2006 saw many East African regions struggling to survive after a two year drought, the worst in a decade and a crisis which tragically caused the deaths of hundreds of children and threatened the lives of well over 11 million people.
Responding to this internationally reported crisis, our founder Naomi Miller set up the beginnings of our charity after travelling with her parents from Kitale to the North Western region of the country, near Lodwar, delivering much needed food and supplies to famine-stricken areas made all the more remote due to their nomadic culture and poor infrastructure. This food, kindly given to them by the mission's branch of the Elim Church, a group of over 550 Christian congregations across the UK and Ireland, enabled Naomi and the team to ease at least some of the desperation of the people.
During this time the very desperate need to rescue orphaned and abandoned babies became very apparent to Naomi and as a result in 2006 she started a project in Kitale, Western Kenya, called the Baby Rescue Centre. By 2007 Naomi was caring for 8 children and the charity we are today was set up to support the amazing work she and her team were undertaking.
Today, Mercy Rescue Trust is a 25 bed baby rescue centre still based in Kitale, where we still rescue babies and young children that have been abandoned or abused, nursing them back to health in a small and loving home, before seeking to foster or adopt them into Kenyan families. We are a small charity, deliberately focussed on providing a loving home to a small number of children, in order to guarantee the highest level of care we can.
We have chosen to remain small in the knowledge that we cannot save all abandoned children, but to those we can support we will do our best to give them a bright future in an environment that provides love, stability and an education for the future.
When it is not possible to find a family for any one of the children, we are committed to providing the same caring home environment through to either adulthood or a family being found. Therefore we currently have babies as young as a few months right through to our eldest child at 14 years old.
We have a two fold mission; firstly we are here to provide high intensity care to a limited number of abandoned babies with the aim of fostering or adopting them to Kenyan families, or returning them to families or provide needed respite; secondly we are here to nurture and educate in a loving home those children we cannot foster until adulthood.
We have a strong focus on integrating into and supporting Kenyan culture and therefore we employ a team of 18 Kenyan staff in roles from Guards to Carers, Social Worker to Farmer. The team in Kenya is headed up by a full-time manager, Jedidah, from Zambia and the UK.
The Mercy Rescue centre is based in Kitale, Western Kenya, which sits at 3200m high above the Rift Valley.
In late 2015 we were blessesd to be able to raise the funds to buy our own home in order to secure the long term future of Mercy Rescue. The new centre sits on it own plot on the outskirts of this agricultural town
We have a house with separate bedrooms and bathrooms for each age group, wonderful cooking facilities and several acres of garden for the children to play and to farm vegetable for the kitchen. There is even a dedicated room for the older children to do their homework under the watchful eye of our visiting tutor.
With a focus on supporting the local community where ever possible, during the renovations we have installed a community water station on the outskirts of the property, providing a clean stable water source to our neighbours.
The next project at Mercy Rescue is to have a Learning Centre on our compound for the children in our community. We have partnered up with Rayzon Schools in Kitale who will supply us with the teachers and Step 30 who have provided us with two containers to construct the class rooms with.