Marafiki Global AIDS Ministry’s Mission is to provide food, shelter, medical care, education, a safe Christian living environment and loving support to children worldwide who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Marafiki began in Central Ohio in 1995 as a faith-based volunteer workforce trained by medical and pastoral care professionals to provide HIV/AIDS families with spiritual support and life-care assistance.
In 1998, Marafiki Founder Rev. John Nganga and a team of 11 volunteers traveled to Kenya to see the effect AIDS has had on the country and to look for a way in which Marafiki could help there. The team saw immediately that AIDS orphans needed their help most desperately. In Kikuyu Township, one small area roughly the size of the state of Ohio in the United States, the team gathered the names of 320 children who had been orphaned by the deaths of their parents.
The social services and support networks we are accustomed to in the United States and Europe do not exist in Kenya. There are no programs to support these most desperate of children, and the very few area orphanages are filled to capacity. The children’s only options are to be taken in by remaining family members, live with charitable neighbors or when neither of these is available, live on the streets.
School is not free in Kenya. Even those children lucky enough to find a second family to take them in, may not be able to go to school and must, instead, find work to pay for their upkeep. Through its programs, Marafiki is working to provide a home for the homeless and support for the orphans taken in by generous relatives or neighbors.