Of all our Villages, the history of the Rafiki Training Village Kenya is unique. This Village has the distinction of being the former weekend residence of the first President of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. In the administrative offices of Kenyatta House, the presidential coat of arms that were cast into the walls of Mzee’s one-time residence can still be seen throughout the ground floor of the facility. During the 1970s, the Kenyatta family leased the property to the Chan family of Korea who transformed the buildings into a casino. By the mid-1980s the site was abandoned until 2000 when the Kenyattas donated the buildings and twenty-nine acres of land to the Rafiki Foundation.
Located about forty-five minutes by car from Nairobi, the Rafiki Village Kenya is an oasis of beauty in the midst of an active stone quarry. The surrounding municipalities of Mwiki and Njeru are small, suburban towns of light industry and agriculture. The local languages are Kiswahili, Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, and Kamba and the local food staples are maize meal (ugali), rice, sweet potato, beans, sukuma wiki (kale), spinach, sugar cane, carrots, cabbage, tomato, and nyama choma (grilled meats).
The Rafiki children enjoy playing a variety of games and sports such as football, track, board games, and rolling worn out tires throughout the compound. They are especially fond of singing around the campfire and some of their favorite hymns are Great is Thy Faithfulness, And Can It Be, Trust and Obey, and Holy, Holy, Holy. Though there are many Scriptures that the children know and love, Jeremiah 29:11 holds a special place in their hearts and minds. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Known for its remarkable diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and cultures, the East African country of Kenya has been described as an Africa in miniature. From sweeping savannahs to tropical beaches and coral reefs, dense equatorial forests to majestic snow-capped mountains, Kenya is a world unto itself. Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to the interior highlands where Nairobi, the capital, is located. Descending to the west of Nairobi is the Rift Valley—the location of many important anthropological discoveries.
After gaining independence from Britain in 1963, President Jomo Kenyatta led the newly formed democracy until his death in 1978, when Daniel Toroitich arap Moi was elected to the office of President. Though the country was one of Africa’s most peaceful nations, corruption has recently undermined its stability. In 2007, Mwai Kibaki was elected as Kenya’s new president following a campaign promising transparency and reform. The current president of Kenya is Uhuru Kenyatta.
Area: 224,081 square miles
Language: English, Kiswahili, numerous indigenous languages
Religion: Christian 82.5%, Muslim 11.1%, Traditionalists 1.6%,
other 1.7%, none 2.4%, unspecified 0.7%
Currency: Kenyan shilling
Life Expectancy: 63
GNI per Capita: $1,160
Percentage of Population Living on Less than
Literacy Percent: 87.4%
Orphaned Children: 2,500,000
Physicians per 100, 000 people: 18
CIA—The World Factbook
National Geographic Atlas of the World
WHO Human Resources for Health
UNICEF—State of the World’s Children, 2010
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