How Children Come to the Home

1. Traditional Admissions:

The vast majority of the children and young people we support came to the Home by being selected from a waiting list of orphans whom had been highlighted as being in greatest need of support, and often were neglected and at risk.

Staff from the Home would visit the 'family' and make a judgement about whether the child / young person should be admitted to the Home. On joining the Home, they would be provided with a bed, clothes and medical care and, in time, introduced to education in a local school.

For a few years we have been unable to admit many new children due to the rising costs of supporting those we already have.  However, some new additions have occurred, usually through Court Orders.

2. Court Order Admissions:

Sometimes the local Children's Department will come to the Home with a child or young person and insist that they are admitted - regardless of the fact that there may not be sufficient funds to support a new child!

There have been several others, including a girl we'll call ‘Martha’, who joined very recently.  This is Martha’s story:

The District Children's Officer brought Martha to the Home. She is 16 years old but had been out of school for a year doing child labour to help raise funds for her hospitalised mother (a single mum).

Martha had just been rescued from abductors who were transporting her to Nairobi - and possibly on to Saudi Arabia - in connection with the child trafficking and slave trade that has been reported in Kenya.


The priority for us is that the children are healthy, happy and safe, but they also appreciate the opportunity of a good education, and we want them to do their best.

Pride in Success:

We are especially proud of all of our young people that have gone on to succeed in higher education - making the most of their opportunities.

'Lucky’ was one such admission - he was found on the streets of Kisumu and brought to the Home when he was aged about 5, with no traceable background and very subdued.

He is now fitter, happier, attending school regularly and has gained a ‘C’ grade.


One such example is Eric Cornel Otieno, a lovely young man formerly under the care of  the Home, who has just graduated as a Bachelor of Commerce, a degree from the Kenya College of Accountancy in Kisumu.  Well done Eric!

He adds this degree to his Diploma in Business Management gained in 2012.

His sponsors are absolutely bursting with pride and joy for his successes.

Eric is now passing on his knowledge to others in his capacity as a trainer at a college.

Eric Cornel Otieno

Diploma in Business Studies 2012

Eric Cornel Otieno

Bachelor of Commerce degree 2015

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Another example is Duncan Otieno.  It was a pleasure to hear from  him in December 2018 following his graduation - achieving a 1st Class BSc Honours degree in Environmental Management and Conservation.

Here are some extracts from a letter of thanks sent to us by Duncan – which is a testimony to the difference the charity has made in an individual’s life:

Brief History Im Duncan Otieno an orphan from the former Kanyawegi Childrens Home which is currently known as Emmanuel Home.  I was picked from my rural home in Western Kenya to join the orphanage in 2002 together with my other two siblings, after the death of my parents.

Mum died in 2000 when I was starting nursery school and later dad in early 2002 when I was supposed to start standard two.

Dad was the sole bread winner for the family and when he passed away life became tough with no relative to look after us.


God saw me through the hardships and opened for me the door to join the orphanage when I was eight years old.

This gave me a new family that has supported me for the past sixteen years through my education and all basic needs (shelter, clothing, food and health care) I needed.

Education  After the death of my parents, I had no hope of getting quality education to achieve my dreams of being a doctor, engineer, teacher or lawyer someday as kids do have varied dreams.

This hope was restored when I got an opportunity to join the orphanage. I was enrolled at Kotetni Primary School to continue with my studies.

Shifting from my former primary school affected my performance, I was second to last position in my class (37/38 pupils) and I had to repeat a year. This challenge was caused by my slow adaptation rate to new changes and environment. Some pupils laughed at me and I felt like I wasn’t fit to study in my new school. I never lost my hope towards education and I prayed to God to give me strength and knowledge to understand everything I was being taught in class. Truly God answered my prayers and as I started my new term things changed, I never failed any class assignments and by the end of my first term I topped in my class.

This encouraged me and I believed no matter the obstacles on my way I can do it.  I focused more on my studies and God did me wonders.  I never ever repeated any class again, my results were excellent and I topped throughout my primary school till I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations in 2009 and scored 356/500 marks.  

I joined Kisumu Boys High School in 2010 which is one of the best provincial secondary schools in Kisumu County. In high school I continued with the spirit of aiming high and I managed to maintain my excellent Performance.  I was always in the top hundred till I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in 2013.

When the results were released in August 2014 I scored an average of B plain (62 points) and got government sponsorship (the government pays part of the fees but not whole of it) to study in any public university and pursue career of my choice depending on the cluster points I had. I made my choices and was lucky to get a feedback to join Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology on 2nd September 2014 to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Bsc. Environmental Management and Conservation.

At the university I focused more towards my studies, the results were excellent and I thank God for rewarding my four years of hard work to graduate successfully.

Graduation  I graduated on 14th December 2018 with a First Class honours in BSc. Environmental Management and Conservation. This is a milestone in my life as its the greatest achievement I have made. Im now looking forward to apply for any scholarship to do masters degree immediately as from early next year or find a job opportunity that I can do and make some savings to continue with my masters degree later.

Appreciation I give thanks to you, UK Board members, my sponsors and all well wishers who have volunteered to support you and contributed towards Kanyawegi to ensure us (orphans) here in Kenya are well educated, fed, sheltered, clothed and given good medical care.  We have been one great family bonded by God’s love and grace. My gratitude also goes to all former Kanyawegi staffs and the current ones i.e. Mr. Roy Samo and Madam Linda, they have been loving guardians.  They raised and cared for us just like their own blood.  My years at the orphanage made me feel at home and never felt any pain for losing my parents.  I had my new parents (guardians/staffs) and siblings whom I played, went to school with and prayed together as a family.

Even if we are miles apart and some sponsors / well wishers who have been supporting us havent been able to visit us in Kenya to see the good work they are doing, I assure you today that you have brought smiles and happiness to many sad faces, light where there was darkness and hope to the hopeless.

I pray God to strengthen you all and open more doors to get more contributions to support more orphans just like me.  All the good deeds done by all the orphans you have supported is a blessing to you all, may Lord God bless the good work of your hands.  To whom much is given much is expected, Im also looking forward to give a hand to the less fortunate one day just like I have been given.

Thanks to all and be blessed.


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Duncan Otieno

1st Class BSc Honours degree in Environmental Management and Conservation 2018