Frequently Asked Questions

When was Familia Moja started?

September 2007

Where is Familia Moja?

Familia Moja is located in Central Province, Gatundu North District in a town called Mangu. Which is approximately 65km north east of Nairobi in Kenya.

Who started Familia Moja?

A Kenyan woman named Wambui Muiru started the children’s home with the help of James Woodward and Jess White who are both from Australia. Wambui oversees the day to day running of the children’s home, and meets with the board of directors every three months to discuss the development of the children’s home. Jess White is still involved as a development partner of the home. In January 2011, the board of Familia Moja ceased its partnership with James Woodward and his not for profit entity Kickstart Kids International.

How was the children’s home started?

The children’s home started due the closure of a children’s home in Nairobi. Wambui did all the legwork on the ground, whilst James and Jess financed the children’s home with help from friends and family in Australia. On the 15th of September 2007, Wambui arranged for a bus to transport the 15 children from Nairobi to Mang’u where they stayed with her parents until a suitable building was rented, which we now call home.

We decided to start Familia Moja in Mang’u because this was the village in which Wambui grew up, and it would be easier to set up and find good quality education in a familiar area and with the support of its community. We also felt Mang’u was a safer environment for the children to be raised, the cost of rent and food was cheaper than Nairobi and there was no existing children’s home in the village.

The name “Familia Moja” was chosen as it means “One Family” in Kiswahili.

Is Familia Moja registered as a children’s home?

At the end of 2008, FMCH received its registration as a children’s home in Kenya with official certification arriving in early 2009. This means that FMCH has proved to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development to be providing a safe, healthy living environment for the children in its care.

This is a significant achievement as many children’s homes in Kenya do not pass the regulations required to be a registered children’s home, which include the following checks:

All staff employed by FMCH are required to have a Good Conduct Certificate to work with children, with this certificate to be renewed every 12 months.

  • The children have a balanced and nutritious diet.
  • The children’s home keeps clear and transparent records of donations received and expenditure.
  • Every child has their own bed to sleep in.
  • The children’s home is a safe environment and provides adequate security to keep intruders out.

Does Familia Moja take volunteers?

Yes. Familia Moja can host volunteers for any period of time, we will arrange for you to live with a local family in Mangu. Volunteers assist in the day to day running of the children’s home i.e. cleaning, cooking, and tutoring the children. They can also volunteer at the local government primary school and local medical clinic. Volunteers will also assist Familia Moja in the development of income generating projects, farming and other activities on land purchased in June 2010.

All Familia Moja volunteers need to provide a Working With Children’s Check.

Where does Familia Moja receive its financial support? How can I donate money and/or sponsor a child?

Familia Moja receives the majority of its funding through Kesho Community Foundation Inc, a Not for Profit entity from Australia, which was started Co-Founder/Development Partner Jess White.

We also receive funds the Board of Directors and our development partners Sandra Steiger.

To make a donation please visit our donations page.

I have no money but still want to help, how can I help?

There are many other ways you can help Familia Moja including:

  • Organise a fundraising event for the children’s home
  • Spread the word about the children’s home
  • Donate children’s clothing, books and education material

Are donations made to the children’s home tax deductible?

Donations are not tax deductible due to the strict guidelines placed on Charitable organisations in Australia, Switzerland, the UK and the US which prohibits organisations supporting the running costs of a children’s home from claiming tax deductibility status.

How much of the donated funds go directly to the children of Familia Moja?

100% of all donations go directly towards the running of Familia Moja.

What guarantees are there that the money does in fact reach the children?

Familia Moja keeps detailed records of all expenditure, these records are audited on a yearly basis to meet the guidelines set out as a children’s home in Kenya.

What is the general health of the children and do they have access to medical facilities?

The children’s health needs are a top priority of the home, with kids having regular dental and medical check ups. The children are given appropriate clothing and plenty of food. Now, all our kids own at least one pair of shoes which is a first for some of them. Presently, all the children are in great health and we plan to make sure they continue to thrive, staying healthy and active.

How do you ensure a safe living environment for the children?

In accordance with Kenyan laws governing children’s homes, Family Moja ensures that each staff member has a government approved Good Conduct Certificate before starting employment and must have this renewed every 12 months. There is a strict child protection policy which must be followed by all staff, and volunteers.

What happens to the children when they finish primary school?

Upon completion of Primary School all children will further their education either by attending secondary school and/or vocational training. As of February 2013 we have 11 children in boarding secondary school and 1 attending vocational training.

Can the children be adopted?

The children cannot be adopted. Many of our children still have a living guardian, who whilst unable to look after the child, we would not want their ward to be taken away. We respect every child’s ties to their family, tribe and country.

What do they learn at school?

Kenyan primary schools follow a format of education not too dissimilar to the United Kingdom and Australia, with Mathematics, English, Science, Social Studies and religious education being offered as well as Kiswahili, Kenya’s second official language. (in addition Kiswahili is also taught.) All classes are taught in English except for Kiswahili.

Since arriving at Familia Moja we have seen a sharp improvement in the children’s grades, a trend we hope will continue. We have even had a few of them receive academic awards for being top of their class!

What happened to most of their parents?

Some of the children are single orphans (one parent has passed away) but most are double orphans (both parents have passed away). The main cause of their deaths is HIV/AIDS, it is an epidemic that Kenya is still struggling to control. Other health risks include Malaria and Tuberculosis, which have also impacted the lives of our kids.

Are the children with parents or relatives able to visit?

Yes, we ensure that each of the kids spends at least 3 weeks of the year visiting their guardians in their home town. We have also made an event of bringing the family friends and relatives to visit the children. We feel it is important for those children with relatives to know that they have family that do care for them and love them.