007, and by the following year the first children were taken in – refugees who had lost their parents in the violence that followed Kenya’s elections that year.
Today at the Open Arms Village there are six children’s homes, a baby home and a primary school, caring for over 100 children in total. The work of relieving poverty and deprivation have extended to the surrounding areas with medical missions, slum feeding programmes, income generation projects, and care for street children.
Open Arms continues to develop the site and to expand within the local community of Mlango and the surrounding villages of some 8,000 people. This involves extending the provision of schooling to children of this area, but until now the charity has operated within tight limitations on teaching and learning space.
The support of TFWA Care has helped Open Arms to address those limitations.
Project in 2016
This year, TFWA Care’s support will enable the Open Arms Village to build a new bakery, to replace the existing facility based in a mud hut. The new bakery will bring a number of important benefits:
- Increase production capacity to produce sufficient bread and other baked goods not only for children in residence, but also those in two local schools
- Save money and provide a better quality product than commercial bakery products
- Provide vocational training opportunities to the older children of the Open Arms Village
- Generate an income stream for the Village by selling baked goods to the community
- Create jobs for a community suffering high unemployment.
It is hoped that the bakery will begin production in June/July, and will begin selling to the local community by November.
Project in 2015
The Open Arms Academy was opened in 2009 with the initial aim of providing education to the children of the Village. The success of the school, however, has seen its register grow to 210 pupils, many of whom are from the local community. In order to cater for the growing number of pupils, the charity urgently needed funds to build two additional classroom blocks.
With the help of TFWA Care, a new classroom block has been built and is already in full use. It has enabled the addition not only of new classrooms but also a staff room for teachers to prepare lessons and receive training.