Our work is to actively contribute to the children that everyone has forgotten about, giving a hope and a future for those impoverished and less fortunate that are deprived and malnourished, unable to attend school or even predict when their next meal will be. It is our aim to reach out to the endless number of street kids, vulnerable children and orphans, destitute and abandoned by poverty and AIDS who live on the streets and the slums, rescuing them from poverty, abuse and hopelessness; Providing them with an environment for growth, hope for the future and an acceptable quality of life by placing them in a nurturing family environment and giving them empowerment for the future.
To give each child individually, through knowledge and education, the power to create a successful life for themselves developing welfare as a whole, mind body and spirit.
How Did Life4Kids Start?
The story of the origins of Life4Kids as told by Amelie Sorensen, Founder:
“I have a background in teaching and religious studies. I visited Kenya for the first time for a period of 9 months in 2008. At the time, I stayed in a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Nairobi. It’s called Donholm/ Embakasi. It’s an area where 60% of all of Nairobi’s lower-class population lives. There are many slums in near proximity. The streets are heavily congested with street-children, from orphans to abused runaways, who can be seen begging for food or digging through garbage as they try to survive living on the dangerous streets of Nairobi.
One day, quite coincidently, I befriended a nine-year-old street-boy called John. He was an orphan who spoke very little English. We still managed to communicate. John showed me where he was forced to sleep. It was in a field. He slept on salvaged cardboard, with only a plastic bag to cover himself. This field was his home! This nine-year-old boy was forced to sleep alone on the ground surrounded by feces and garbage with no protection against the elements or the dangers of the night.
His story impacted me greatly. But I felt helpless to change any of it! Feeling defeated and dejected, I gave him some money. I hoped he would spend it on food for himself rather than buying glue or petrol. Both are commonly sniffed by street-boys due to the intoxicating factor which helps them forget their pasts, their realities, and their hunger. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the meeting with this boy would turn out to change my entire life and future.
I was one of the few Caucasian women living in this area of Nairobi. John easily discovered where I lived and paid me a visit at the house the following morning. A little shocked, I invited him in to the courtyard and gave him breakfast. He was very grateful and left soon after finishing the meal. It was difficult for us to small-talk with the language barrier. But I was happy that I could be of help, albeit minute.
The following morning John came back and the scenario repeated itself. The next morning John brought a friend. And the next day he brought two more. Before I knew it, as many as 50 kids came to my door every morning. After eating breakfast, the kids would then chat, dance, play ball and hang out with me. I developed friendships with these forgotten ones as I learned about their stories, their losses and their backgrounds.
I was keenly aware that a meal a day was meaningful, but it didn’t take the place of their basic needs like shelter, education, healthcare, and love. And the fact my term in Kenya would eventually come to an end was painfully pressing in the back of my mind. After having the “Breakfast club” for several months, I recognized that I couldn’t turn my back on these boys. I realized that I couldn’t go back to my regular life after what I had experienced.
I searched for aid worker positions that would target these children. But that turned out to be futile, because there were no international organizations that helped street children in Nairobi!
That reality launched Life4Kids.
I sold my home and many of my belongings to finance the operation of a home for boys and returned to Nairobi shortly after Christmas of 2009. The home was started in May 2010 on Mother’s Day, when the first child, named Jackson, was given a new home and a new family at the Life4Kids children’s home.
Today we continue the mission of providing ’A Place to Call Home for the Forgotten Children’.”
Life4Kids Canada is incorporated by Letters Patent in the Province of Ontario as a not-for-profit corporation and has registered charity status granted by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Life4Kids Canada is governed by a Board of Directors that includes:
Chair: Fred Hacker
Director, Secretary: Nancy Hargrave
Director, Treasurer: Andrew Markle
Director: Danielle Dorion
Director: Paul Vander Well
Director: Katie Sultan