About the mercy home

JNMCC Mercy Home is a girls orphanage in the village of Maseno, near Kisumu, in Western Kenya. It is not a tourist area, and the village people are very poor, with very few jobs and no tourist trade such as you may find on the coast in other parts of Kenya. Furthermore, the recent election-related violence has hit this area of Kenya particuarly badly, with prices quadrupling since December 2007. Most of village is still without electricity and has only sporadic running water.

The JNMCC Mercy Home was founded in 1998 by Edward Buyengo, a local preacher and his wife Deborah. To begin with it was just a case of Edward taking five local orphans into his own home to care for them. He decided to focus primarily on providing a home for girls rather than boys as it is commonplace in Kenya for the girls to be married off young in poor families to both alleviate the burden of the family, and to gain a dowry to help sustain the rest of the family. The orphanage was set up in Edward and Deborah’s own home as the girls were incorporated into the family and became sisters to their own daughter Miriam. To this day, one of Edward’s most strongly held beliefs is that the Mercy Home remain under one roof and that the girls are treated just as Edward’s own are treated. They are a family, and if you ever go to stay you will be family too. There is no division between the Founder and his family, any guests or volunteers that are staying or the girls themselves, the Mercy Home is exactly that; a Home.

The expansion of the Mercy Home programme lead to the expansion of Edward’s home too, with two extensions that introduced a 14-person dormitory, a new washroom, a large kitchen area (including chimney), sitting-room and office. These extensions were completed in November 2006 and opened by the local District Commissioner. There are now 15 full borders at the Mercy Home ranging from 10 to 18 years old and another 25 on the Day Programme whereby the girls (and now one boy!) are enrolled in the programme but due to lack of space, are unable to board.

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