FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are you an orphanage? Are your children available for adoption?
No. Our Village is just that...a Village! There are nine family homes with 12-16 children each, parented by a set of loving Kenyan houseparents. Open Arms has legal guardianship over all the beautiful children living at the Village, but they are not available for adoption. Our goal is to raise up a generation of responsible, Godly leaders equipped with the skills and integrity to confront the difficult issues facing their people and effect lasting change within their country.
How do you get your children?
Many come to us from the District Children's Office, the local government agency that protects the wellbeing of Kenyan children. Quite a few have been orphaned or abandoned on the streets of Eldoret, but not all of them are orphans. Sometimes a child’s home life is simply too unstable or unsafe for them to remain. Every child has a different story.
Do your children stay connected with their biological family?
Whenever healthy and possible, yes! Open Arms strongly encourages children to stay in touch with any known family or tribe members. In fact, several times a year we host an event called Community Day. This is an important event where we welcome birth-parents, relatives, and previous guardians to enjoy time with the children. In addition, many children visit their relatives for short or long periods of time during school breaks, with close oversight by Open Arms social workers.
How do your children celebrate the childrens' birthdays?
With so many children, it is difficult to celebrate each birthday individually. The Village has a quarterly birthday celebration with special foods, gifts, and activities.
How are your children named?
Our children each have a Christian (Western) name and a Kenyan name. Their Christian name is given to them by their parent(s) or caregiver(s), and their Kenyan name is given to them by their tribe. Most children are named prior to their arrival at Open Arms Village. For the safety and privacy of our children, we change their names in our online and printed communication.
What are traditional Kenyan dishes?
Kenyan food is delicious! Most people eat rice, beans, chicken, and a flatbread called chapati. For dessert, they eat a doughnut-like cake called mandaze (men-daz-ee). One of the children’s favorite treats is “lollies,” or lollipops.
Is Open Arms affiliated with a particular denomination or church?
No, Open Arms isn’t affiliated with any particular denomination or church. We are a faith-based, Christian organization that enjoys partnering with all denominations and churches.