When you enter the gate of Upendo Children Centre you hear the laughter of children playing together, stories being told and songs being sung. You can see children growing, learning and thriving in a family environment where they are nurtured and allowed to be children again.
Upendo, which means love, is a haven for abused, orphaned and abandoned children. Located in the Kawangware informal settlement (or slum) of Nairobi, Kenya, Upendo serves children in dire need. The centre provides temporary shelter for abuse cases and abandoned children, providing them love and care until long-term solutions are developed with the local authorities.
First and foremost, Upendo ensures their basic needs are met, providing a warm roof over their head, nutritious food in the bellies and any needed medical care and support. But what Upendo does best is provide a truly loving, caring and supportive home. These children have faced unimaginable suffering, and in Upendo they find safety and security.
Upendo has also permanently taken in 15 children who reside at the centre, calling the owner “Mom”. They are provided a true family with a loving mother and siblings, where they are able to attend school, receive the best medical care and thrive in a family setting.
But Upendo doesn’t stop there. With a mission to ensure every vulnerable child gets the best start to life, the centre provides education sponsorship to children in the community, community health support, women’s empowerment services and daily care to 25+ children allowing their mothers to work. Upendo exists to empower children, families and the community as a whole.
Upendo Children Centre was registered as a community-based organization in October 2011. The registration number is DAG/CBO/5/4/2011/107.
Services at Upendo
Providing 15 abandoned / orphaned children with a family and home.
Caring for and feeding 25+ children daily, allowing their mothers to work.
Rehabilitates abandoned, abused or neglected children and develops solutions.
Provides school fees, food and small grants to families in the community.
Engages the community in health education and basic health services.
About Mama Watoto (Mother of the Children)
Everlyn Ingosi is the Founder and Director of Upendo Children Centre. When she first moved to Kawangware as a teenager, she struggled to survive as an orphan and mother searching for work. Through her endless dedication, she made a name for herself and was instilled with the drive to support those in need.
Everlyn founded Upendo Children Center in 2007 out of her home in Kawangware when the life of a neighbor child was at risk after his mother passed away. She took him in, giving him the care and love only a mother can provide. She has never looked back. Since then Everlyn has been hailed in her community as providing the best care to children in need. Since 2007 the centre has moved and expanded to better serve and reach more children.
Despite her tireless efforts, Everlyn struggles to provide these children with medical services, nutrition, education and shelter. Ingosi funds Upendo Children Centre by generating income through tailoring, craft creation and selling, community health work, among others.
Everlyn approaches life with fierce determinism to provide for her family and serve her community. She has endured unimaginable circumstances and never gives up on the rights of children. Everlyn is truly an inspiration to all of us, showing us a life of service and justice no matter how hard it can become.
Meet a child of Upendo: Blessing’s Story
Blessing is a miracle. Born to a young teen trying to hide her pregnancy through starvation and restricting her belly, Blessing was brought to Upendo just hours after birth. Due to the inadequate maternal nutrition and no pre-natal care, Blessing was extremely underweight and struggling to survive.
Upendo took her in and provided her the love and care only a mother can provide. She was given dedicated 24/7 care and the best nourishment available. Despite spending her first year of life with Ricketts and brittle bones from the severe malnutrition, she eventually gained her strength.
While many believed she wouldn’t see her first birthday, Everlyn never gave up on Blessing.
Blessing just had her 4th birthday, and is the life of Upendo. Her smile and infectious laughter brighten any room. She’s just enrolled in her first year of school, waking up ready to go before anyone else. She truly takes life as a gift, and shows everyone else how blessed we are.
Thanks to Upendo Children Center, Blessing and so many others like her are thriving with bright futures ahead of them!
Support Upendo through purchasing handmade Everlyn Ingosi jewelry and crafts from Kenya on Etsy!
Help feed, care for and educate the Upendo children through a donation of any size today!
We finish diapers, food, school supplies, etc. QUICK. Support by providing any resources!
Leverage your skills in promoting Upendo from anywhere. Contact us for more information!
Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 722 220161