Serving God's People in Africa since 1868

Help Feed Orphans in East Africa

By now, there probably isn’t a person on the planet who has not heard or read something about the AIDS crisis that continues to take its toll on people in ever country around the world. Most recently, the disease seems to have left the spotlight — except for an occasional news story that focuses on new drugs or new methods of treatment. Still, there is no cure for AIDS and as I write this letter to you people are dying. As a matter of fact…


Dear John,

By now, there probably isn’t a person on the planet who has not heard or read something about the AIDS crisis that continues to take its toll on people in ever country around the world. Most recently, the disease seems to have left the spotlight — except for an occasional news story that focuses on new drugs or new methods of treatment. Still, there is no cure for AIDS and as I write this letter to you people are dying. As a matter of fact…

…every 13 seconds, someone in Africa dies from AIDS. It is an incredibly sobering, sad and overwhelming thought. Just as tragic, though, is that many of those who are dying are adults who have children — little boys and girls who have relied on them for love, caring, nurturing and support.

But now that these parents have died, the children left behind are orphans. And they are completely alone.

Recently, I received a letter from Brother James Makovo — a missionary working among some of Kenya’s more than 1,400,000 (one million-four hundred thousand) orphan boys and girls. Brother James is the principal of St. George’s Orphanage in Oyugis — a small town in the Nyanza Region of far western Kenya.

“The orphanage was started in 1997,” Brother James writes, “to care for children whose parents have died from AIDS. While our work initially began as a program to provide basic a education to orphans, we are now a residential facility with classrooms, dormitories, a dining hall, and a library.”

“The sole sponsor of the school has been the Catholic Diocese of Homabay. Ever since our founding, the diocese has given the school the support required for the sustenance of the students in the school. Because of the rising poverty levels of so many people in this region, though, the demand for the education and care of orphan children has greatly increased. Now,our resources are completely overstretched.”

“The thing we need most urgently is food,”Brother James continues. “We have created a vegetable garden and our hope is to develop a dairy farm, but we need other food stuffs — especially maize and beans. We have benefactors and neighbors in the region who are helping us in whatever way they can, but since most of the people here are very poor, there is really very little they can do except to offer us whatever beans and corn they can part with themselves.”

“My hope is that you can provide us with the financial support we need to purchase maize, beans, cooking oil, sugar, and firewood for the coming year. Whatever you can do would be an incredible help and blessing!”

With his letter, Brother James included a budget showing just how much it will cost to provide meals for the hundreds of boys and girls who will be fed at the orphanage. Just for maize (corn), St.George’s will need $5,647. Truly, these missionaries are facing an overwhelming task!

My friend, I am hoping that we can raise at least $32,000 to help St. George’s Orphanage as well as the other missions providing outreach to needy children throughout East Africa. With so many children living without parents — children who need care and assistance — there is so much to do. Please, is there some way you can help?

I know that I have written to you before about caring for some of Africa’s millions of orphan children — and we have done so much. But as poverty and disease continue to claim so many lives, the number of children needing our help increases as well. I hope that you will do as much as you possibly can to help us reach out to those most in need. God bless you for your kindness and caring.