On December 9, 1988, nearly 30 years ago, the Board of Directors of Bread and Water for Africa® took up, and approved, the matter of providing support for a little orphanage in a town called Eldoret in Kenya.

The rest, as they say, is history.

From that day forward, Bread and Water for Africa® has been committed to providing help to Africa’s most vulnerable residents – its orphaned and abandoned children who without such assistance would likely have a short life struggling to survive on the streets of villages and towns with no one to care for them, no one to protect them.

It’s likely that no one on the board of the directors that day had any inkling that they were taking the very first step towards what that little orphanage would result into what is today – the Lewa Children’s Home, which has provided a safe sanctuary for hundreds, if not thousands, of little Kenyan boys and girls.

It’s also likely that not even Phyllis Keino herself, founder of Lewa, could have predicted that today that when she took a few children into her home, then constructed what was then a small orphanage to handle the overflow, that now these children, many who have grown into successful adulthood, would all be calling her “mama.”

Since that time beginning with Phyllis, our long-time international spokesperson, Bread and Water for Africa® has expanded our support of orphan care programs to other countries including Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In Zambia, working with our partner Angela Miyanda, director of the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, we are able to provide a loving home for dozens of orphans, many of who are victims of the AIDS crisis in the country having lost both parents to the deadly disease, and even more tragically, some even born with the virus.

In Zimbabwe, working with our partner Margaret Makambira, director of the Shinga Development Trust, we provide support for a feeding program for orphans in foster care and it is our hope is that one day we will be able to construct an orphanage there similar to Lewa and Kabwata in partnership with Shinga.

We cannot express how proud we are and how fortunate we feel to be able to work side by side by caring, loving women such as Phyllis, Angela and Margaret who care more about the most defenseless in their communities than they do about themselves.

And to think, thousands of children have been rescued, and likely hundreds from possible death on the streets, all because a few men and women sitting around a table in the United States cast a vote for life for the children of Africa.