The number of orphaned children in Kenya is increasing daily. Some of the orphans are two young to head homes by themselves and at the same time go to school, come back, prepare for lunch and run back to school after lunch. ELCK has put in place a pilot rescue center in Othoro currently hosting 24 orphans who during the day are going to school at Othoro Lutheran School. Pastor Martin Orende takes care of the spiritual need of the orphans. In consultation with the four Dioceses of ELCK (ELCK Lake Diocese, Central Diocese, North West Diocese and South West Diocese, it was agreed that this model is best suited for school going orphans and ELCK proposes to build 24 Rescue Centers, 6 in each Diocese.
With the generous help from LCMS world relief and human Care, ELCK plans to construct 24 rescue centers within a period of three to four years. Secure land documentation where such is not available. Connect Project 24 with the ongoing ELCK-DCM orphans support program whereby orphans will be sponsored and through their sponsorship program, their needs, spiritual, physical and educational will be met by project 24. Form ELCK National Management Committee for project 24 to oversee the intake and adoption program to ensure that the project will be sustainable. The Committee will also have additional task of looking into ways of establishing trust funds that may support orphans whose sponsors have withdrawn for one reason or another. ELCK has already completed four centers in Chapararia District in West Pokot in North West Diocese, Ukunda, Mombasa in Central Diocese, South Kisii District, in South West Diocese and Eastern Nyanza District, in Lake Diocese.
The Dioceses have decided to have at least one rescue centre in each District of the Diocese. So far the identification of orphans has been done through the parish pastors and deaconesses in ELCK. The model will play a vital role in the management and running of these centers.
The Rescue centers will enable the orphans get good environment for studies since the centers will be attached to schools. During the holidays as is the case of Othoro Rescue Centre, the centers will be used for church meetings and gathering. The facility at times has been used at a fee by users when the school is in holiday and the orphans get the opportunity to visit and stay with extended relatives in villages so that they do not loose their roots for future connection when they do not need to stay in rescue centers after high school education. Individual sponsors also do pay money for food and fees that is used to support the center as well.