How Did It All Start?
In rural Western Kenya a Sunday School Teacher called Evans Bwire Barasa founded the Orphan Centre when he heard of a young girl in his class had died of malnutrition and pneumonia.
Evans said 'Due to the poverty within the community there was no-one to care for her'. This troubled him, especially when he heard that more and more children were dying for the same reasons.
After investigating the magnitude of the problem and to relieve the burden put on the family members left, Evans arranged for the children to be fed and taught in his local church building. He consulted with his father, who donated a piece of land of approximately 2 acres. Using volunteers and those within the community, a temporary building was erected as a place the children could attend during the day.
Joy Mowle first visited 'Uzima Orphan Centre' in 2010, and after several further visits became involved 2 years later. In 2013, 'Uzima in Our Hands' was registered as a Charity in the UK (1153181) to help support Uzima Orphan and Day Care Centre. Uzima is Swahili for 'Life and Hope'.
Now Joy, with Louise Collins and Viv Collins (trustees), heads up fund raising in the UK and visits regularly.
Over time the charity has moved away from supporting a Centre to giving scholarships to very vulnerable children to get an education and hope for the future. We now no longer work with Evans but have partnered with a charity in Kenya called 'Rise to Shine Education Foundation'. This charity is headed up by Emily Bakhitah who was once herself a student in need of a scholarship.