Life Expectancy: 53.6 years
GDP: US$838 per capita
39.9% earn less than US$2 per day
KEN03b - Support of Robert & Rose Gitau
Robert and Rose Gitau are change makers and community transformers. They have planted a church in Tala and developed a school. As well as this they have given their lives for this community.
History Of Partnership
After their marriage, Robert and Rose wanted to serve the Lord, and began by travelling to different villages preaching and bringing aid to the poor. Eventually they bought a small plot of land in Nguluni and launched a small church. The church began to grow and they started to not only help the community with spiritual needs, but they began to help economically and physically. Robert and Rose adopted many children whose parents died from AIDS. Recently they took in six orphans when their parents, relatives of Robert and Rose, passed away. Robert and Rose are now responsible for raising these six children along with their previously adopted children.
BHW personnel first met Robert in 2002 at a conference. On the next visit to Kenya a visit was paid to the church and school. It was very obvious from the first visit that Robert and Rose were key people and making a significant contribution to their community so an application was presented and accepted to commence funding. This commenced in 2003.
Robert and Rose are the kind of people who care for others. Their whole ministry is based around being available to people. Their home is open 24/7.
Each year since 2003 BHW has visited Robert and Rose and seen their ongoing compassion and love for their community. A number of Western young people have gone to stay with them in their home to help with the children in the school.
Robert and Rose have started a school, a boarding home, built the school buildings, a preschool, put in a borehole for the community, started a clinic, started a micro-finance revolving fund and built extra accommodation at their home for long term visitors who have nowhere to stay.
They also lead a ministry called Fellowship of Believers. There are a number of churches and church planters involved in this. They have mentored many young people in education, ministry and church planting.
Early in 2006 Rose became quite unwell and her eyesight was affected. She was in hospital for two weeks and was finally diagnosed with diabetes. Her blood pressure is very unstable. Because of this she has had to slow down a lot. Robert has had to slow down a little as well to care more for her.
Robert and Rose and those they minister to.
What We Like About The Partnership
This project is amazing because children are being loved, the school is growing abundantly and many families are being helped. Not only are the children being cared for, but the needs of the community are being met through the church, clean water well, clinic, and job training programmes. To allow Robert and Rose to continue their spiritual care to the children and the community, highly trained individuals have been brought in to run the clinic and school. This project helps the community spiritually, physically, and intellectually, giving hope to those in need.
The leaders have invested their lives into the community and are fully engaged. The ministry is operated by the local Church allowing the community to be aided not only physically and economically, but spiritually as well. The jobs in all areas are delegated to very capable staff allowing Robert and Rose to concentrate on being chaplains, focusing on the spiritual needs of the children.
This project has a level of transparency that is healthy for maintaining accountability and financial responsibility.
The highly qualified school teachers are helping the children to learn English, which is a useful tool.
You have to understand some quite deep issues when you try to understand what makes Robert and Rose tick. They are physically childless but they have almost as many children as it is possible to imagine. Wherever you go in Tala people call out “jambo” to uncle and aunty.
Currently they are attempting to put five young people through training from their own resources. These range from setting up one as a bee keeper through to another going to medical school so they are investing heavily from their own meagre resources. One or two of these might be in their extended family but most are just kids with some potential.
They relate quite differently. We were walking behind them in public just recently on our visit and they walked along holding hands, very un-African, but not unsurprising though once you know them.
Vision And Annual Strategy
It would be virtually impossible to budget for the real needs in this project. Apart from the fact that they would be very hesitant to do it, they just share everything they have. As long as they are here they will be helping a large number of people. The school can be budgeted for and good records are kept but the real needs are those of the scores of people that are being helped. They help them when they have money, “when the Lord provides”. We do not want this to change.
Real "Life Change" Stories
Esther’s mother lives with Rose and Robert, her name is Rose Dinda. She was banished from home by her husband and now lives with them with four of her children. She has four other children also. These other children have also been educated by Rose and Robert. The two boys have dropped out of high school and are now labourers. The other daughter has dropped out of high school also due to a lack of money for fees. Another daughter has a mental disability due to Rose being beaten by her husband while she was pregnant. This daughter is now in a special school for children with special needs.
Esther is seven years old and is in standard three. She is a day student and enjoys school. She likes reading, particularly books in English and her favourite subjects are English and Kiswahili. She enjoys playing with her friends, especially playing football, and her best friend is Sharon.
Esther started at CEC school in standard one. She loves school, all subjects, and would like to become an English teacher. She also enjoys helping her mother at home washing utensils and cleaning and would like to help her mum “always”.