This year sees the charity celebrating 29 years of rescuing and caring for abandoned babies. In that time over 2,400 babies have been rescued and brought to our homes in Kenya, let’s take a look back at how it all began…
Our founders Clive and Mary Beckenham always hoped to build a safe place for abandoned babies 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/midwife and Clive trained in building engineering, pastoral care and missions. Although this dream wasn’t fulfilled until the couple were both 50 years old.
Arriving in Kenya in 1989 after serving in the UK, Germany and Sweden 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 home in Africa for abandoned babies, 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 Nairobi in 1994, using the downstairs to establish the baby rescue centre, 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 2,400 abandoned babies across Kenya and nearly all of the children rescued have been reunited with biological family members, adopted or fostered by loving parents. Clive and Mary have now retired and last year were awarded an MBE for their services to abandoned and vulnerable children with HIV in Kenya. As a charity we continue to be 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.