Josiah Community Medical Centre – Slums of Kwa Njenga (Nairobi, Kenya)
Officially opened doors on the 27th of December 2012.
Officially licensed and recognized by Kenyan government
Coordinates with local public health centre to obtain free vaccines for children
Dr. Edward, a Kenyan gynecologist/oncologist said the following to Directors Jeremiah and Carol: “you two are very brave to begin such a daunting ministry here in the slums where your potential customers have next to nothing to pay for services offered…”
1. UTI (Urinal tract infections)
2. Bacterial infections – cause serious stomach pains diarrhea and vomiting
3. Worm infestation – results in ill health, lack of appetite that leads to malnutrition especially affecting children.
4. Malaria – caused by mosquito bite from Anopheles mosquito. Most patients had recently traveled to the country this mosquito is prevalent.
5. Typhoid – serious water born disease transmitted from untreated drinking water; disease is very common in the slums and semi-formal settlements where access to clean water is lacking and where education is needed on the importance of using treated water for drinking and cleaning fruits/vegetable
6. Upper and lower respiratory infections
7. HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
8. STI (sexually transmitted infections)
1. Funds to pay staff salaries each month.
2. Funds to pay Clinic’s monthly rent and utilities.
3. Funds to purchase needed drugs/medicines: takes large portion of monthly revenues.
4. Many patients in the slums have little or no means to pay.
Clinic’s license enables them to have a maternity unit. Desire is to acquire one or two rooms adjacent to the clinic for this purpose.
Quotes from Director Jeremiah Kibisu Openda, Director
• The greatest percentage of the patients treated are women and children mostly below 5 years of age. The mortality rate for children under five years in our country is very alarming and we thank the Lord that he has placed us here to change the figures in the statistics…
• Our greatest challenge is funding…….
• One of our major objectives at the clinic is to share the gospel and love of Jesus to all that we come into contact. We realized that many that come for physical treatment have so many other spiritual needs . . .
• Being that the clinic is situated in the slum area we have subsidized the prices of our services to the lowest level possible. Most of the patients that we treat are highly disadvantaged and most of them have had either no pre-medical attention before they come to us or have been badly mismanaged in government facilities
• We are currently urgently asking for any individual who has been touched by the Lord to be a partner in this noble venture. We promise absolute accountability for any funding that will be received for we are but God’s stewards in this whole work that He place in our hands.
• Please keep the doors of Josiah community Medical Center open…
• He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed……
The Josiah Foundation’s Dave Penner first met Pastor Jeremiah Openda on Dave’s first visit to Kenya in the spring of 2009 in the slums of Kwa Njenga. Dave felt an immediate connection to Pastor Jeremiah whose heart is devoted to ministering to the very poor. As Pastor Jeremiah has expressed, the spirit of poverty is so prevailing in the hearts of many, that they don’t realize the God given abilities they possess.
The Josiah Foundation seeks to be a partner with ministry leaders such as Pastor Jeremiah in working towards transformation in the slums of Nairobi. We have been working closely with Pastor Jeremiah since 2009. Establishing the Medical Center in 2012 together with Jeremiah and his wife Carol has enabled us to have an impact on thousands there in Kwa Njenga.
Pastor Jeremiah and his church body – Dave’s initial visit in 2009
The Ark School – Slums of Kariobangi (Nairobi, Kenya)
Our ministry focus has been primarily in two areas:
• Financial support of the Ark School in the slums of Kariobongi
• Encourage and support School Founders & Directors Bernard & Bentina
The ARK School Story – Providing Shelter and Safe Harbor
The Josiah Foundation has linked efforts with the mission agency SIM in Nairobi, Kenya in providing support funds for a Christian school located in the slums of Kariobongi (Nairobi). SIM is the mission agency formerly known as the Sudan Interior Mission; now SIM stands for “Serving in Mission”. The school is the “Ark School” (so named because like the ark, it represents a safe harbor/shelter), a Christian school functioning in close working relationship with the mission agency SIM.
Kariobangi is one of the many slums in Nairobi, Kenya, which has grown exponentially in the last two decades due to rapid urbanization. Hoping for work and a better future, men and women are moving into the capital city from all parts of Kenya, so that the population of Kariobangi now exceeds 250,000. Because of the lack of infrastructure in the cities, many arrive only to find no work and end up in poverty. The children of those families have little chance for a better life, since most of the parents cannot afford good education for them. Out of this need the school project in Kariobangi was born.
The ARK School has been a long time project of SIM’s Life Challenge Africa ministry and was founded in 2000. It had begun two years prior as an Adult Education program which has now expanded into a Primary School with classes up through Class 8 (8th Grade).
Many children are from the Borana Tribe, which was originally nomadic and migrated to Nairobi only 2-3 decades ago. Most families living in Kariobongi are Muslims. Most have never had an education and thus are illiterate.
With well over 300 children in attendance at the ARK Primary School, a great need in the community is being met.
The ARK School is making a difference in the community by:
• Offering a quality education regardless of the financial situation of the children and their parents.
• Giving children the chance to hear the Gospel, especially those of non-Christian background.
• Our teachers pray with the children and teach them Bible verses and Christian songs. One of the main objectives of the school is sharing the
Gospel and touching the community with the love of God.
• The school offers evening adult education classes.
• Most of the adults that are enrolled are parents of ARK School children.
Challenges That Faced the School back in 2009 …
• Overcrowding in classrooms
• Limited expansion possibilities due to lack of space
• Lack of reliable income
• Small compound with no space to play
In October of 2010, SIM’s Kenyan Council approved a project to purchase a small plot of land that directly adjoins the present school with the goal of expanding the present school building. Some of SIM’s preliminary stated goals included:
• Offering education through Grade 8 rather than just Grade 5 as is presently provided
• Utilizing three rooms of the old building for the School and one room for the Sewing Project (an existing program for women)
• Potentially developing a carpentry-vocational-training for the young men who hang around the area and have no future
• Utilizing the building as a true community center.
• Introducing a small library for the children in order to improve their reading skills.
June 2011 …
Dave Penner, President of The Josiah Foundation, was invited to participate at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Ark School’s new first floor building expansion! This first phase of expansion was an incredible answer to many prayers and God’s amazing provision.
The Josiah Foundation is currently seeking individuals to help in one of the following ways:
• Committed prayer intercessors
• Provision of teachers’ salaries. The Ark School has some incredible teachers. One of the school’s major needs is for assistance in paying their salaries.
• Assistance with student scholarships/school expenses
• Provision of car for daily transportation needs of Ark School Founders/Directors Bernard & Bentina. Their daily commute using public transportation to/from school takes up to 4 hours!!
Note: although the Ark School is generally said to be in Kariobongi, it actually is located in a tiny slum named Kia Miko that is located adjacent to Kariobongi. Kariobongi is a large and well known slum, and so is generally used as the location for the school.