The Achungo Children’s Centre (ACC) provides education, care, food, clothing and medical assistance for about 450 orphans and destitute children in rural southwest Kenya, as well as supporting 75 of our graduates in local high schools. Our primary schools are located near Homa Bay, Nyanza Province, just a few miles from Lake Victoria.
Our Kenyan Founder and Operational Director
The Kenyan founder and Director of ACC is Michael O. Nyangi. Michael attributes his desire to help orphans to his own experience growing up in a very poor local family and losing his father at the age of 7. He is a remarkable man who has dedicated his life to higher purposes ever since the generosity of others enabled him to graduate from college with a CPA and the prospect of a career as an accountant.
However, instead of pursuing a path of personal financial security, he began a micro-financing organization, Lomoro, at the age of 22, to help the destitute women of the Nairobi slums. Lomoro became a 15-person office and his success led to Michael speaking on poverty before the U. N. General Assembly in 2008.
Michael also began taking orphans off the street in his village and into his own home and recruited local widows to help as more children were brought to him. In 2005 Michael officially registered Achungo Children’s Center as a Kenyan Community Based Organization with the Ministry of Culture and Social Services. He continues to oversee and direct the operations of our schools.
In 2007, German schoolteacher, Armin Opitz, learned of Achungo and begun fundraising that built the first permanent school building.
In 2008, Saratoga Federated Church, Saratoga, California, funded a much-needed well for the children’s center. In 2009, Armin’s sister, Barbara Jeanrenaud, established ACC as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in the U.S. for the purpose of caring for orphans and destitute children. During those early years, Samaritan’s Purse provided grants that helped support the first food program for the children. In 2012, a new Executive Director, Monte Fisher, and new Board of Directors began development of a permanent campus.
Current Program Focus
With an initial focus on a lunch program, medical care and clean drinking water, since 2010 we have expanded into a full academic program, and have built the permanent campuses for primary schools in Rodi and in Imbo. Our teachers are now paid and well-qualified. Achungo now ranks as one of the best schools in the county. Our campuses include 10 classrooms, a library, a computer lab, offices and a faculty room, a full kitchen and assembly hall and dorms for the 7th and 8th grade girls and boys. Please check out our Photo Gallery for pictures of the progress of our primary schools.
Our goal is for ACC to become increasingly self-sufficient. Towards that end, the well not only provides clean water to the children of Achungo, but also to the people in the community for a very small charge. Those funds pay the monthly electricity bill as well as other costs. In addition, we have begun a farm with some high-income agricultural projects which serves four important goals.
- The goal of producing some income to help support ACC’s operational budget
- Our demonstration to the surrounding communities of optimal agribusiness methods (most currently grow maize providing little if any profit)
- The opportunity for our students to develop vocational skills as they help at the farm
- A way for us to augment the school diet at low cost
Our Staff and Support
100% of donations received by ACC are spent in Kenya directly benefiting the children of Achungo. (Our volunteer Executive Director and Board in the U.S. directly pay the U.S. costs including taxes and insurance). Achungo’s schools now have a Kenyan staff of 34, which includes 22 wonderfully competent and encouraging teachers, all of whom are credentialed graduates of Kenyan teacher’s colleges. The schools include a preschool and Kindergarten through Grade 8. For those students who graduate Grade 8 and qualify for higher education, we are seeking sponsors to enable them to attend high school and for as many as possible, college, in order to help them reach their full potential. Menlo Church, Menlo Park, California, has made ACC a Global Ministry Partner and provides regular support. However, 95% of our support comes through compassionate individuals who care about the futures of these children.
A number of U.S. organizations have conducted on-site due diligence of Michael and the Achungo Children’s Centre at different times: Samaritan’s Purse (a worldwide relief organization), Opportunity International (a micro-financing organization), and staff from two large California churches: Saratoga Federated and Menlo Church. All of them have found that ACC operates with the highest level of integrity and diligence, offering high quality services and educational programs fully worthy of your support.