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Baraka Children's Centre was founded in 2004 as a personal initiative by founder Francis Kimaru and his wife Lydia. It cares for 12 orphaned and vulnerable children from the area around Nyeri, Kenya. It was born out of the recognition that there was a significant population of needy kids in the district, and the desire of Francis and Lydia to make a positive change in the lives of young people. Francis’ own father had been an orphan raised in a home, and his father’s experience inspired Francis to help children in vulnerable situations lead a happier and healthier life.

Most of the kids at the home had parents who died of AIDS, and were left either with grandmothers unable to provide appropriate care or else left on the streets to fend for themselves. Baraka Children's Centre takes these children in, provides rehabilitation, and then gives them a safe and loving home environment. All expenses for the children are covered by the home: accommodation, food, clothing, school fees, medical costs, and personal items. In addition, the positive community spirit provides a family for these children, most of whom have no other source of love and support.

At present, Francis carries all costs associated with the facility from his own pocket. As a herbalist, he has typically been able to make a high enough income to support the costs of the centre, in addition to his own family of four children. He has also provided extremely valuable services to his rural community, including campaigning the government to provide electrical lines and water piping to the area at a value of over 5 million shillings. However, as costs for the children continue to increase as they get older and start paying secondary school fees, this funding scheme will no longer realistically cover all expenses.

The latrine project will update the sanitation facilities at Baraka Children's Centre, raising them to a more acceptable standard. The project consists of two distinct phases. First, a new triple pit latrine will be constructed. It will use new, waterproof cement to ensure it lasts for a long time. The children will use the new latrine during daylight hours, as well as by children from the new nursery school. The second portion of the project will be building an indoor washroom. This facility will be used by volunteers, as well as by the children so that they don’t have to go outside at night. It will also include a permanent hot shower, which will greatly improve personal hygiene.


The project was born out of recognition that some facilities at the children’s home need updating. In November, heavy rains caused flooding of the existing latrines, indicating that they were in poor condition and in need of replacement. In addition, this flood created serious health implications for the children, several of whom already have chronic medical conditions. Therefore, the update to the latrines and the construction of an indoor toilet were decided to be the first projects to complete.

After the project was identified, an analysis was completed by the Baraka Children's Centre Director to determine the overall costs of the project, including materials and labour.


This project will dramatically improve the sanitation facilities at Baraka Children's Centre. The triple pit latrine will provide the base of the project. The current latrines are getting very old, and the rainy season creates flooding that poses a serious health concern. The new latrines will be built with waterproof cement that avoids this problem. In addition, they will be deeper than the present set, so that they do not need to be exhausted as frequently. The triple pit latrine will be used as a depository for the indoor washroom as well.

The indoor toilet has many advantages for the centre. First, it provides the children with a safe, indoor area to use the washroom at night. It prevents them from having to venture outside when it is dark. It will also include a hot shower that will improve hygiene in the children. Finally, it will be a modern facility, so that volunteers are able to comfortably stay at the centre while working with the children.

Team Credentials

The project team includes Francis Kimaru, Founder and Director of BCC, who has extensive experience in building and updating facilities. Other volunteers will be involved in building activities under Francis’ oversight.