Asande House Orphanage

Kitale, Kenya

Meet the Kenyan Founders

Rosefina Royce, Founder

In 2000, founder and Kenyan, Rosefina Royce, was building her “dream house” in Kitale, Kenya, in which to one day retire. When Rosefina moved to the United States, her elderly mother, Jerida Machanga, lived in the home while it was in the process of being completed. Her mother’s caretaker was her other daughter, Jeska Machanga.

One day, a young boy came up to the house asking for food. Unable to deny a child, they welcomed him in and discovered he was an orphan. No orphanage would take him as they were all filled to capacity. Where there was one hungry child, there were many. Soon children in the area heard that there was food at the Royce residence. They started to come each saying “Asande” upon entering, which means “thank you” in Kitalili slang. They soon called themselves the “Asande House.” The orphans came seeking shelter and love, and they found it.

When Rosefina’s mother passed away in 2006, there were 6 orphans living there. Rosefina and her sister Jeska decided to work as a team to keep the children in the home.

While Rosefina was working in the United States, Jeska acted as the caretaker of the children and remained at the unfinished home.

Month after month, children started coming to the orphanage needing food. Many were living with distant relatives that couldn’t feed them. Some of the children were street orphans; others had survived abusive circumstances. Every story of the 32 children is unique, astonishing, and heart-breaking. Each time they were welcomed into the Machanga family as Jeska’s own. Now, there are 32 children living in the Asande House, as well as a security guard, and Jeska’s family. As one child mentioned, “It is peaceful here. It is where I am happy.” Jeska has built the kind of home where each person takes care of one another, and they accept each other as their brother or sister. While unexpectedly founded, Asande House is an orphanage filled with compassion, sincerity, and safety. The children have found refuge; they have found another chance.

To find out more about the founders, read their interviews on our blog.

Jeska Machanga, co-founder

Meet the Volunteers

We are local moms and professionals who want to make a global impact in children’s lives. We are 100% volunteer based.

Kate Parkinson, Program Director

In 2013, Program Director, Kate Parkinson, befriended Rosefina Royce in her local church congregation while living in Virginia. She found out that Royce financially supported 32 children in Kenyan by working three jobs. Parkinson saw an opportunity for many donors to positively impact the lives of these children. With previous experience in the non-profit realm, she voluntarily joined forces with colleagues at nonprofit Kaiizen to make the sustainability of the Asande House a reality. She currently lives in West Africa with her family.

Kate reached out to her friend Karen Hess who works as a freelance Graphic & Web Designer. Karen was excited to volunteer her time and help the orphanage by creating this website and keeping it up to date. She currently lives in Beavercreek, OH with her family.

Together, we seek to support a grassroots orphanage started by these two Kenyan women. They have given up their lives to support the 32 children that have come to them in need, and now it is our turn to make an impact.

The volunteers have worked relentlessly over the past years. Thanks to sponsors, local high schools, church community members, and one-time donors, we have raised more than $20,000 for the orphanage. We’ve built 6 new latrines, installed plumbing, sent them each a blanket, new shoes, backpack and hygiene supplies, and most importantly, ensured that every child is enrolled in school and fed. To read more about Parkinson’s story on how the initiative began, visit Parkinsons Pontifications Blog – 32 Orphans Later 

Karen Hess, Web Design

making a difference

Project Kenya is connecting donors with needy children at "The Asande House" in Kitale, Kenya. We have the opportunity to provide the children of this community with the necessities of life such as food and access to an education. With your help, they can escape the cycle of poverty. Project Kenya will provide these necessities through your support. You will also be able to help us mentor and support these children to self-sufficiency. In return, the children will work hard in school and find their own ways to give back and further empower those in their community.

Why do we need support?

Rosefina Royce, co-founder of Asande House, is living in South Riding, Virginia, and has spent the last 12 years supporting these children on her own income. She works 3 jobs here in the United States and sends back what she can. The orphanage has little to no income other than the few hundred dollars Royce sends them monthly.

The five young adults living at the orphanage finished with high school are now working locally to support the 32 orphans. Two of them work at a vegetable stand and two of them work at a video store. The other boy helps with feeding and maintaining the cow and garden. Their total income is $20/month. The orphanage has no funding from the government, and promises from other non-profits have fallen through.

While Rosefina sends the money that she can, Jeska often comes up short for educational costs -- limiting which children can attend school -- and puts the cost of food on credit.

After research, a month-long observation and tracking the orphanage spending, we have determined that $40/month will provide one child with his/her basic needs of food and cover the cost of their education. You can also make a donation to the general orphanage fund.

What is Kaiizen?

Kaiizen is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established in 2004 with a mission of globally helping children escape poverty through the means of meeting their basic needs and providing access to education, as well as mentoring for a better future. Kaiizen has provided support and mentorship to more than 1,000 children in countries such as Mexico, Swaziland, India, Nepal, Brazil, Zambia, Peru and South Africa. Our foundation stands firmly in the belief that eliminating poverty requires providing access to the necessities of life such as food and water as well as quality education.