Lucy Gacheru is the founder and leader of Hope Community Center. From its original conception to today, she is the life force that resonates in the community of children, teachers, workers and caregivers. The children affectionately call her Momma Lucy, the one who rescued them from their tragic lives and who gives them all they need for the present and a hope for the future. Lucy works tirelessly to lead the community, spearheads fundraising, manages finances and staffing, collaborates with government and community leaders and mentors many in their extended community.
Henry and Irene Hamm met Lucy a number of years ago and started a rich and fruitful relationship. They have given generously and graciously answering Lucy’s prayers and impacting many lives. They continue to be an inspiration and motivation to our Canadian Hope CC community. They travel to Kenya often, returning home with stories of life-change and God’s amazing work.
Hope CC was the vision of a Godly woman named Lucy Gacheru. Lucy’s simple act of feeding one starving child on the streets of Nairobi has exploded into a community serving hundreds of homeless and parentless children of Kenya. With God’s grace, Lucy has given hope and a future to the forgotten street children of Kenya’s cities and villages.
In the mid-nineties, after graduating from a local university, Lucy started work in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city of more than 4 million people. Coming home from work one day she started a conversation with a young boy outside her apartment. He was living on the streets and hungry so she offered him some food. Her eyes were quickly opened to the overwhelming needs of the street children in her own neighbourhood. She prayed to God and did what she could, providing food and shelter for seven children in her one bedroom apartment. She requested help from her local church who agreed to open their doors to help. With Lucy’s tenacity, they housed and fed more that 70 children in a small neighbourhood church. After only 2 years they were literally bursting and Lucy needed to find larger facilities and greater resources for the children. God led her back to the rural community were she grew up, North Kinangop, 60 miles northwest of Nairobi.
Hope Community Center (Hope CC) is a Christian, non-profit charity whose aim is to give hope and build a future for orphaned Kenyan children. Often these children have lived in the streets after losing parents to AIDS or have been abandoned by their families due to poverty. The orphanage is located 172 Km north east of Nairobi in a mountain community named Kinangop. The closest city is Naivasha, about 30 km away.
Hope CC seeks to create a caring and compassionate environment, where children are supported spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The community is alive with a working farm, school, church, kitchen, dorms, library, nursery, recreation facilities and more. . Currently, the community includes more than 350 children ranging from infant to college age.
From the moment you arrive at Hope CC it is obvious that the community is one big family. Everything is done to make the children and guests feel welcomed and valued. Older children are paired up with the younger children in a sibling relationship that foster a spirit of care and support for one another. Everyone contributes to the community and everything is shared.
The community is centered around a spirit of gratitude and worship. The leadership demonstrates an unwavering faithfulness of God’s provision for them all and celebrates this everyday. Everyone participates in a worship time before every meal where prayers of thankfulness are sung with enthusiasm. The educational standards are high and they are proud of the their academic achievements. Education is not just about reading and arithmetic. Intentional training is offered in both social and life skills.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
The community rescues children who have been permanently separated from their parents due to a combination of death, abandonment, and serious abuse. They strive to meet each child’s specific physical, psychological, educational, emotional, and spiritual need. They maximize the impact on each child by focusing on the quality of care provided rather than the number of children it serves. Each child is offered a family experience and is encouraged to contribute to their community. Together they enjoy faithful relationships, forgiveness, celebration and God’s personal presence in their lives.