Child care worker | Litein, Kenya

  • Service term length or program: Long-term, Mission internship
  • Region of service: Africa
  • Location: Litein, Kenya
  • Ministry category: Children at risk

Work alongside the parents of a home for orphans to create a nurturing living environment.

Regional vision
Our dream is to inspire a movement of movements all over East Africa and beyond. Our aim is transformation, not mere information; discipleship, not mere religion. We long for all people to become fully committed followers of Jesus, but recognize that there are many expressions of the kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Responsibilities
The Dow Family Children’s Home, established by Greg and Mary Rose Dow, offers a nurturing family-like environment to over 60 Kenyan children without parents. There are multiple ways for EMM workers to contribute to the challenging work of raising and caring for these children. In the past, workers have helped oversee food preparation in the kitchen, assisted with laundry operations, moved groups of older children through daily routines, and given special care and attention to children with greater needs (such as babies or sick children).

This ministry is self-funded, and there are opportunities for workers to assist in fundraising efforts. Some interns have blessed the home by writing newsletters or doing office work. EMM will work with volunteers and the children’s home to match workers with roles and responsibilities.

Environment
Litein is a village in west-central Kenya. Most of the people in the area are from the Kipsigis ethnic group. The land is ideal for farming, with fertile red soil and a year-round growing season.

Far from the big city, Litein doesn’t face the violence or terrorism that sometimes erupts in Nairobi. However, village problems are prevalent; poverty, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and unemployment are some of the major issues. Without strong social institutions, there is no safety net for those who struggle financially, mentally, or socially, and many fall through the cracks.

Supervisors and colleagues
EMM interns at the Dow Family Children’s Home work directly with the American “parents” of the home, Greg and Mary Rose Dow. The Dows are responsible to organize the workflow at the home. EMM workers also stay connected with EMM’s regional representative in Nairobi and the long-term East Africa team through monthly visits to Nairobi, which include a meeting with the team leader and participation in team meetings, retreats, and other events.

Skills and experience
Applicants must be comfortable in an environment with many children from ages 0–17. Flexibility and adaptability are essential personality traits. Short-term volunteers are encouraged to work on developing skills in the local language as they are able.

The East Africa team prioritizes ongoing discipleship and learning. Those who work with the team are encouraged to keep asking hard questions, to confront teammates when necessary, and to focus on growth.