Handicapped Community Fellowship Ministry was born in the heart of Ms. Elisabeth Resner in 1973. God put a burden in her heart for the needy people. Ten years later she joined Diguna Mission in Germany and came to Kenya in 1984. She served with Diguna till 1997 when she had confirmation in her heart to begin the ministry specifically for persons with disabilities.
She shared her vision with the late Mr. John Macharia and later with Mr. Johnson Kibunja and Mr. John Akida. The four had meetings for a period of time praying and seeking for guidance on the way forward. They started interacting with persons with disabilities who were on the streets of Nairobi. They were mostly begging or selling their merchandise on the streets. They further visited these people both in their slum houses and others upcountry after creating rapport with them.
Towards the end of 1997, Ms. Elisabeth Resner, John Macharia and John Akida fully committed themselves to the Ministry. Meanwhile Mr. Johnson Kibunja was preparing himself to join HCF early 1998. For purposes of accountability, baby HCF Ministry approached Kenya Youth For Christ (KYFC) which was under the leadership of Mr. Cyprian Yobera and requested for the ministry to work under their umbrella. The request was endorsed by KYFC and HCF worked under KYFC until 2006 when HCF Ministry was registered as a society.
A Board of trustees and a committee was formed to oversee the operations of the ministry. This Board comprised of volunteers who had a heart for the ministry. They also committed their resources, expertise and time to the ministry. Since then, HCF has faithfully held Annual General Meetings (AGM) where new officials are elected annually in a transparent manner.
The main operations during the early years were mainly reaching out to people with disabilities in the streets and their homes. This brought a lot of joy as people started reconciling with their families and God. Following is a quote from some beneficiaries; “Neighbors have started visiting me, some just curious to know why I have such connections (Mr. Linus Lwangu) ” “I wasn’t sure that you would accept to take tea in my house, I feel so honored since some wouldn’t take because of the environment (The Late Elias from Tanzania)”
However, HCF started facing several challenges during outreaches and a way of addressing these challenges had to be found. For instance, some PWDs did not have any assistive devices while some families did not have food. HCF started looking for crutches and wheelchairs. Overwhelmed by the need, we once ordered 5 pairs of wooden crutches from a carpentry workshop which were immediately delivered to several people. HCF started meeting people who needed more help than assistive devices and food and the idea of buying a piece of land started developing. The team started praying for 5 acres of land but the prayers were not answered as quickly as expected. The idea was to put up a rehabilitation Centre that would provide therapy and other services to our friends living with disability.
After HCF Ministry was registered as a society, God surprised us with 20 acres of land. May be the 5 acres we always prayed for was a representation of the number of boys we would start with!
Finances were a big challenge and sometimes threatened to bring the ministry to an end. What kept us going was the joy of seeing families transformed.
We engaged an architect by faith [without money] to put our dream idea on paper. Building our first facility would cost a whooping “Ksh. 60,000,000” according to the architect. This required another step of faith and the Board decided to call other friends for a dinner to raise this amount. The dinner was able to raise about Ksh.120, 000 which seemed like a drop in the ocean but the Board decided to begin construction work altogether with that amount. People volunteered to work so as to cut labor costs and the structure started coming up. Several families and friends gave donations in cash and in kind including their technical expertise until the first house came to completion. In September 2012, the first boys were accommodated in the Home.
The first five boys accommodated as beneficiaries were identified as those facing neglect, stigma and rejection. Some were without wheel chairs and were sleeping in pathetic conditions and without beds to sleep on. As a result of them living in these deplorable conditions prior to being accommodated, most of the boys were attacked by parasites like lice and jiggers. They were also severely malnourished due to poverty, Lack of food, poor nutrition and lack of medical care. Through the support of our friends and partners, we have seen a turnaround of events. The boys are now looking healthy, enjoying nutritious food, well groomed, clothed and living in a cleaner environment. We are also offering them with informal education i.e. learning how to read and write. We are still looking forward to seeing these young men empowered with life skills and training and integrated into the society.
HCF continues to visit other persons with disability and their care givers through our outreach and social work programs. We are looking forward to having an all rounded Centre for rehabilitating and equipping persons living with disabilities with adequate skills and possibly integrating them back to the society. This will allow them live a meaningful, productive and dignified life as members of our society. We might not be able to change the world but we can change the world of one person at a time.
May God richly bless you for the kindness you have shown to this Ministry. Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”.
For more information, please contact us:
Handicapped Community Fellowship Ministry