The IAMercy Village
The IAMercy Village is a group of families that IAMercy is caring for holistically. There are three mothers in the Village (Janet, Fidelis, and Mwajuma). Between them they have ten children. These families were all abandoned by their husband/father figures. The moms struggled to survive and needed substantial help to meet the challenge life dealt them. In some cases, they were on the verge of losing their children. In others the children were not at risk of leaving home, but the extreme environment created by abandonment had taken a severe toll. There are two other children/young adults in The IAMercy Village who have been added to IAMercy’s care. They have no biological parent in the Village, but the mothers and some IAMercy staff in the Village help to look after them. Together these smaller families form a “big family” that shares meals together while each family unit lives in its own home. Currently IAMercy has four homes in the Village. These are homes that are close to one another in the Kawangware slum of Nairobi. IAMercy staff/volunteers have homes in the same location as the four families in the Village.
Janet and Family
Janet was abandoned by her husband in 2009. He had stopped providing for the family already, but then one day he simply disappeared. She had three young children: Nancy, Juliet, and Aggrey. Moreover, she was pregnant with twins. Janet decided to move upcountry to work the land in order to make ends meet. After some time she received a report that her husband had been spotted, and that he was well and had work. She decided to move back to Nairobi with the kids. When she found her husband, he gave her the silent treatment for about a week. Then he ordered her to leave and take the kids with her. To show her how serious he was he burned her clothes and the clothes of the children.
Thus, Janet was homeless with three children and about to give birth to twins. A Good Samaritan brought her in for the night and then she was taken to the hospital where she gave birth to the twin girls (Winnie Fridah and Winnie Glory). Janet’s husband came to see them in the hospital. After the visit he left and never came back for them.
Janet did what she could to survive. She got a job as a security guard. However, she became very ill (chronic breathing complications). She spent the money she had saved to try to get well. It did not work, and she was forced to quit her job. The children became the bread winners. They dropped out of school and took packs of peanuts around town to try to sell them for a profit.
This went on for some time before the children discovered IAMercy’s Daily Bread Project feeding at a Christmas event toward the end of 2017. The five children started coming to the program regularly and tried to save enough of the food from a given feeding to take it back home to Janet and make it last a couple days. They were sometimes without any food at all. One day an IAMercy worker called on the house to check on them and discovered they had not eaten in three days. The twins looked weak. The ministry worker bought them food and requested Janet to come to a feeding so that IAMercy could figure out how to best care for the family.
In April of 2018 Janet came to The Daily Bread Project, and when she did she was trembling she was so upset. She and her children were to be evicted that day. She was trying to find individuals to take various ones of her children so that when they lost their house together they would not be homeless.
IAMercy stepped in and started paying for Janet’s rent. Currently IAMercy cares for the holistic needs of this family (as it does for the other mothers and children in the Village). The ministry provides for shelter, bills, clothing, medical needs, education, and food.
Fidelis and Family
Fidelis came under IAMercy’s care (at least partially) about six months before Janet and her children entered the scene. In 2017 a tragedy befell the family when Mary Njoki (Fidelis’ oldest daughter) was subjected to an act of brutal violence by a neighbor. The girl was only about 2 1/2 or 3 at the time. A missionary in Nairobi who had done some volunteer work for IAMercy and who knew Fidelis’ situation asked if IAMercy would consider helping. Fidelis was encouraged to come to The Daily Bread Project feeding program. She did come, faithfully, with her daughters.
At first IAMercy simply started helping with some educational needs. However, as investigations into the family continued IAMercy realized it needed to do substantially more. Fidelis’ education is limited, and she had been reduced to begging and doing small laundry jobs to survive. She was not able to earn enough. The family was in chronic and severe need. Fidelis became one of the first moms in The IAMercy Village in 2018. Currently IAMercy cares for the holistic needs of Fidelis and her two daughters.
Mwajuma and Family
Mwajuma is the most recent mother to be added to the IAMercy Village. However, IAMercy has known of her situation for longer than that of the other mothers. Her eldest son (Moses) started coming to The Daily Bread Project feeding program in 2015 and he joined The Saint Boys Project in 2017. IAMercy decided to start caring for Moses in a holistic way due to concerns about his relationship with his father. Moses’ biological father is an abusive alcoholic and IAMercy felt that he needed a new family environment in order to thrive. However, in 2017 IAMercy did not know the rest of the family well and decided to only intervene on Moses’ behalf.
In 2018 Moses’ father (Mwajuma’s husband) abandoned the family. By this time all of the children had begun coming to The Daily Bread Project feedings. Mwajuma tried to earn money to care for her family’s needs, but she could not make enough to consistently pay rent. Evans (six years old at the time) repeatedly turned to The IAMercy Village for shelter and food. Mwajuma and the children were evicted from their home. They were sleeping in a neighbor’s storage unit for vegetables. They were very dirty and their things were covered with bed bugs. In the second half of 2018 IAMercy felt it should take care of the family’s holistic needs. Now Mwajuma and her children are in The IAMercy Village with Janet, Fidelis, and their families.
Boniface and Bravine
Boniface and Bravine also have a home in The IAMercy Village. These are mature minors/young men who were on the streets. IAMercy is caring for most of their holistic needs (in the case of Bravine a couple of other local groups are helping to care for education related expenses). They live in their own unit. But, they are a part of the “big family” that is The IAMercy Village.
IAMercy Village - Staff and Volunteers
Noah, Nicholas, Vincent, and Dado form a team of staff and volunteers for IAMercy who live on the premises of the Village, helping to oversee the ministry on the ground. They are the uncles and big brothers who provide guidance and care for the various IAMercy family units in the Village.