Rebekah’s Bake Sale for New Life

Here at New Life, we love hearing stories of how our supporters in the UK have been raising funds for our vital life-saving work in Kenya. We asked Rebekah McKean to share her experience of running a fundraiser event at her school with her friend Jess:

“My name’s Rebekah McKean and I’m 16, living in Scotland.

I found out about New Life Homes from family friends. Guy and Susanna Bastable have known Clive and Mary (the founders of New Life) since the 1970s. In 2003, their daughter Lauren spent three months of her gap year volunteering and working with the babies at New Life’s Nairobi home. She fell in love with a 3-month-old baby who is now one of Guy and Susanna’s two adopted sons – Levi and Gerro. Levi was in my class at school for several years. In 2010, the family moved back to Nairobi to help out with the charity and their amazing work full time.

A friend and I decided to raise money for New Life Homes because we knew of the incredible work that the charity does, and saw firsthand the wonderful life that it could give vulnerable babies from all over Kenya. I know that Levi and Gerro wouldn’t be in the place they are today if it wasn’t for the charity. We held a small vote during the Methlick Church’s coffee afternoon because we wanted to support a charity that the community was behind. The local support for New Life Homes was evident, so much so that the votes overwhelmed those of any of the other charities we were considering.

We then decided that a bake sale at school would be the most effective fundraising method. We made several different types of cookies and cupcakes, along with a few other things. We got permission from the head teacher to set up a stand at school, during lunch. We also put up a sign outlining the work of the charity, so that people would be able to see what a worthy cause their money was going to. It was quite successful, and we raised a fair amount.

To New Life Homes: thank you for the amazing work that you do.”

Rebekah’s friend Jess also shared her experience: “We decided that the best way to reach out to people was through their stomachs! We spend several nights after school baking (and taste testing) all of our treats. For us, it was important to promote the charity to more of our young people who wanted to help other, less privileged kids. We loved holding the bake sale and we hope that the money we raised will make a difference.”

If you would like to run your own Bake Sale for New Life, we have our very own New Life Bake Sale Poster that you can download and customise for your own event date and time.

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Become a New Life donor as part of our ‘250 for 10’ campaign

This month we are kickstarting a new marketing campaign with the goal to gain 250 new donors who are willing to donate £10 a month. This way we can support our partner charity, New Life Home Trust Kenya, who rescue and care for abandoned babies. Donors are the heart of our charity and we could not be without them. Could you become one?

Your money will go towards our four homes located in Kisumu, Nairobi, Nakuru and Nyeri. Over the last 20 years, 1,700 babies have been rescued by the charity with the majority having been adopted; 164 of which, were reunited with their biological families. The love and care these babies receive is only possible because of money already donated by lovely people like you. It costs around £400 a month to care for each baby in one of the four homes located in Kenya.

New Life Donor - New Life Home Trust UK

You may think that £10 a month is a lot to donate. However, by simply giving up say three coffee’s a month or maybe skipping a trip to the cinema, you can potentially save a child’s life. A simple, small gesture can make a huge difference.

If we are able to secure 250 new donors, that will bring an additional £30,000 into our charity each year, which goes a long way toward supporting our work. With an extra £30,000, we can provide the love, care and resources required for six or more babies and children to stay in our homes for a whole year. A small amount from a large number of people really does go a long way.

If you already donate to us then thank you, but why don’t you invite a friend to join the movement? It will be a great way to increase the New Life Home Trust’s awareness and provide children with a safe place to call home.

Head over to our Virgin Money Giving page to give your donation or read more about what we do on our about page.

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Gail visits New Life in Nairobi

Each year people from the UK fly out to Kenya to visit New Life Homes. Often we hear stories of how these trips are truly inspiring and life-changing.

Gail Brechin has recently returned from her visit to our Nairobi home and we got in touch with her to share her experience from the trip. Here’s what Gail had to say:

I’ve recently returned from a month at New Life Home in Nairobi.  

This is the eighth time I have been with each trip being different from the previous one.

When I arrive, it’s like putting on a comfy pair of slippers as I meet with members of staff I have known for quite a number of years.  I keep turning up!

When I was there I saw children welcomed into New Life Homes and as they arrive there is a celebration with singing, praying and love for the baby.  Their birth is celebrated even if it is a few days or weeks after they have been born.

I saw children leave with new families and again there is a celebration with singing and prayer along with some cake. Two of the children went with one family, now brother and sister for life.  How amazing is that?!

I always seem to gravitate to the older children.  I love how their characters “show” themselves as they interact with each other.  They have so much energy – as they should.  I have to say I sleep very well at night!

There is so much love given and received by children and staff alike.  You feel this when you step into New Life Homes. It is always such a positive experience.

The downside is that I’m now missing everyone! I will need to start thinking about my next trip soon!

G x

If you feel inspired by Gail’s visit to New Life and would like to make a trip yourself, do get in touch with us to find out more!

Have you been out to Kenya? If so, we’d love to share your stories and photos. Get in touch via email here.


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URGENT APPEAL: Bright eyes for baby Chloe

Baby Chloe is a beautiful little girl, nearly 18 months old.  She was rescued by New Life Home Trust when she was just 2 days old and is now a sweet, loveable, happy, and confident little girl with bright eyes and an angelic smile.

Little Chloe has been apparently healthy so far, but recently her left eye was noticed to have a yellow/white pupil reflex and, following an examination under anaesthetic here in Kenya, she was diagnosed with advanced retinoblastoma (cancer of the retina) in her left eye.  This form of cancer is rare but, if treated quickly, the survival rate is 95%.

Unfortunately, retinoblastoma is not treatable in Kenya and the Consultant Paediatric Eye Surgeon here in Kenya is urging us to take baby Chloe to the UK immediately for urgent and vital eye-saving and life-saving treatment.

We, therefore, call on all our friends around the globe to partner with us in prayer and generous giving to help fund Chloe’s treatment and travel costs.

Until Chloe sees a specialist in the UK, we will not know the full cost of the treatment.  However, we are setting an initial target of GBP 70,000 or KES 10,000,000 to get the ball rolling and Chloe airborne!

If you would like to give, you can give online via our Virgin Money Giving Chloe Appeal.

Alternatively, you can arrange a bank transfer or set up a standing order by emailing us at

Thank you so much for your support.

Please note, donations which have been given through our general Virgin Money Giving Page that are marked as ‘baby Chloe’ will go towards this appeal. The recent creation of the Chloe-specific page is to help future donors to be able to give directly towards her treatment. 

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Celebrating 24 years at New Life Home Trust

Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel laureate, Wangari Maathi, once said: “I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.”

When New Life Nairobi opened its doors, we were just a small team of committed people who hoped and believed we could make an impact in the lives of Kenyan infants who were affected and/or infected by HIV/AIDS. As New Life Founders, Clive and Mary Beckenham, describe it: “We did everything together, simultaneously looking after our own biological children as well as the abandoned infants in our care. The first three babies we rescued were one week old, one month old, and five months old. At that time, the staff was very small and everyone did everything. All the staff came in untrained, but we trained them how to care for the infants and the facility. We were blessed with team members who were committed to our vision.”

Now 24 years later, because of that small group of committed individuals, nearly 2,000 infants have been rescued and the lives of staff, volunteers, adoptive parents, and these children impacted in remarkable ways! Of the total infants rescued, 75% have been adopted locally or internationally, 10% have been reunited with biological family members, and the remaining 15% were either transferred to another children’s home or passed away due to medical complications, often a result of the extreme environmental conditions of abandonment.

This month we celebrated 24 years as an organization serving and saving abandoned infants and giving priority to infants affected by HIV/AIDS! With the help of numerous donors and well-wishers along the way, New Life Home Trust has been a standard bearer in Kenya for the quality care of rescued infants. Additionally, we have helped shift the stigmas around HIV/AIDS, adoption, and children with physical and mental disabilities. We continue to be incredibly grateful for the impact that we have been able to have because of your support and the entire New Life staff (nearly 200 Kenyan employees across 4 cities!).

As Wangari Maathai put it: “The little grassroots people can change this world.”

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Share the love – Raise funds for New Life this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. As you prepare to shower your nearest and dearest with love and gifts, spare a thought for the beautiful babies at New Life.

With Give as you Live you can raise funds for New Life this Valentine’s Day, without spending a penny more than what you were already planning to spend on Valentine’s gifts!

Give as you Live allows users to raise free funds for charity as they shop. With over 4,200 top stores involved, it’s easy to donate to your chosen charity as you go about your online shopping – which you might be doing a lot of around this time of year!

If you are signed up to Give as you Live, the store you choose to shop at pays a percentage of your total purchase price in commission, and from this, 50% is donated to your charity of choice.

Give as you Live is free to join and use, and offers an easy way to donate to charities at no extra cost to you.

You could raise from 1-10% of what you spend at your selected retailer, or it may be a fixed amount. Although it may not seem like a large amount, each time you shop the donations add up and contribute to the vital work we do.

Your donations could help us to cover the costs of running our Kenyan homes providing food, clothing, medicine and all the other requirements enabling us to care for our rescued babies and children.

So why not help boost our funds this Christmas as you shop by joining Give as you Live? It’s quick and easy to sign up and doesn’t cost you a penny!

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A 2017 Thank You from New Life Home Trust UK

Here at New Life Home Trust UK, we would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ for your support of the charity this year. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support for our lifesaving work with Kenya’s most vulnerable children.

Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The invariable mark of a dream is to see it come true”. The rescue of abandoned babies in Kenya is a wonderful reality for us at New Life and we celebrate this story of hope for the little ones.

2017 has been another great year for New Life Home Trust UK, with many new and repeat donors helping to raise funds within the UK to financially support the rescue, care and nurture of abandoned and orphaned babies in Kenya.

This year has seen around 100 new rescue babies coming through our doors for love, care and support, many of whom have gone on to be adopted into loving families or returned home to biological family.

As you may be aware, New Life Home Trust has been operating since 1994, and, to date over 1,800 babies’ lives have been changed for the better. Your contribution helps us to continue this valuable work. We couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you again for your generosity and support!

As the UK team wind down for Christmas and New Year, we continue to think of those working for and serving the charity in Kenya over the Christmas period, giving the babies gifts of love and hope this year.

We wish you all a happy Christmas and a fulfiling 2018.

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Where it all began…

We’ve been proudly rescuing abandoned babies for over 20 years, but where did it all begin?

Our founders Clive and Mary Beckenham always hoped to build a children’s home and worked towards this from a young age. Mary says she dreamed of setting up a children’s home in Africa from the age of 7.

Clive and Mary prepared themselves for the fruition of this dream, by training to be ready to serve abandoned babies – Mary trained as a nurse and Clive trained in engineering. Although this dream wasn’t fulfilled until the couple were both 50 years old.

Arriving in Kenya in 1989, the couple began a 2-year assignment at a local Bible college. Towards the end of the assignment in 1992, Mary read an article in a local newspaper about HIV positive babies being abandoned in Kenyan hospitals. Reading the article ignited Mary’s dream and passion to start a children’s home in Africa, and she began researching and making enquiries with other Kenyan homes. Through her research and speaking to Dr Paul Wangai Jr (a doctor already working with HIV positive adults), Mary realised there was no one working with HIV positive children.

After a couple of years of praying and seeking advice, Clive and Mary found a building in Loresho in 1994, using the downstairs to establish the children’s home, and living upstairs with their own biological children. The staff team was very small, and everyone was involved with everything at the home. All staff entered the home untrained, but were trained on how to appropriately care for the children, and using the facilities.

Since then, New Life Home Trust has rescued over 1,800 abandoned babies in Kenya, and are committed to increasing this number and making an impact on the lives of children affected by HIV.

Here in the UK, we are committed to raising funds to send over to Kenya to continue this valuable work. Could you help support the work of New Life Home Trust? Visit our fundraise, donate and volunteer pages or contact us to find out more.


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Fundraising Ideas

From the extreme to the downright ridiculous, we’re grateful for however you choose to fundraise for New Life Home Trust UK! However, if you’re a bit stuck for ideas, we’ve put together a list of fundraising ideas to inspire your event.

  1. Foodie Fundraising

    A food inspired fundraising event is bound to draw in plenty of people, whether you ask for donations at a regular event, or host a cake sale, food events are always popular. You could even add a competitive element for keen Bake-off fans.

    Suggestions: Afternoon tea, Ready Steady Cook, Coffee Morning, Bake-off, Come Dine with Me

  2. Intellectual

    For those that prefer a challenge, quizzes and competitions are easy to pull together and are great events for all ages. There is usually a fee for each competitor or each team, and you could provide a meal or other refreshments for an added donation. If you want to fundraise for your workplace, you could add a fundraising element to something you already do, such as through networking events.

    Suggestions: Quiz, Mastermind, Competitions, Networking

  3. Musical

    Whether you’re musically gifted or prefer to observe, music events can be great crowd-pleasers. For a bit of fun, you could host a talent show or Karaoke at a local venue, charging for participants and those coming along to watch.

    Suggestions: Battle of the Bands, Busking, Karaoke, Talent Show

  4. Leisure

    Whatever your hobby is, why not support us while doing it? You could put on a film in a local venue, this could be related to the local area, relevant to your target audience or a new release. If craft is your preferred hobby of choice, you could put on a craft event and provide materials for participants to make a particular item, such as a Christmas wreath, or why not do a craftathon and make as many items as you can in a selected amount of time?

    Suggestions: Film night, dancing competition, craft day,

  5. Sponsored Activities

    If you fancy a challenge or are a seasoned marathon runner, why not raise money in the process? You can be sponsored to do almost anything, from obstacle courses to a sponsored silences, you’re bound to be motivated once you see your sponsors building up!

    Suggestions: walks, runs, sponsored silence, marathons, obstacle course

Feeling inspired? Make sure you check out our fundraising page for everything you need to know about organising a fundraising event.

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Our Valuable Supporters

Over the past 20 years, we have rescued over 1,700 abandoned babies in Kenya, but this would not have happened had it not been for our valuable supporters and staff. Hear all about what goes on behind the scenes of New Life Home Trust.

Volunteers: Our volunteers dedicate their precious free time to our charity, and to changing abandoned babies lives. Many will travel to Kenya to help look after the babies and children at the New Life Homes across Kenya. They help to build the personalities of the children in our care and help them to bond with their new parents. Interested in donating some of your spare time to New Life Home Trust? Visit our Volunteering pages.

Fundraisers: Our fundraisers put on fantastic events throughout the year to raise money for New Life Home Trust. From climbing mountains to classy afternoon teas, in the most extreme conditions to a simple church hall, our fundraisers continue to amaze us with their support through fundraising and raising awareness of our charity. For a handy list of everything you need to consider when planning an event, visit our fundraising pages.

Our staff: We’re lucky enough to have a great team who support us with their skills in organisation, administration and publicity in the UK and our Kenyan sister charity has a whole host of staff who keep New Life Home Trust running smoothly. This allows us to keep making an impact on abandoned babies lives and raise awareness of how people can help, wherever they are in the world.

Trustees: Our UK Trustees are an essential part of running a successful charity. Trustees have overall control of a charity and make vital decisions regarding the charity’s direction, as well as keeping it accountable.

Donators: We really value all of our donators, whether they give a one-off donation or give regularly, every little helps support the work of New Life Home Trust UK. Donations can be made through Virgin Money Giving; visit our page to make a difference to the lives of abandoned babies today.

From volunteers to donators, we’re grateful to everyone that contributes to the work of New Life Home Trust. Why not consider becoming part of the New Life Home Trust UK family today?

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