The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 7, 2013

Ministry raises $60,000 for African children

EDMOND — Thanks to generous donors a bunch of Kenyan children are receiving advantages many Africans desire but cannot obtain.  

Eunice Menja, director of Upendo Kids International, said $60,000 has been raised to buy, renovate and equip the Upendo Children’s Home in Kenya. Ninety percent of the donations came from Edmond. Menja thanked everyone who has been part of the orphanage project through either prayer or donations.

“God used your giving to perform a miracle,” she said. “We thought we would wait until June 2013 to start anything.”

Beds, mattresses and sheets have been purchased, Menja said. Workers replaced the doors and windows on the home and built more structures that include a store and worker’s room, she said.

Menja said the property and building are located in Juja in Kenya’s Central Province. It will host 50 children age 5-16. Children younger than age 5 may live there if their siblings are admitted.

In June and July, at least 30 volunteers from Edmond, mostly high school and college students, will go love on the children at the home, Menja said. A few local teachers will go as well, she said. Quilters are making bed covers.

Years of drought had a serious impact on the well-being of Kenya’s children, increasing malnutrition rates, morbidity and mortality, according to UNICEF. A rise in inter-tribal and inter-clan violence resulted in child deaths, injuries and displacement. Many children are orphaned when their parents die of HIV/AIDS.

“The situations get very difficult and they are left with no help,” Menja said. “They therefore move to the streets and tend to feed from the trash cans or beg for food.”

Children may become pickpockets if they are unlucky in getting some food, Menja said. Others are being raised by their grandparents; if the elders become ill the children have no supervision, she said.

There are not many homes like this in Kenya, Menja said. Many homes, such us what Upendo Kids is starting, are owned by churches, mostly foreign churches, she said.

Children living at the new home will have a balanced diet and get to drink clean water, Menja said. They will attend the neighboring schools and school costs are paid by the ministry, she said. The children will receive medical care when needed.

Robert Menja, Eunice’s husband and ministry partner, said the average income for Kenyans is still below $2 a day and most people still rely on subsistence farming for food. Kenya’s government child welfare agency is not able to provide social services for orphans and other neglected children, he said.

“Thanks to our donors and sponsors, 50 orphans and vulnerable children will have a place to call home, be able to take a warm shower, receive a square meal, education and a sense of belonging,” he said. “This is only due to the generosity of Oklahomans in Edmond.”

Eunice Menja said the Kenyan government will be responsible for any major issues that arise. All Upendo Children’s Home employees must pass government background checks, she said.

Menja said Upendo Kids, which helps children in other parts of the world as well, has a reliable partnership committee in Kenya that coordinates its projects. All money sent is designated from this end, she said. The ministry receives all the receipts from Kenya as well and verifies with the people on the ground.

Current needs for the children’s home include money to purchase a bus and sponsors for the children, Menja said. They grow and move to higher grades which raises the needs, she said. It costs $30 a month to sponsor a child. Sponsor dollars pay for food and school fees. Employees will need to be paid as well.

Menja said the financial support can only come from abroad because there is no budget in the Kenyan government that would provide for such a project. Police will call the coordinator to ask if there is room to take more children if they find them on the streets, she said.

Eventually, plans call for the Upendo Children’s Home to expand and care for about 300 children on the same property, Menja said.

“My hope is that these children will get a full education and graduate to where they can support themselves and possibly others,” she said. “We get the children off the streets which will increase security in the country. When Upendo Kids sends the money to Kenya to help the children, it helps with the economy. We also create jobs for the locals as well.”

Donations may be sent to Upendo Kids International, P.O. Box 31504, Edmond, OK, 73003. They can be made online at Either one-time or monthly gifts would be appreciated, the group stated. For more information, call 408-8868 or 600-8498.

Text Only
Local News
  • Boston 1 Arcadia man, 80, prepares for 111th marathon

    A year ago, Arcadia resident Tom Briggs was well into the Boston Marathon course when he heard runners nearby talking about an incident up ahead.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Anne Josette Hill Police seek teen last seen in Edmond-north OKC area

    The family of a missing teenage girl made a plea to the public Friday to help them find the Casady honors student.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-19 Calendar

    For information about Edmond senior programs, stop by and pick up a monthly calendar, check out the website at or call 216-7600. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and reservations are needed a day in advance by 11 a.m. For lunch reservations, call 330-6293 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO plans Earth Day Fair

    The University of Central Oklahoma invites the community to celebrate sustainability with its Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22 in locations throughout Central’s campus.
    The fair kicks off at 10 a.m. around Broncho Lake with exhibitions from local businesses, state agencies and student organizations. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about its environmental mission and message.

    April 19, 2014

  • UCO School of Music closes semester with concert series

    The University of Central Oklahoma School of Music will wrap up its instrumental performance season with three concerts featuring Central students April 29 through May 1 at Mitchell Hall Theater located on the UCO campus.    

    April 19, 2014

  • Fine Arts 1 Auction benefits Fine Arts Institute

    The Spring Sampler dinner and auction event April 12 at Oak Tree Country Club benefitted the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group

    Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
    “We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
    “I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.

    April 18, 2014

  • Literally, books come to life for club

    When some of the women at Touchmark at Coffee Creek got together to form a book club, they didn’t know it would be so much fun and become such an important part of their lives.
    The group of about a dozen residents gets together monthly to not only discuss the assigned novel, memoir or classic, but also to immerse themselves in the setting and culture of the book. There is no limit to their creativity.

    April 18, 2014

  • pink.jpg Local children win Edmond Sun Easter coloring contest

    Two local children were named winners of The Edmond Sun’s Easter coloring contest. At left, Madsion Porter, 4, daughter of Tracy Porter, won a princess Easter basket, which included a tiara, tea set, stuffed bunny rabbit and chocolate rabbit. At right, BriAnna Harbaugh, 9, daughter of Leslie Haubaugh, won a Hello Kitty Easter basket, containing art supplies, a Hello Kitty stuffed animal and a chocolate bunny.  The families also received a three-month subscription to The Edmond Sun. For your own subscription to The Edmond Sun, visit, call 341-2121, or visit 123 S. Broadway.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • jc_HarveySparks.jpg Pastor seeks congressional seat

    Working in the Congressional 1st District office of Congressman Jim Bridenstine was an eye opener for Harvey Sparks, he said. His analytical exposure to Congress has sparked his drive to run for the Congressional 5th District of Oklahoma, said Sparks, R-Oklahoma City.
    Sparks has been a pastor for the majority of his professional life. Sixteen months ago, he was asked by 1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine to come work in his Washington, D.C., office. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters and a son, ages 10-3.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results