A Humbling Visit to the New Life Homes in Kenya 


David Wright, Chair of the UK board of Trustees, shares an update from his latest visit to Kenya to visit all the four homes and meet with the Kenyan Board. 

I first visited Kenya in 2011 as part of a team from our church, volunteering in the Kisumu home. This was my introduction to New Life Home Trust and the wonderful teams who care for the many rescued children. Subsequently, I was invited to be a trustee of the UK support organisation – New Life Home Trust UK CIO (quite a mouthful!) and later I took over as chair of trustees in which capacity I have continued to support and to visit the homes in Kenya. Due to the pandemic, it had been several years since I was last able to visit so I was keen to reconnect with the teams in Kenya and meet the children and adults who have arrived since my previous trip. 


On landing at Nairobi airport (at 5am!), I switched on my mobile to see a message from Janet, our national director, telling me that a driver had been sent to meet me. Daniel took me directly to my apartment next to the Kilimani home, carried my luggage and made sure I was settled. I was welcomed with a beautiful card and groceries from New Life. Following a phone call to check I had arrived safely, the senior management team came to welcome me in person. These first impressions set the tone for the rest of my visit. I really felt like an honoured guest. I was humbled and moved by such a reception.   


That afternoon I spent time at the Kilimani home in Nairobi, playing with and helping feed the children.

The next morning, I was joined by Janet, our national leader, Ann, the chief admin officer, along with two of the Kenyan board of trustees, for a trip to the New Life home in Nyeri.  Very excitingly, my visit coincided with the delivery of the new minibus for the disabled children at Kisumu. This is the minibus paid for by our amazing donors across the UK. Its very first outing was a baby rescue in Nairobi. It was then used to transport us around the homes before heading to its final destination in Kisumu. 

We received a very warm welcome in Nyeri and I had the opportunity to spend time meeting with and talking to the leadership and the wider team. As my professional background is in early years education, I was able to share some thoughts on child development with the team. We were given a tour of the site and received an update on achievements, changes and challenges. 

On the next morning we headed to Nakuru where we met up with Tony and Gerry Denson, two of our UK trustees who had travelled from Kisumu to meet us. As I descended from the minibus, the teenage girls from the home presented me with a homemade welcome banner and a bunch of flowers they had picked. Time to feel like a VIP again! I was so touched by their kind gesture. Again we spent time talking with and encouraging the team in their roles and celebrating the achievements. 

From Nakuru headed to Kisumu, a bumpy 4 hour journey along dusty dirt roads. The plan was for the minibus to be driven into the Kisumu the following morning so that it could be officially handed over on behalf of the UK board. The next morning, the minibus waited for us resplendent in balloons and ribbons. We prayed that these would survive the 2 minute drive into the Kisumu home. As the gates opened to receive us, the assembled group of staff and children burst into song and dancing. There was joyful celebration and thanksgiving for this wonderful gift, followed by a session of official photography and then very excited children and staff trying out the seating and wheelchair lift. It was a memorable occasion. 

Inspecting the new minibus


From Kisumu myself, Tony and Gerry returned to Nairobi for a Kenyan trustees board meeting which we were delighted to be a part of. 

It was a very full and exhausting programme but so worthwhile. One of our aims within the UK is to encourage more volunteers from here to travel to Kenya to experience the work for themselves and hopefully to become a lifelong supporter of New Life – as we are. Once you have visited, I am sure you will want to return.  If you are interested, do let us know as we are looking to organise future trips and we would love you to be a part of this.      

There were some common threads that emerged from the meetings at each home – 

  • The needs of every child come first. Every individual from the youngest baby to the oldest adult is regarded as a valuable person with rights and potential and treated with dignity, honour and much love.   
  • God has provided for and protected and continues to provide for, bless and protect the work of New Life. 
  • Every single person who works at New Life is committed to our values and lives these out every day. They see their role as a God-given vocation to serve these vulnerable children and provide hope and care. The dedication and service is remarkable from the top of the organisation through to every individual interaction with each and every child. It is truly humbling and affirming to witness. 
  • Post-covid price inflation affecting fuel, foodstuffs and wages mean that cost challenges are significant. Because New Life relies entirely on the generosity of donors who give financially and in kind, both in and outside of Kenya, the fall in the value of the Kenyan Shilling relative to other currencies means that people are facing their own financial challenges and find it difficult to continue to give to New Life. Effectively, as an organisation, we live hand to mouth each month relying on prayer and faith to cover our outgoings and meet our needs. The good news is that donations from the UK are boosted by the better exchange rate, consequently our support can be more effective.    
  • There is a perception in Kenya that New Life is a wealthy organisation. But as noted above, this is not true. Children receive the best care but only through the generosity of others and the sacrificial commitment of the staff. Look closely at some areas of the buildings etc and it becomes evident that there continue to be many unmet needs, particularly with regard to maintenance, resources and equipment. As a UK board, we are in discussion with Janet and her team to identify the top priorities for fund raising so that we make sure that our next target, following the successful purchase of the minibus, is going to be something that will really make a difference.              


If are interested in visiting the homes please email