Our Mission of Change
Who We Are
The River Jordan Family Orphanage mission is to raise the next generation of leaders in Kenya with strong morals and values. Our goal is to provide love, education, medical needs, food and shelter in a ‘family’ home environment for orphaned and vulnerable children of Bungoma, the most poverty-stricken region in Kenya.
History of River Jordan
We are a Christian based volunteer organization whose sole purpose is to save and improve the lives of abused, traumatized, abandoned and orphaned children. The ministry began July 2004 to serve the increasing number of homeless orphans in the Western Kenya community of Bong County. Since its onset in 2004, the orphanage has raised hundreds of orphans to young adulthood.
River Jordan is the visionary work of Pastor Patrick Wamalwa Wanyonji. Although he has six natural children, he always had a dream to build an orphanage to give children in need a home and a family. Pastor Patrick, the orphanage director, lives on the property in a modest home with his wife Rose and their younger children Deborah 12, Mitchell 11 and Blessing 6. His two adult sons from his deceased first wife, Daniel and Joseph, each have a small home inside the compound. Dan and Joseph, along with their sister Elizabeth, work tirelessly to manage all aspects of the orphanage under their dad’s direction.
River Jordan Orphanage is located in Western Kenya and is home to 80+ orphans aged 4-17. The orphanage is situated on 3.5 acres of land in Bong County, about 5 miles south of the city of Bungoma. It’s a beautiful setting with separate dormitories for boys and girls, and an on-site Primary school with 12 caring and committed teachers who educate nursery through grade 8. Once the children finish Primary, they go to an outside public High School to complete their studies. The classrooms are also used for Church services.
For the past four years the compound has undergone major improvements and renovations spearheaded by Dan Wamalwa, who fundraises with Facebook LIVE videos to acquaint viewers with the orphanage and its needs. In 2020, we were able to furnish the dorms with new metal bunk beds, mattresses and bedding. In 2021, Dan installed a solar system on the roof of the dormitories that eliminated the need to pay Kenya Power Company hundreds of dollars for electricity each month. The compound is now fully fenced, and security lights have been added to provide extra protection to the children. That same year, Compassion International surprised us by digging a deep well within the compound itself to provide enough fresh clean water to fill the needs of the orphanage and many close community neighbors as well. A beautiful bathroom facility was also built with funding from a congregation in Nevada. For the first time, the children could enjoy warm water showers and modern flushing toilets to replace the pit toilets once used. Our most recent project was installing a septic tank on the compound and run plumbing from the showers and restrooms, this eliminated the stagnant water that was becoming a mosquito haven. This project was all funded by the orphanage's Facebook followers.
The agricultural portion of the orphanage led by Joseph Wamalwa, is also being developed. The orphanage is now able to plant vegetables to feed the orphans kale, spinach and beans. Growing our own crops is essential to help offset the high cost of feeding 70+ orphans and staff 3 meals each day. Fruit trees have been planted and we are waiting for them to provide much needed fruit. Animal stock has also been gifted by our generous donors: we now have 2 cows, a donkey, and 3 milking goats. There is also a fishpond and a growing number of chickens on the property. There are plans for a grain grinder and secure food storage room. Our most pressing structural need is a more modernized kitchen as currently all meals are prepared on an open wood burning fire pit. We are contemplating the use of biofuels to eliminate the need to burn wood.
River Jordan is focused on become self-sustaining which is a slow process as we receive no financial help from the Kenyan government, churches or organizations. We currently survive on the donations of our loving partners while we strive to reach the point of self-reliance.
Sponsorship is the most powerful way to care and show love for these vulnerable children. When you sponsor an RJO Child for a monthly contribution of $50.00, you help provide them with food, shelter, education and basic needs. When these needs are met, the orphans are able to become strong, healthy and educated, giving them a better chance of becoming successful independent adults.