From left to right: Ted Celeste, Terry Davis, Arnett Howard, Karen Heiser, Steve Heiser and Bobbie Celeste
In early March, Dr. Terry Davis led a small group to Kenya to witness all that is happening at Rafiki Children’s Center. The group consisted of fellow Rotarian Steve Heiser from the Columbus Club and his wife, Karen, a colleague at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Also along were Ted and Bobbie Celeste, pillars of First Community Church, which has been a huge supporter of Rafiki. Rounding out the group was Arnett Howard – a very popular jazz musician in the central Ohio area. Reverend John Nganga was able to join them from Florida.
Click here to download and read full detailed report from Dr. Davis.
The kids from Rafiki Children Center attended a Christmas party, hosted by Catherine Gatheru and her team at the International School of Kenya. The kids
were very grateful and appreciate for all the unconditional love and gifts they received. Please remember the kids at this time of Christmas and use the donation button on this site to donate online. We shall for ever be grateful to all those that have extended their hand of support for the last 17 years since Rafiki was birthed. All the honor and glory belongs to God. Shalom.
On September 11, 2016, Ven. Kamau from Ngong Archdeaconry invited the Rafiki Family to worship at Emanuel Church. Reverend John Nganga preached and shared communion with the church family. The congregation donated clothing and money to support the children of Rafiki. Their love touched us.
On September 3, 2016, we had a very successful reunion of all the Rafiki Family. There was the first generation that started with us, many married and now working. We also had second generation, now in College and High School, and with the current third generation of the 75 kids at the center. What a joy it was to see the faithfulness of God!! Thank God for an entire army of faithful friends who have contributed to make this dream a reality. We press on.
One of our younger 3rd generation kids with Reverend John Nganga
It didn’t seem quite right to be at Rafiki without John Nganga, the founder and CEO of Rafiki whose original vision and constant “pressing on” for 18 years has been the underpinning of the entire project. However, we are so grateful that
his health is holding up with the help of a skillful medical team, a dedicated wife and family, and the Grace of God. God willing, John is currently planning a return to Rafiki this summer. For this trip, John’s cousin Eston Kihara had been here for several days when I arrived, and represented John for the many events we had packed into a few days. Eston has just become a member of the US Rafiki Board.
Click here to download and read Dr. Davis’ full report.
The Rafiki Orchestra is in its birthing process. Thank God for faithful friends, Sara Burley from St. Benedict’s Church, Plantation, Florida and Jesse Henry from Columbus, Ohio for the wonderful gifts of the musical instruments to the Rafiki kids in the John & Joyce Edmondson School of Music. Special appreciation goes out to the Short North Rotary Club of Columbus, Ohio for the dedication and commitment towards the funding of this glorious music project that continues to blossom and grow. The sky is the limit. Shalom.
Today was a day of celebration as the 75 kids of Rafiki Children’s Center were taken to Bata Shoes Factory to shop for late Christmas gifts from our friends, Sarah Hambley, from Columbus, OH, Rev. Marian Cavagnaro, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Rev. E. Flemister, Tampa, FL and Lauren Flemister, St. Auburn, WA. Also, in addition to a pair of shoes, every child received a pair of socks. The balance of the gifted money took care of other needs at the Center. Thank you friends for your generous gifts.
Rev. Nganga stands inside the future home of the John Webster Shopping Center which will house the Marafiki Credit Union.
An article appearing in the March 13, 2013 issue of Credit Union Times Magazine features the new Marifiki Credit Union to be launched in July.
African CU for Orphans
Americans frequently lend a helping-hand to orphans in Africa by building hospitals, houses and schools, but it’s not often that the children are given a credit union.
In July 2013, the first credit union–Marafiki SACCO–located in the tiny village of Nderi Town in Kenya is scheduled to open in a former pigpen. Ken Muriithi, the Credit Union CEO, is himself an orphan from Nderi Town.
“It is the first [credit union] for Rafiki Children’s Center targeting HIV/AIDS orphans with the goal of empowering them after the death of their loved ones,” said Rev. John Nganga. “We have other SACCO’s in Kenya, but no one has targeted this population.”