Our Journey

  • 2006

    A life-changing encounter that starts it all…

    Hanne and Sarova

    Sarova and family MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

    On sabbatical in Kenya, Hanne and Ted have a life-changing encounter with a begging grandmother who leads them into Lenana slum where her daughter and baby grand daughter, Sarova, lie dying of AIDS in a shack. On the same day, they are introduced to Mr. Kilonzi, a kind slum dweller who is attempting to feed and care for roughly 20 AIDS affected orphaned toddlers through his organization, Lenana Slum Orphans (LSO).

  • 2006

    A basic feeding program begins



    The next day, Hanne and Ted return to Lenana slum with porridge and start cooking daily on four stones in the middle of the slum for at least 60 slum kids and their sick HIV+ mothers. Mama Margaret, a destitute grandmother, and Lucy, a single young mother are the first volunteers who take over the cooking. Both are still with HHFL today. Hanne and Ted improve the LSO shack and rent/furnish additional space to house three older orphans without family.

  • 2006

    Focus on health and education

    13-2006-Education program is born-HHF girls! copy


    Hanne and Ted realize that 10 HIV children are very sick and need urgent medical attention in hospital. The others are severely malnourished and need deworming and vitamins. Most cannot attend school because they can’t afford the required uniforms, shoes and textbooks. Hanne and Ted send 60 children to primary school and 20 to Faithbrooks Early Education Center in Lenana. They expand the LSO shack to include a library, homework, arts and crafts corner and sleeping quarters. They open a bank account with personal funds. Under Hanne’s watchful eye and accounting training, Lucy manages the HHFL account.

  • 2007

    HHFL/HHF is established and fundraising begins

    Faithbrooks Church pre-renovation

    Renovated Faithbrooks Church Kids at Faithbrooks Church

    When Hanne and Ted return to Kenya after six months, the LSO partnership dissolves and they decide to take over the run-down Faithbrooks Early Education Center run by the Church in Lenana. Fundraising becomes a necessity in order to support the renovations required to create an accredited preschool. HHFL becomes a community-based organization in Kenya and HHF, a registered Canadian charity. HHF receives financial support from its first three major donors.

  • 2008

    HHFL rents and renovates new premises

    New premises pre-renovation

    Entrance to HHFL HHFL premises

    HHFL moves again! Faithbrooks Church leaders demand financial control of the HHF funds which prompts Hanne and Ted to become independent. Hanne and Ted rent a ¼ acre of land in the slum for HHFL. A successful fundraising campaign secures the renovation of the premises including raising the cement floor, filling the yard, building a kitchen, dorms, storage room and dining hall.

  • 2008

    20 refugee children join HHFL due to political clashes in Kenya

    Journey - pic

    Dorms Tiny Tots

    Election fraud plunges Kenya into chaos and despair. Thousands of people are displaced ending up in refugee camps and hundreds are murdered. Hanne and Ted volunteer at a Nairobi refugee camp where they end up rescuing 20 displaced and orphaned kids during the first weeks after the election. The HHFL dorms are enlarged to accommodate the refugee children swelling the orphans living at HHFL to over 35 and the total number of HHFL kids to over a hundred. HHFL’s Tiny Tots Preschool is created and two teachers are hired.

  • 2009

    HHFL programs and funding grow to support 120 children

    Kids lining up

     Drama Scouts Troop

    With strong funding support, HHFL’s extra curricular activities expand to include arts and crafts, music, drama, acrobatics and sports. The scouts program is born and becomes the first accredited troop in Lenana slum. The award-winning drama “Parrots” club is created as well as the much-loved acrobatics club. The administrative office becomes computerized and electricity is brought to the compound. The first computer lab is born with 20 donated desktops from DDB Canada. An intake of 20 bright high school girls spikes enrolment to 120.

  • 2010

    First two high school graduates and self-reliant youth

    kennedy and ngina

    Dismas Owino Vocational kids

    Orphans Kennedy and Emily are the first HHFL youth to graduate from high school. Dismas Owino graduates with a certificate in welding at the end of 2009 and becomes HHFL’s first self-reliant youth.

  • 2011

    A new reality: post-secondary education!

    2012 - Simon Fitness

    web computer HHFL high schoolers

    High school graduation numbers intensify. HHFL’s first University and College students enrol in top tier institutions. Vocational students enrol in car mechanics and welding. Another HHFL vocational youth gains full-time employment and becomes self-reliant. 40 newly refurbished desktop computers are shipped to Nairobi from Amsterdam courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield and a proper computer lab with high speed connection is created under new teacher, Isaiah’s, care. Career counselling is initiated as well as current affairs debates.

  • 2012

    Career counselling and training programs become critical

    Post secondary kids

    NAC shirts Carolyne and the kids

    Three more HHFL students enrol in college and university plus a few more into vocational schools. At the end of 2012, eleven successful students graduate from high school. The need for career counselling and training becomes critical in order to help the students make informed decisions about their future. Workshops are given at HHFL to prepare for, research and select post-secondary schools. As part of the training program, graduates are expected to volunteer at HHFL during the gap year.

  • 2013

    Increased priority on post-secondary education funds

    Mercy at Strathmore

    Computer training ALICE-HOTEL SCHOOL

    Post-secondary education hits HHFL seriously with 11 high school kids enter this stream. High priority is placed on raising funds to support this level of education.  HHFL’s recreation and training program expands to include career counselling and skills developments for all high school students.   HHF helps open doors to secure quality internships required for post-secondary school graduation. 14 HHFL students are graduating in November 2013. HHFL’s Tiny Tots Preschool closes temporarily due to low attendance.