Frequently Asked Questions

How did EAMO get started

Ralph & May Spinks managed the Mill Creek Manor Health Retreat in Washington State, USA when they met an American man who was the principal of a Kenyan Missionary School in Nairobi. This man intrigued Ralph with all the stories of poverty and the basic way of life of the average Kenyan. This led to a trip to Kenya for Ralph and an amazing learning experience to say the least. Upon his return to the USA Ralph shared his experiences with May and their two children. Within 10 months the four of them arrived at Nairobi airport in Kenya with a few dollars and two suit cases each. That was in 1997 and the Spinks family now thoroughly enjoy seeing the fruits of their labours at the East African Mission Orphanage (EAMO) as they care for hundreds of children.

Are there any children staying at EAMO who are not orphans?

By far the majority are orphans. Although there are some children who have lost their mother, but the father has left and is possibly still alive some where. There are also some others with similar circumstances.

How many children are there at EAMO who are under 5?

Currently we have almost 30 children in our nursery. Taking in young children has been a most gratifying experience; they are very different to caring for grown children. Everybody loves a baby!

How long do children stay at EAMO?

All children who come to EAMO are taken by the District Children’s Officer to the local Court House for formal committal. The committal period is to age 18. Although our oldest has just turned 21 and is now attending university, thanks to the generosity of one of our Supporters. Our goal is to provide all our children with the best education possible, including vocational training, and in some cases preparation for university. It is not a rule at EAMO that children must leave when they reach 18, the time to leave is when they are fully prepared to be useful and productive members of Kenyan society.

How do children come to EAMO?

Children arrive at EAMO through various sources, like the District Children’s Officer, the local Chief and the police. The most common source however is through Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers. A typical scenario is that a mother have 1-10 children and then dies from one of many causes, leaving all her children for the Grandmother or Great Grandmother to care for. In most cases they are struggling for survival themselves, let alone providing for a number of children. The husband of the deceased mother has already left the home before her death due to lack of work and just stays away to start all over again for himself.  When taking in children, we do our best to keep brothers and sisters together. In one case we had 5 from the one family.

How is EAMO supported?

EAMO is supported completely through the generosity of people from around the world who have become EAMO Supporters! They either sponsor one or more children, make regular or one-off donations or fund projects at EAMO. Various Companies and Organisations also support EAMO.

How do I donate to EAMO?

All donations are very much appreciated and are life changing, including the donor’s life! If you would like to sponsor a child, make a donation or fund a project just go to the appropriate section on our website:

Sponsor a Child 
Make a donation | Fund a project | Buy a Gift Card

If I choose one or more of the above options, how do I know that most of my funds will not be eaten up by administration costs?

The great news for many or our Supporters is that 100% of all funds come directly to EAMO and are utilised almost completely for the care of children. Specific administration costs amount to less than 1% of the overall funds received by EAMO!

What have been some of the highlights over the years at EAMO?

Here are 3 life changing experiences among many:

Wendy arrived at EAMO when she was 2 years old. Her mum had died from AIDS and her Great Grandmother was trying to care for her. Wendy suffered from TB and had a weeping, oozing scar on her neck that just would not heal. She was very weak and tiny for her age. At the time it was obvious that she was not going to live for too much longer. We are very happy to report that Wendy did survive and is alive and kicking, and we mean kicking! She is now 10 years old, and talk about an extreme change! She is just full of beans and is a beautiful child indeed.

For quite a while we only accepted children aged 2 – 12, however this changed when we met Minnie who was just 13 months old when she arrived at EAMO. She looked very shrivelled up, reminding us somewhat of a prune. Minnie’s mother had died and her the sister who was supposed to be looking after her just was not doing a very good job at all, so she came to EAMO! After a very short time Minnie responded very well to loving care and is now really healthy and happy and has gone from a prune look-a-like to a nice chunky adorable little girl. Since Minnie’s arrival at EAMO, we have taken in many children under 2 years old.

Prior to 15 year old Lilly arriving at EAMO she was being cared for by her father, as her mother had died. Her father raped her and she ran away when she found out she was pregnant. She ended up in remand prison, because the authorities had no where to secure her. She found a very safe place at EAMO where she had her baby, Pamela. Both are now safe, well and happy!

If you have the opportunity to speak with Ralph & May Spinks, they will tell you that they have seen hundreds of unforgettable changes at EAMO since 1997 and that every image on this website has a story behind it that would give you goose bumps! But now that every child has their basic needs met, and they are happy and loved as a member of the Spinks family, those stories are just distant memories!