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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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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Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham visit New Life Home Trust

Fashion designer and UNAIDS Ambassador, Victoria Beckham travelled to Kenya and visited the New Life Home Trust clinics, with her eldest son, Brooklyn.

The pair visited the New Life Home Trust Clinic in 2016, with Born Free Africa for the Beyond Zero campaign – a charity organisation helping mothers and children overcome the challenges of HIV.

Both Victoria and Brooklyn shared photos of their experience to instagram, with one of Brooklyn’s photos gaining over 270,000 likes in two hours. Brooklyn Beckham was also delighted that one of the newborn babies at New Life Home Trust was named after him.

Victoria has spoken in the past of her feelings of responsibility to others, as a woman and mother of four children.

Victoria is known for the wide variety of charity work she is involved with and has recently offered to donate the fee she is paid for recent events, to New Life Home Trust UK.

There are lots of ways you can get involved with New Life Home Trust UK, through volunteering, sponsoring a cot, making a regular or one-off donation and fundraising. For more information visit our Get Involved pages.


A post shared by bb (@brooklynbeckham) on

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Libby’s fundraising walk across Aberdeenshire

Earlier this year, Libby walked the furthest distance across Kenya (1,131km/703 miles) from the North East to the South East in aid of New Life Home Trust, but in Aberdeenshire.

Libby first discovered the work of New Life Home Trust seven years ago, through family friends Guy and Susanna Bastable. The couple have dedicated their lives to New life Home Trust, living and working at the Nairobi New Life Home, rescuing sick & vulnerable babies. Libby’s daughter attended the same school as the Bastable’s youngest sons, who were both originally rescued by that same New Life Home.

NLHT, Borehole, Libby, Kenya, Aberdeenshire

Libby was inspired to complete this walk and support New Life Home Trust in all the work they do. During her 703 mile walk Libby saw a beautiful variety of scenes from meadows and forests to beaches and riverbanks. She hopes to keep walking until her target of £2,000 is achieved.

A current priority at New Life Home Trust is fundraising to secure water supplies in Kenya. Although the four New Life Homes have their own boreholes, the new construction in the areas around the water tables are causing them to be disturbed and diminished. Although it would be a very expensive process, New Life Home Trust hope to deepen each borehole, in order to reach beneath the levels of disruption.

Of course, many health issues arise from unclean water in these areas, so it is vital to be able to have a pure and constant water supply in the homes of the children and sick babies. This water supply is crucial, as it is used for drinking, cooking, warming bottles of milk, washing the babies, washing nappies, washing clothes (each item is washed by hand!) and keeping the homes and vehicles clean and hygienic.

By sponsoring Libby, you can help contribute to getting a pure, constant water supply, to ensure New Life Home Trust can keep rescuing and caring for babies and children, and to help them towards a good, healthy life.

To donate to New Life Home Trust visit Libby’s fundraising page.

We love hearing fundraising stories from people in the UK who are doing amazing things to raise money for New Life. Find out how you could start your own fundraising campaign today!

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How do you define family?

“What happens when a rescued infant isn’t adopted?”

Sometimes the answer is complicated: some children are fostered by local families, some are adopted later on, and some are not, because the transition would be too stressful. But sometimes the answer is simple: life happens.

The girls at our Carmel House were rescued as infants and have become “family” to one another, growing up together in a family environment since “graduation” to the house at around 5 years of age.

Carmel girls, many of whom attend boarding school, are quite active in their involvement at home, while also engaging in local activities. Each week the girls have one-hour life skills sessions discussing topics such as respect, the value of education, spiritual development, basic etiquette, etc.

Though the definition of family may look very different for our older children than what culture defines, the girls are in a stable, loving environment where they are growing into young adults who love, and laugh, and enjoy giving back.

And all of this because people like you support our work and help us continue to rescue and provide new life to abandoned infants. Thank you for being a part of the New Life family!

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