Black History Month

Grateful To Be Able To Give!

Leonora Obara is a social worker with more than 20 years experience of working with HIV&AIDS affected and infected persons, and co-founder of Kijiji Cha Upendo, Village of Love, a registered cooperative of families in Kibera caring for AIDS-orphaned children. Leonora is the volunteer program administrator for Village of Love, and together with her husband Andrew she is raising fifteen children, ten of whom have been orphaned through HIV&AIDS and have been adopted into the Obaras’ loving home. Leonora herself was raised in a very poor family. She knows the struggles and the challenges. She was fortunate to make the right connections to be able to apply for a scholarship and so receive an education. It has been her passion in life to give back to others the grace and opportunity that she has received. On Sunday, November 20th, Leonora Obara shared with the congregation of Runnymede United Church how she and her husband Andrew seized the opportunities that came their way to care for ten children orphaned through HIV&AIDS in addition to their own five biological children.

Leonora’s firm demeanor conveys a certainty of the rightness in their way of life whereby they reach out in love, and trust God to provide. Her gentle voice and soft eyes radiate love and joy in being able to change the course of a child’s life for the better. 

Describing the desperate state of one adopted child, Leonora remarked that the little 4 year old girl was so malnourished that she looked more like a 2 year old. None of their neighbours thought that the child would live, but the Obaras attended to the child’s medical needs, fed her and loved her. Today she is a beautiful, sensitive, responsible child who reaches out to any classmate who may be sick. Currently she is caring for a girl with leukemia. They call her “The Nurse.”

A boy whom they took in more recently had never had the chance to go to school. He dreamt of becoming a social worker, wanting to help the suffering people around him, but his grades did not meet the mark. Instead, he is now learning masonry, and loving it! On his way home from school, he passes through some villages where many elderly widows live. They ask him to fix their roofs, and he is glad to do so. He is thrilled to be able to do something for others. Leonora says, he has become a community asset.

Offering US The Chance To Give

After the morning service, 50 people squeezed into the Kingsbury Room to find out more about the new project that the Obaras have initiated, “Kijij Cha Upendo,” Swahili for “Village of Love.  This project embraces families in the slum of Kibera, poor in material goods, but rich in love. Despite their meagre means, they take in orphaned children.

Andrew Obara told the audience how difficult life is in Kenya, conditions that are hard for Canadians to imagine: having only a small piece of bread and some tea to give to one’s child each day; dividing an exercise book into 5, and cutting a pencil into 5 pieces, so that each child may have some supplies for school. One Kenyan woman in the audience was moved to tears of gratitude to hear someone explaining so clearly the hardships of poverty that Kenyans face. The Obaras’ visit to Canada is providing a voice for thousands of suffering people in Kibera along with an opportunity for us to make a difference. 

One of the donors, Don Tripe, thanked them, saying, “A person has only so many opportunities to do something truly good. The Obaras have given to us one of these  rare opportunities.” We are indeed so grateful to them for this chance to impact the lives of orphaned children!

To find out how YOU too can be part of the Village that raises orphaned children, click HERE.


Experience the joy of being able to give. Be a Provider in The Village That Raises a Child!”



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