The Nyumbani Children's Home was founded in 1992 by an American Jesuit priest, Father Angelo D’Agostino, SJ, MD, after he discovered that orphanages in Kenya were turning away infants with HIV/AIDS. Taking matters into his own hands, and with the support of his vast network of friends and supporters, Fr. Dagostino rented a tenement in the Westlands area of Nairobi and adopted three abandoned HIV-positive infants.
From the beginning, Nyumbani, which means "home" in Kiswahili, provided solace and care to babies and children with HIV/AIDS. Soon, the three children became six, and the six became 12. Once a hospice where children lived out their final days with love, care, and dignity, Nyumbani is now a home to approximately 100 orphans and vulnerable children.
A vision of care and self-reliance
Though Nyumbani’s beginnings were humble, Fr. D’Agostino saw from the start the great need to help not only those children suffering from HIV/AIDS but children and elderly left vulnerable in the disease’s wake.
As Fr. D'Agostino's vision grew, so did the projects. Largely funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the Lea Toto Community Outreach Centers were established in 1998 in Nairobi's informal communities. Here more than 3,000 HIV-positive children and their caretakers receive community-based medical care, counseling, testing, and nutritional support.
DAG long planned to build Nyumbani Village to provide high quality care and education, and to build self-reliance and hope in communities laid bare by HIV/AIDS. This vision came to fruition when the Nyumbani Village was opened in November 2006. Here nearly 1,000 orphans and the grandparent generation infected with and affected by HIV live together in a self-sustaining community.
A lasting legacy
Today, the Nyumbani family of programs includes the Nyumbani Children's Home, the Lea Toto Community Outreach Centers, the Nyumbani Diagnostic Laboratory, the Nyumbani Village, and the Respite Center at the Nyumbani Children's Home.