Thursday, June 25, 2009


Well, as you can tell, the past week has been quiet on the communication front. Although I had more access to the internet while I was a the Miwani Center, time was fleeting. Last Friday I hopped on a one-way commuter flight from Nairobi to Kisumu Kenya. After attempting three landings in the rain at the airport, the pilot put the plane down with a harsh thud, which never-the-less, elicited applause from a good majority of his passengers.
After the landing, Heidi from the Miwani Center picked me up from the airport and we drove over to the bus station where we also gathered Anne, a local Kenyan school teacher, and Ashley a woman in her early twenties also from Seattle who was there doing a 10 week health care study in order to finish up her bachelors.

For the next couple days, I was on the farm. And wow what a farm it is. 120 Acres of maze, napier grass, mango trees, dairy cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens and vegatable gardens. The Miwani Center, also known as Nehemiah International is an agricultural orphanage "striving to promote sustainable integration of orphans and children living under difficult circumstances into the society; so as to increase their access to opportunities that exist around them through spiritual development, skill training, networking and dissemination of information." They are attempting to become one of the first self-sustaining orphanages in Kenya, and they are well on their way.

Wolfgang (the man in the picture above) and Heidi Oelschlegel are from Germany, and they are the ones overseeing the farm. Right now the Miwani Center has a full functional dairy farm where they produce some of the biggest cows and richest milk in Kenya that they sell to local business and people in the community. They grow all their own feed on site in order to feed all the livestock, and are in the process of growing individual gardens for the families that are on site. Right now they have a board that consists of five people (two Americans, one German, and two Kenyans). This team is trying to develop the center in such a way so as to have ten homes on site where Kenyan Parents would come and help tend the farm while raising orphans in their own homes. Right now they have three sets of parents and room to build another 7 houses on site.

I believe this organization is quickly becoming one of the most effective models for care of orphan children in Kenya. They work hard, play hard, and teach much every minute of the day. Some of their dreams in the future are to establish and run a medical clinic on site, be more involved in community education and awareness in the local schools surrounding the compound, and have a deeper level of impact agriculturally on the area. They are also looking to do more counseling with the families that are raising orphans and community development work that focuses on overall care and attention for their families on site. Hmmm...sounds like an area maybe I can help out with.

Before I sign off for this post, I want to mention that I returned safely to the U.S.. I'll be writing more in the days ahead, but for now, here are a couple more pictures of Nehemiah International...the Miwani Center...the Farm.


drD said...

Thanks for your blog, I leave in a week for a 3 week trip to Miwani with a group from Washington State. It was interesting to hear your insights. Don Stevens

Jamie said...

Thanks for stopping in Don. It's great to hear that you're heading over. I hope that it's just as rich of an experience for you. I don't know if you've been over there before or not, but I consider it a small slice of finely tuned paradise. Not perfect, but peaceful. I hope you experience peace while you are there.

Blessings and stop in any time. I'd love to hear more about your trip on the other side if you want to share.