Rapha Community Center is our main project in Kenya. We have developed a children’s home and a secondary school that provides vital services to children in the area. At this time we care for 45 children at Rapha Children’s Home and educate over 80 students at Rapha Secondary School.
RAPHA CHILDREN’S HOME
At Rapha Children’s Home, we care for 45 children, boys and girls. Our youngest child is about 5 years old. His exact age is unknown because he was abandoned as a young child. Most of our children have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In many cases, they were living with grandparents who could not afford to care for them. They missed school, and some were even caring for younger siblings. In addition, we have provided a safe haven to children who were physically, mentally and/or sexually abused in their previous home situation. Children are recommended by the local children’s office or their situation is brought to the attention of our staff by community members. Every child has a unique story, but they all needed a new home and safe place to be a child.
RAPHA SECONDARY SCHOOL
We started Rapha Secondary School in 2013 with one class and 13 students. We now teach over 80 students in four classes (Form 1, Form 2, Form 3 and Form 4). We employ 7 teachers in all the required subjects, and also teach music and drama, sports and debate in after school clubs. Our student population includes children from Rapha Children’s Home and children from the surrounding area. Many of our students come from impoverished families. When students are unable to pay fees in Kenya, they are sent home until they can pay. Sometimes children miss weeks of school. Sometimes they don’t return at all. At Rapha Secondary School, we do not send students home. When families are unable to pay school fees, we allow their children to stay in school so they don’t miss any learning time. We give families time to pay, and support the school through raised funds.
MEET OUR DIRECTOR
Tabitha Wambui was born in Kenya. She was one of four children in her family. She grew up in poverty but God intervened when two women in her village offered to pay for her education. She is truly grateful to them for investing in her life. Her life experiences help her to identify with many of the children at Rapha Community Center who have experienced similar challenges. After she finished her schooling, she committed her life to helping children, first as a teacher, and then in 2003 through a ministry which cared for orphaned and vulnerable children. Tabitha has been the director of Rapha Community Center since its founding in 2013. She has been a central part of the success of Rapha Secondary School. She has experienced many challenges including a separation from her husband, but through it all, she has remained faithful to the call God placed in her heart to help children in her country. Tabitha has two of her own children, Timothy and Ellice. She loves flowers and loves to read books.
In her words, “Rapha is from the bible—Jehovah Rapha. It means Jehova heals. Indeed He has healed my life. It was so tough for me handling a new school with all the demands amidst all that was going on, but today we are celebrating our pioneer class. I thank the Lord God almighty for this far I have come. I remember God gave me his word in Isaiah 41, 8-13. I will share more in the book I am writing. I love encouraging people who are going through pain in life. Shalom.”
We employ 15 people from the local community including a manager of the Children’s Home, a special projects manager who oversees construction projects and our farm, a cook, boys’ and girls’ caretakers, a watchman, teachers and a principal.
Rapha Community Center is located outside of the town of Nyahururu in the central highlands of Kenya. In 2010 HEAL purchased 12 acres of arable land in the village of Leshau. At the time of purchase, the only structure was a run-down wooden building and the land was raw and untouched. In 6 years we have developed the land to include a permanent girls’ dormitory, a temporary boys’ dormitory, a kitchen, 4 classrooms and a temporary office for the school.
PO Box 452, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Ten years ago, I embarked on my first journey to Kenya. I was a college sophomore, searching for direction. Little did I know my experience would shape my future in such a profound way. It was during that trip, after witnessing the atrocious conditions at...