2018 // Our Year In Review

One word to describe 2018 would be growth.

This year our hearts have been filled with pride and joy as we have watched our children grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our older children are learning who they are as individuals, navigating through the ups and downs of adolescence…and lets be real — bringing a lot of drama and spice to our household on the daily! Our momager (yes, our manager also serves as mama to 20+ children) is a miracle worker. Can you imagine 5+ kids going through puberty all at once?! Welcome to our family folks.


In many respects, this was our most successful year to date. Two of our oldest children began post-secondary studies. Jane continued to receive the support her long term donor, allowing her to follow her dreams and begin her journey in the food and service industry. Dennis was able to teach in Soweto for several months before joining college to pursue his dreams of becoming an engineer. This was a huge step for our organization, and our family as a whole. Seeing two of our oldest children pursue further education showed our younger children that their dreams are valid, and with hard work and dedication they too would reach their full potential and academic goals for the future.

In 2016/2017 the story of one of our youngest, little Faith, captured your hearts. Faith had a full repair for her Tetrology of Fallot congenital heart condition in Israel in 2017. After spending the first 4 years of her life in a vulnerable situation where she experienced abuse, we were finally seeing her come out of her shell and begin to heal. Faith has grown physically, which was a huge step in a positive direction. Faith’s friendship has continued to build with our sweet girl Annie. A sisterhood. This coming January Faith will go for her annual check up to ensure her heart remains in good condition.


In 2018 we welcomed the I See You team from Canada, for another successful year of eye glasses clinics. The team provided eye glasses to 500+ members of the community in Soweto. I See You is led by long time ZLT supporter, and member of our Board of Directors, Suzanne Harvey. Suzanne founded I See You after seeing a need for assistance in our community during her first trip to ZLT in 2014. She has since continued to visit annually with her children and members of the community in Sudbury, ON — where we receive over 90% of our donations each year.

In addition to being joined by the incredible team from I See You, our family also welcomed BC Serna and Taylor Saxelby in mid-2018. Taylor took all of the beautiful photos which can be seen on our website while BC created this incredible video seen here below. Both captured the spirit of our children, and the love felt in our home each and every day.

In 2018 we held our 6th Annual A Night In Africa Event and we’re thrilled to announce that we raised $75,000! This was a HUGE success for our organization. In addition to the support we received from ANIA, we also received the support of school fundraising initiatives by Ecole St Augustine Elementary in Garson, ON and Ecole Sacre Coeur in Sudbury, ON. Both schools collectively raised over $4,000 for ZLT programs in 2018! Before the end of 2018 Ecole St Augustine had raised over $1,500 for ZLT programs going into the new year. We’re thrilled to see the support of the global ZLT village and we look forward to welcoming more school groups in 2019 / 2020! Together we provide the gift of education.

Before the close of 2018 we launched the “Gift of Education” Fund. What began as a GoFundMe campaign will follow us into the new year - onto our brand new website coming in February 2019! The Gift of Education campaign will be an ongoing fundraising initiative to provide quality education scholarships to our 20 elementary aged children + 6 children in high school and post secondary studies. To date the initiative has raised $1,300 CAD. Our goal for phase 1 is $3,900 CAD.

As we enter 2019 we are grateful for all of the prayers and support we have received this year. Without your support we would not be able to create the loving, supportive, family we have at ZLT. We appreciate each and every one of you.

With love,

The ZLT Family.

A Night In Africa 2017

The 5th Annual A Night In Africa Gala took place on April 1st at Cambrian College Student Centre. The event welcomed over 270 guests to celebrate the Zawadi la Tumaini family in Kenya. The evening featured a delicious buffet with our favourite dishes from across the African continent, beautiful artifacts from Kenya, speeches from ZLT volunteers and our Founder Jacqueline, and live African entertainment. 

These beautiful photographs were captured by Chelsee Taylor and the event was MC'd by Lyndsay Moggy of KICX 91.7. We were fortunate enough to have corporate sponsors from: 

Platinum: Technica Mining and Chelmsford Dental Clinic 


Silver: Skin Medispa and Vitto Brand Foods 

Bronze: Villeneuve Financial Consulting, Advanced Tax Solutions, Bridgeforce Investments, Fidelity Investments Canada and Greg MacDonald Equipment 

Thank you to all of our guests who joined us, our corporate sponsors, and our team in Kenya. Collectively we are making a difference and providing the gift of hope! 

We look forward to seeing you at future events in 2017 in the Greater Sudbury area! 

The Future is Bright

2017 is here and we are thrilled to announce a line up of fantastic events, campaigns, and programs supporting Zawadi la Tumaini. 

This year big things are in store for our children! Dennis, Felix, and Jane will be completing high school and heading out to begin their post secondary studies in January 2018. Our youngest child, Annie, started school this month. Our sweet Faith received her open heart surgery in Israel with Mom Jerusha by her side. She is recovering well and we cannot wait for her to return home! We are gearing up for Mary and Dennis to be completing their KCPE exams in the next year or two and we are focusing on assisting our children with learning disabilities through tutoring and quality education. Our children started at a new school which was more affordable with our family. In having a child with a congenital heart condition, and providing quality care to all of our kids, having a more affordable school for our kids is very important. The kids are nearly 1 month in to their new school term and we are so happy with the new schools support of our family. 

Coming in to a new learning environment within the private education system can be tough. When you're enrolling 20+ kids in school you would expect that the school could be open to giving a discount right? WRONG. All of our children's schools to date have not provided us with a substantial discount. School is not cheap by any means in Kenya. In addition to school fees we also must pay for uniforms, books, and transportation. With that being said we are thrilled that our new school has provided us with discounts and supports to help us provide for our children's educational needs. 

This year health and wellness is also a huge focus for our team. In 2016 we learned from several of our children that they had been victims of sexual violence prior to joining our family. Healing and counselling will be a primary focus for us this year. We are fortunate enough to have Yasmeen with us until August. She is a qualified social worker from New York and will be able to greatly assist our children, especially those who suffered from sexual abuse, in their healing process. We also are thrilled to begin yoga and meditation again with our children in joint partnership with the African Yoga Project. 

In order to assist us in providing our children with quality care we have a busy line up of community evens within the Sudbury area throughout 2017. These events include our A Night In Africa Gala and much much more! Take a peak at some of the exciting events coming up in 2017.... 

J A N U A R Y - Our sister company Olive & Annie (www.oliveannie.com) will be hosting their first mom2mom marketplace at Fromagerie Elgin in January 28th, 2017 from 10AM - 1PM. The marketplace will sell fair-trade and ethically produced products for children and women. Donations will be accepted for Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home and NEO KIDS FOUNDATION. 

For more information click here. 

F E B R U A R Y - In February we will be launching our photography exhibit "The Gift of Hope". The images were taken by Ellie Coburn Photography  in 2016 and capture the day to day life of the children of Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home.  The Gift of Hope Exhibit will opening party will take place at Fromagerie Elgin on February 2nd, 2017. The event will also showcase the launch of our partner company, Olive & Annie, new jewelry line. 

Join us on February 2nd at Fromagerie from 7PM - 9PM. This event is free of charge and open to the public! For more information please email zawadilatumaini@gmail.com 

One our favourite images for our little stinker, Mr. Bravin. 

One our favourite images for our little stinker, Mr. Bravin. 

M A R C H - The first ever Zawadi la Tumaini Paint Nite will be taking place on March 9th at Finn McCools in Sudbury, ON! 100% of proceeds collected at Paint Nite will assist Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home. 

On March 25th our sister company Olive & Annie will be hosting The Modern Marketplace. The Modern Marketplace features Fair -trade and Canadian made products. Entrance is $5 and all entrance fees are donated to Zawadi la Tumaini and NEO Kids Foundation. In addition every purchase of Olive & Annie products directly provides 30% of profit to Zawadi la Tumaini. For more information on the event please click here.  

 2017 is off to a fantastic start and we can't wait to see what the future holds in store! If you'd like to volunteer your time to assist with future events please email zawadilatumaini@gmail.com. If you wish to donate please visit www.zlthope.org/donate. 

With love,


The Zawadi la Tumaini Family   

International Day of the Girl

Today marks international day of the girl. 

Today we celebrate these incredible young women who inspire us each and every day. Our girls have seen poverty. They have experienced the heartache that loosing both parents, or being abandoned, brings. Some have been abused beyond anything we can imagine. Each young woman has a different story but ultimately if they had not been found, and joined our family, their lives would be very different. 

There are millions of orphaned children in Kenya today. Unfortunately for the girls who are orphaned or abandoned in the slums of Nairobi there is usually minimal supervision with guardians, or no guardians to care for them at all. Girls like our dear Hadija, or Faith- who was abused beyond recognition before coming to our home, would have been living on the streets and subject to unplanned pregnancies, rape, drug use, and prostitution. Life would have been very difficult for them. Joining the Zawadi la Tumaini family has provided our girls with a second chance. A chance to have a successful future.

At Zawadi la Tumaini we believe every girl deserves access to education. We believe girls have the potential to make a difference in all levels of society. Each of our girls has been provided with the opportunity to reach for the stars and chase her dreams for the future. We believe in our girls dreams, and we thank you all for helping them turn those dreams into a reality. 

With love,



Founder and Director of Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home


Karibu Kenya

Hey Everyone! 

My name is Yasmeen.

I am serving as the new in-country manager here at Zawadi la Tumaini Children’s Home. I am a social worker by profession and missionary by vocation. It has always been my dream to travel abroad and have the opportunity to combine both aspects of my life, ministry, and profession. So being offered the opportunity to come serve at ZLT in a role that not only highlights my qualities as a clinical social worker, but as a missionary as well, is AWESOME. In preparation for Kenya, I was so anxious because I had no idea what to expect. Coming to Africa, was always a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I would often say it in the air, “I’m going to the Mother Land,” but didn’t know what I would be going for. I never imagined I’d end up serving in this capacity. 

Flash back to 2013, Jacqueline and I were introduced to each other, in the early stages of ZLT. I was just finishing graduate school and a mutual friend of ours thought it would be a great Idea for us to meet. We chatted on and off about possible ways to collaborate and different projects that would benefit ZLT. Of course, life happened and things were put on hold. Throughout the 3yrs, I would check in with Jacquie and she would always update me on how things were going at the home and how the children were progressing. I intentionally followed her social media pages, so I would be able to see the children and follow their journey here at the home, but the more she updated the more fascinated I became with the work she was doing and how amazing her staff were with the children. It really inspired me and gave a greater determination to one day make it to ZLT to experience all of the great things her volunteers spoke of on the ZLT site. Initially, I was supposed to come a year prior to now, but those plans shifted. Last year I decided to delay a trip to Kenya and instead embarking upon another missionary assignment in India. My time in India blew my mind. While in India, I stayed in contact with Jacquie, and in hopes to joining her team late 2017. I now know that God had other plans. About 2months into my time in India, Jacquie and I reached out to each other and she shared this awesome opportunity for me to come serve at ZLT sooner than I expected. Immediately, my heart dropped to the ground, because after three years of building a relationship and seeing the children grow from a distance, now was the time and opportunity I would finally get to meet them face-to-face. 

With utter excitement, I accepted the offer to come and be apart of the ZLT family! There were a number of factors that could have possibly held me back from coming. For one, my sister was at the end of her pregnancy and would deliver just a month prior to me coming to Kenya, and my cousin and his wife were expecting. The fact that I missed a WHOLEEEE lot while away in India, I was afraid that I would miss out on so much more if I left for a year. But, I gave myself time to reflect on my desire to come to Kenya and the awesome life changing experience I would encounter while being here. The fear of coming began to slowly fade away and my family encouraged me to embrace this beautiful opportunity. So, I embraced it and the time had finally come for me to embark upon this journey. Not knowing what to expect, I walked blindly into something that would change my life forever. 

After being picked up from the airport, I began to become more anxious to meet the children, because I didn’t know what their reaction would be to meeting a total stranger, who would now be living with them in their new home. To my surprise, the children were already waiting for my arrival. I think they were just as excited to meet me, as I was to meet them. As soon as I arrived, they flooded me with so many hugs, questions, and love. It was so much to take in at one moment. The welcome was soooo amazingly beautiful. The staff was equally welcoming as the children. From the moment I walked in the door, it felt like home. The home is filled with an extreme amount of love and it’s so evident that the children love being apart of a family unit where they feel safe and secure. They all seem to be very protective of one another and the staff. 

While settling in, the first few weeks were fairly rough emotionally, because I missed my family. I kept reminding myself that God was extending my family and these babies at ZLT were now apart of me, and I apart of them. Daily I learned something new from them. Another concern was the language barrier. Some of the children speak pretty good English while others have not learned yet in school. I was so worried that we would NEVER understand one another. Being the little geniuses they are, they took it upon themselves to start teaching me Swahili on a daily basis, and they understood more of my English than I thought they would. It’s amazing that somehow we just understood one another with efforts of translating at times. As the days went by, my heart grew bigger and they invaded more space in my heart. How wonderful that we all speak one universal language- the language of LOVE. These precious babies teach me daily the meaning of love, sacrifice, and contentment. Before I knew it, I made it a month on September 11th. I made it my duty to journal each day about our days together so that I’m being intentional about living in the moment and embracing my entire experience with them. I’d like to share a major moment that we shared together with you now. 

The moment I would like to highlight is the day we prepared to do school interviews with the children. All the children woke up so early and excited to go for their school interviews. I’ve never seen children so exited and proud to take an exam for school placement. Mom Jerusha and I prepared them and made sure they were all dressed and ready for the interviews. We even pep-talked them to give them some encouragement before going to the new school. The excitement that flooded the room made my heart skip beats. It didn’t hit me until after the exams were over, hearing their scores brought me so much joy. They all qualified to be in the proper classes and did exceptionally well on the exams. Seeing their reactions to the good news of them being accepted into this school brought tears to my eyes. For the first time in two weeks, I felt that they were my children, and that I was apart of them. I actually felt like a proud mom. I mean, I literally cried like a baby. I always wondered why mothers cried after taking their children to school on the first day, and how they felt. In this moment, I realized these mothers didn’t cry because they were sad, but because it can become completely overwhelming seeing your babies grow and having the ability to do something without your assistance. As I wept, I began to think about their stories and where they started prior to being in our home. I continued to weep because they are doing so well in the home and they love education. I mean they LOVE IT. It blessed my heart to know we are able to provide such an important opportunity to them to be educated at a wonderful school. It really makes every sacrifice easier and worth it because the bigger picture is, they will grow and get the tools they need to excel in the world. 

So as I conclude, today I am sure that God has extended my family and has blessed me with amazing children who not only learn from me, but I learn from them. I wake up daily expecting it to be great because my day involves them. I keep an open heart and mind knowing our family will only grow stronger and deeper in love. It is truly wonderful to be apart a loving environment. We believe that a family approach is best for our children because so many of them have had most of their traumatic experiences within a family unit. Our babies need continuous love, and nurture as they grow, so that their shattered memories of family can continuously be restored with their God given family here at ZLT. I’m definitely looking forward to the next 11months with these angels, and excited about the lessons I will learn from them and the things I will be able to teach them as well.

Until next time, 


With my precious boy Johnito. 

With my precious boy Johnito. 

On our walk to school interviews - so much excitement! 

On our walk to school interviews - so much excitement! 




Welcome to the Zawadi La Tumaini Family Blog!! We are a children's home based in Nairobi, Kenya providing education, health care, and support to twenty-five wild and beautiful children. 

Our children, once orphaned and abandoned, have integrated into our home and become a family unique in appearance but united at heart. We pride ourselves on the togetherness of our home and the incredible adventures that our crazy day-to-day life brings. Raising up twenty-five children ranging in age from three up to nineteen isn't always easy but it's always entertaining. 

Our blog is designed to keep you updated on our latest campaigns, projects, and news. This is our newsletter to the world and we invite you to read along. Every time a new blog post surfaces we will announce it on our Instagram and Facebook so be sure to follow along for updated information.

For now be on the lookout for our summer newsletter and take a look around our new website. We're so happy you're here with us on this incredible adventure we call life. 

Love from Kenya, 
The ZLT staff and children