Help Us Save Noah’s Ark!
How governmental incompetence and an unjust court judgment has jeopardised a beloved day-care centre in rural Kenya…
Rajab Makokha, a 23-year old from Mumias in Kenya says, “I am very happy to have successfully completed medical school and to have graduated as a technician.” He attributes his success to the Nasio Trust, a charity that has been working amongst vulnerable communities in western Kenya for over two-decades. Rajab a total orphan is one of hundreds of poverty-stricken children who have been given a new lease of life through Nasio Trust’s day care centres.
Nasio is a beacon of hope for the community from the schools for pre-primary children 3 year olds as well as venues for the dissemination of other social welfare programmes run by Nasio.
Noah’s Ark is one such centre, and today its future hangs in the balance.
Noah’s Ark is one such centre, and today its future hangs in the balance. Started in 2002 as a roadside kiosk in Mumias, Noah’s Ark currently supports over 100 students by giving them a place to grow and enjoy their childhood free of the exigencies that come with immense poverty. Unfortunately, a protracted court case on the issue of ownership of the land on which Noah’s Ark stands has gone against the Nasio Trust. A Compulsory Purchase Order, wherein a government body can acquire land for public welfare, was clumsily carried out in the 90s on the land Noah’s Ark currently stands on without educating the land owners. The local town’s municipal corporation had compensated the previous owner of the centre’s plot without making a legal change in the ownership documents and assigned title of the land to the Nasio trust on a 99 year lease. Only later was the charity informed that the council had also assigned the same title to the Mumias Teachers Housing Cooperative Society Ltd or the Teachers’ SACCO group leaving the two parties to resolve the issue of competing ownership. Land obtained under compulsory purchase cannot subsequently be sold to a private entity or individual, but should be used for the purpose for which is was obtained, nevertheless the Mumias Council ignored this fact and through incompetent communication and implementation of its own policies has pitted Nasio and the SACCO against each other in court.
This land issue has been exacerbated by the High Court passing a judgment in favour of SACCO, ordering Nasio’s eviction from Noah’s Ark and repayment of the legal costs of all the parties involved.
Noah’s Ark day care centre started as a safe space offering refuge to young children impacted by HIV and poverty, the centre has filled in the gaps in welfare provisions since its inception. It also acts as an alternative to orphanages that are often exploitative and isolate children from a family context.
Noah’s Ark and its sister centre-St Irene’s-provide an avenue for children to lead a normal childhood without increasing the economic burden on their extended families, who often earn less than a $1 a day. Furthermore, with rising food inflation, such locally run charities are the only source of nutrition and love and support for vulnerable children.
The local Oxfordshire community in the United Kingdom, that has supported the charity for two-decades and has seen the children from Noah’s Ark grow up, is devastated. There has been an outpouring of support from those within Nasio Trust’s regular network of donors, and over £500 has been donated in the last week alone to further Nasio’s appeal against the unjust judgment with over 1000 petition signatures.
Support in the form of publicity of the issue, signatures on our ongoing campaign page, and donations will be most welcome. Learn more about Nasio’s fight to keep Noah’s Ark here.