Vision Africa was founded in 2001 by Rev and Mrs Packard. After retiring in 1999 from full-time pastoral ministry in the Church of the Nazarene in the UK Rev and Mrs Packard initially came to serve as Chief Administrators at Thomas Barnardo House, an independent children’s home in Nairobi.
During their early years they learned a lot about Kenya, met a number of different people, and were exposed to various needs in the wider community outside of the children’s home.
When their time at Thomas Barnardo House came to an end, they pursued their vision that we now recognise as ‘Vision Africa – Give a Child a Future.’
Everything that Vision Africa does today is in the spirit of Rev and Mrs Packard’s early vision. This remains the core of who we are and what we do.
Rev and Mrs Packard travelled to many different parts of Kenya, usually at the invitation of the community they were going to visit. On these visits, they were exposed to needs of children that simply overwhelmed them. Their compassion drove them to take action and with time and incredible support from family, friends and a growing Vision Africa supporter base, they were able to provide for some extremely needy children and communities. Their work was varied and included building classrooms, funding feeding programmes, ensuring poor children received urgent medical attention, resourcing informal and public schools and much more. Many years on Vision Africa continues to partner with a number of these initial projects.
Almost a decade later the Packards acknowledged that their time to retire from the work of Vision Africa was approaching. In preparation they began to work alongside Vision Africa’s Project Administrator for the Seed of Hope programme, Deborah Kimathi.
Deborah had great credentials for the role of Field Director having previously conceived, established and run our Seed of Hope vocational training centres for disadvantaged young people. Following in her grandparents’ footsteps Deborah was committed to serve the charity and build on their legacy.
Qualified with a BD (Honours) in Practical Theology and an MA in Education and International Development Deborah is well equipped for her role of Vision Africa Field Director.
Vision Africa has no paid employees in the UK and all board members and trustees work on a voluntary basis, which offers our donors great value for money. In Kenya there is a small team of Kenyan employees working alongside Deborah and one expat member of staff (local salary). This team not only ensures the proper use of donations at our partner Community Based Organisations (CBOs), but also monitors and measures impact, assuring donors of accountability and transparency. Each partner CBO is locally managed and has its own management committee which includes a Vision Africa representative. Vision Africa facilitates regular workshops for the leaders of these CBOs in order to build their capacity and further ensure long term sustainability.
Every member of the Vision Africa team is committed to carry on the work of the Packards and to keep central to our work the goal to ‘Give a Child a Future’.
Vision Africa is a non-profit making, non-denominational, Christian aid organisation. We are a registered charity in the UK (Registered No. 1091198), a registered Non-Governmental Organization (No. OP.218/051/2003/0378/3014) in Kenya and a 501 (c) (3) public charity in the USA. As a Christian charity our aim is simply to put Christian love into action in a practical and compassionate ministry among children and young people who are vulnerable and in desperate need. We do not proselytize, but we let our actions speak for themselves.