1. Why are these children orphans?
While not all of the children at Pavilion come from families that have been impacted by the AIDs epidemic, many of them do. Almost every child has lost at least one family member to AIDs and a number of them would be considered AIDs orphans. In addition to the death of parents due to AIDs, children come to Pavilion when their parents have died from other causes, when they have been abandoned by their parents and they have no other family who can take care of them, or when their surviving parent is incapable of providing even the most basic care.
2. How did they come to live at Pavilion Village?
The initial group of children welcomed into Pavilion Village in June of 2006 were referred to us by local church leaders. Each one had no where else to go and would most likely be out on the street today if it were not for their new "family" at Pavilion Village. Children have since come to Pavilion on referal from community leaders and at the request of the Ministry of Children's Affairs for the Central Province of Kenya. It is our desire in the future to begin an outreach to "street children" in hopes that we will one day be able to bring them off the street and into a loving home environment.
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3. Does Pavilion help Kenya's "Street Children"?
Street children is a term applied to both orphaned and abandoned children who have taken to living on the streets of communities varying in size from small village to large city. These children are often addicted to glue and have traditionally been very difficult to place in a Children's Home. The difficutly arises from the fact that most of these children have lived on the street on their own for some time before they are "discovered". When placed in a traditional orphanage environment they typically rebel and run away because they are unaccustomed to the rules and policies associated with such a place. At the present time, Pavilion is not equipped to help get these children over their addictions and "re-intigrate" them into socieity, but it is at the heart of the dream that gave birth to this Home and a goal of our ministry to reach these children quickly. Plans are underway for a program that will allow us to feed and shelter "street children" on a limited basis and gradually aclimate them to "parental" authority, thus making the liklihood of intigrating them inot a children's home much higher.
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4. Where do my sponsorship dollars go?
Funds given to Pavilion Village under its "Sponsor a Child" program or those designated for child sponsorship are used only for the children and their specific needs. 100% of every dollar given in this fashion is used to feed, cloth, shelter and educate the children living at Pavilion Village in Kenya. No administrative costs (either on the American or Kenyan side) are taken from these funds. Pavilion is dependant on undesignated contributions to cover the salaries of local staff and the minimal US and Kenyan administrative costs. While the cost of caring for a single child in minimal by US standards, it does include certain indirect items that are often taken for granted. These costs include items such as the following: gasoline vehicles used to transport the children, pick up food and other supplies and handle emergency situations; maintenance of the children's living facilities; school fee, books and uniforms; costs associated with the care and maintenance of food producing crops and livestock; field trips and other cultural experiences; participation in school and community clubs and programs (such as Kenya Scouts), and employment of supervisory staff (house parents) and part time social workers (as required by the Kenyan government) to help the children deal with the challenges of being orphaned and its lingering effects.
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5.Why do you raise money for special projects?
Special projects are items that are necessary to help provide for the long term care of this group of children, however, their effects are deemed sufficciently remote that fthey are not paid for out of "sponsorship funds". Special projects include items such as: Building new structures for both the children and staff; purchase of vehicles used by the orphanage; income producing proects that will eventually help make the facility self sustaining. The ministry cannot be maintained without projects such as these, but integrity and financial accountability dictate that these items be classified differently so that our donor's are fully aware of how funds are being utilized.
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6. What are the children's living conditions like?
Pavilion Village sticks to a strict policy of one child per bed. While this may seem to go without saying, in Kenya that is not the norm. Orphanages in Kenya typically have 2-3 children per bed. In fact, the Kenyan goverment requested that we place more children by utilizing this standard, however, we prevailed in convincing them that such a policy did not present a proper model for children and would adversly effect our exit strategy. Each child has a personal locker in which to store their personal belongings.
The children eat 2 meals per day (3 when they are not in school) and have meat at least twice per week. Each child has thier own clothing, including at least one school uniform. Children are expected to study and do their homework and complete their assigned chores before participating in leisure activities.
At the present time, all of the children reside in a 3 bedroom block house situated on 5 acres at the foothills of Mt. Kenya. A garage and former servant quarters were converted to provide additional bedroom space for the children.
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7. What are house parents?
House parents are the individuals who take primary responsibility for the care of the children at Pavilion Village. These individuals serve as mother and father to the children while they are with us. The house parents at Pavilion Village are Pastor John and his wife. They have 3 children of their own by birth and 21 children of their own by God's grace.
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8. Why do you have an American director on site?
Although Kenyan standards for orphanages and children's homes are on the rise, current practices in the country still leave much to be desired. It was our desire to set an example and encourage a standard of excellence that could be modeled throughout the country. A well run, small scale orphanage that exemplifies excellence could provide the instintive needed to see change in other small children's facilities. For this reason it was decided that an American on site could encourage and set the tone without adversely influencing the positive elements of the local culture. In addition, an on site American director also helps to insure financial accountability and responsibility.
In 2009 our American last American director came home and the day to day operations of the orphanage were at last turned over to the Kenyan team. They have done an excellent job in all areas and have continued to make Pavilion an example for the nation.
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