The Rev. KIM Foundation is named for its inspiration, the Reverend Keziah Imali Makotsi. Now in her early 80s, this amazing, kind-hearted woman has been a beacon of hope for so many in her community. Every year on her birthday, December 31st, Keziah hosts a luncheon for the children in the surrounding neighborhoods. In 2013, over 250 attended this luncheon to help her celebrate her 82nd birthday.
The orphanage is the brainchild of Keziah’s son, Joseph Makotsi who has donated the land for the project. Joseph and co-founder Hank Roberts met when they were both teaching English in Saudi Arabia. After Joseph returned to Kenya in 2012, Hank visited him there and the two of them started tossing around ideas about the goals for the facility. As there is only one children’s home in western Kenya that is permitted to take children with HIV, Joseph and Hank hope that they will eventually be allowed to also provide for this population.
While Hank was on his first visit to Kenya in 2013, he had the chance to meet many local residents and got to see how many of them lived. He saw the need and was able to help a few families, as well as a community of Somali refugees. As he was writing about these experiences on Facebook, the response of friends was amazing, with many of them asking what they could do to help. This was when he realized that social media could provide the venue through which many people could help make a difference in the lives of people they had never met before. He realized that there were a lot of people nearing the end of their careers who would be in search of a project to keep them active. He also noted that a lot of younger people who were finishing their education might be looking for an opportunity to gain some life experience that would look good for future job applications when they started to look for a job.