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For Benson Mungai, dedicating his life to caring for vulnerable children meant starting with the land that would become their home. His vision for ministry mirrored his experience as a farmer – start small, focus on incremental growth, and aim for sustainability. He began clearing brush, planning out fields, establishing a garden, and putting down roots before he and his wife Eunice welcomed a single child to Nipe Tumaini Children’s Home.

When the first children arrived, strong roots were exactly what they needed. Each of them had already been uprooted from the lives they knew. Trauma in the form of abandonment, death of parents, abuse, or neglect had left them unable to thrive. As new parents to a full house of children from very hard beginnings, Benson and Eunice drew on their experiences with farming and teaching, their deep faith in God, and the hope that love and healing would take root and growth would come in time.

The Lahash Child Sponsorship Program connected the Nipe Tumaini children to caring sponsors, and Rice & Beans Month funded the farm’s first water tank and drip irrigation system. This made one small field less dependent on irregular rainfall so it could produce more consistently. A few years later, Rice & Beans Month assisted with a much larger water tank project, improving the farm’s capacity to meet the kids’ nutritional needs at home, supply daily lunch for all the kids at Nipe Tumaini Academy, and still yield a surplus to store, sell, and even share.

By the time the pandemic hit in 2020, Nipe Tumaini was in a stable situation to weather its effects well. But they quickly saw their neighbors in the surrounding area struggling as jobs and food became increasingly scarce. Some of them even came knocking at the Nipe Tumaini gate after going a day or longer without eating, hoping for some type of day labor job in exchange for food. Benson quickly increased the production capacity of the farm, planting more diverse crops in greater quantities so they could respond to the need. They checked on neighbors weekly, hearing each time about lost jobs, rising anxieties, deteriorating health, family conflicts, and hunger.

They held some food distributions at the Nipe Tumaini front gate, and also made deliveries of farm items such as cabbages, onions, carrots, greens, wheat flour, and maize flour. “The situation made it possible for us to more practically see and appreciate the blessing of the farm,” Eunice said. “We observed its benefits not only to us at home but also for our neighbors. The farm was a critical source of livelihoods for us and for the needy members of the community.” Nipe Tumaini means give me hope in Swahili. The name was chosen with the children in mind, and the pandemic became a chance to extend that hope out into the surrounding community.

The impact of our small gifts through Rice & Beans Month has been multiplied countless times over the years, empowering this small ministry to care holistically for vulnerable kids and become a generous benefactor supporting its neighbors. On land that was covered with brush, there is a flourishing farm with a wide variety of crops and animals. The kids are healthy and thriving, growing almost as quickly as the corn in the fields. Seeing a vibrant future ahead, Benson, Eunice, and the Nipe Tumaini family will continue planting in faith, putting down roots, watering with love, and reaching for the sky.

To donate and support the nutrition of kids at Nipe Tumaini and families across East Africa, give here.

Watch the video Seeing The Harvest to see the seasons of growth at Nipe Tumaini