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Bestuur en medewerkers

Jackson Wachira: founder and managing director

My name is Jackson Wachira (1978) and I am a social worker. I have been working in an orphanage and I'm proud to say that I've seen young dull faces smile brightly, little innocent people who never thought they will attend a lesson in a class, graduate from primary school. It's a great achievement. I strongly believe children are the leaders of tomorrow, if only they are offered a chance today.

In Kenya there are so many abandonned and orphaned children. I, toghether with other dedicated wishers, have decided to work for these children, campaign for their rights. Make society accept them through education and counseling and the globe will change for the better.

I believe if I help only one injured bird back into its nest, I will not have lived my life for nothing!

Tessa Janssen: founder  


Jambo! My name is Tessa Janssen (1978). I was born in the Netherlands. I love to work with children and was a teacher for many years. I believe children are the future and love and education are the key to their happiness and dreams. A few years ago, in 2006 I first came out to Kenya, to volunteer in an orphanage in Thika. My first visit lasted six weeks but back in the Netherlands I realized I hadn't yet finished in Africa, I wanted to go back. So a few weeks later I was on the plane back to Kenya!

In the orphanage I saw the change in these children, how they were when they first came in, and how they blossomed in the weeks and months to follow. It's a wonderful feeling to see these children, run, play, eat, having fun, getting an education, getting their well-deserved chances! With Jackson, one of the board members of the orphanage in Thika, we discussed these kids and their chances, how lucky they are to be in the orphanage instead of being in the streets. It's really an addiction, once you see the happy faces you want to do more, help more children.The idea raise to start another orpanage, our own, in Gatitu near Nyeri,in the middle of Kenya, near mount Kenya. With Jackson and his wife Alice, we wanted to help more children by starting a new centre where they can live, be educated, and most of all be loved. Upendo! After giving birth to my own son I realised even more that children need to have people who care for them, that they know someone is there to guide them eand help them. I hope, that with help of other well wishers, we can help more and more children, because every child deserves a chance!

Esther & Irene: housemothers


 Bernard Kibunja: chairman of the board Kenya

I am Bernard Wachira (1945) and father of five, two girls and three boys and many grandchildren. It shows a lot of love (Upendo) to give shelter, food, clothes, medication, education, etc. to these abandoned, orphaned and destitute young people. I have a lot of "upendo" to share out with these young people who have become like grandsons and daughters! May I say I am greatly happy for U.C.C. and may I thank Miss Tessa Janssen and Mr. Jackson Wachira for pioneering this institution which caters for children who were "born with a purpose". If every Kenyan/African has "upendo" for children, I am 100% sure we wouldn't have street families in our towns. I wish the Upendo team all the best as they work for children. I also wish a nice stay to all volunteers who will be coming to work with us, feel welcomed!!

Patrick Janssen: financial manager (penningmeester) the Netherlands 


Ik ben Patrick Janssen (1947) en al 41 jaar de trotse vader van Tessa.

Trots omdat ik het geweldig vind wat zij allemaal doet voor de kinderen in Kenia.


Daarom heb ik samen met Tessa in Nederland de Stichting Upendo Children’s Centre opgericht met het doel fondsen te vergaren voor het weeshuis.


‘Financial manager’ is een hele mond vol maar het betekent gewoon dat ik de penningmeester ben van de stichting. Daar zullen jullie niet vreemd van opkijken gezien mijn fiscale achtergrond. Je kunt er dan ook van op aan dat iedere gift waarmee jullie Upendo steunen, ook daadwerkelijk daar aan komt. Een ‘strijkstok’ kennen we niet!

Èn we hebben van de Belastingdienst de ANBI status gekregen. Dus jullie giften zijn ook nog eens fiscaal aftrekbaar!



Kijk op onze Vrijwilligerswerk pagina om te zien wat jij kunt betekenen voor Upendo in Kenia, of kijk op de sponsorpagina om te doneren.