Kisima Academy

For people who send Kisima Academy donations directly to FTKI, the address has changed. It is now: FTKI, 6614 Van Winkle Dr., Falls Church, VA 22044.

Kisima Academy, a mission of COS, is a Christian orphanage and school in rural western Kenya.

Kisima was started in 2006 with 83 orphans in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. Another class was added each year as the orphans grew. There was excitement in December as the oldest students graduated from college. Of course there have been a lot of orphans added over the years. Two are George, whose degree is in pharmacy and Gloria, whose degree is in English literature.


Gloria was at Kisima from the beginning. Her parents were killed in tribal clashes. Victor is another of the original orphans who received his diploma. His great-grandmother had been raising him but was no longer able to continue. Marsh and Linda Gruening sponsored him from 2012 and are very proud of him. Just ask them! 

The new school year started January 6. In addition to the orphans there are around 250 underprivileged community students at Kisi-ma. Each year we have Martin pick two of the brightest 8th grade students to send to boarding high schools where they will get a much better education than in the public schools. This year Ryan Kisan-gai, a community student, got the second highest national exam score in the entire state and the highest score ever at Kisima. I’m so happy that I was able to find a sponsor for him. 

Another community student, James Juma, was only seven points behind at 407. I’m still looking for a sponsor for him. 

Twenty orphans and two outstanding community students graduated from high school in December. This is putting an enormous strain on our resources as we now will have 62 students that we are supporting in college and vo-tech schools. Two of the orphans have no sponsors. If you are interested in being a blessing to a deserving student by helping him achieve his dreams please contact Gerda Fink at 865-458-3295 or at Thank you

Gerda Fink, COS Kisima Committee Chair-person,, on Facebook at Friends of Kisima Academy.


News From Kisima Academy

At the last update we had four unsponsored high school graduates with no money for college or vo-tech school. We thank God that some current sponsors of recent college graduates were willing to take on sponsoring a recent high school grad headed to college. All the high school grads will soon be headed off to begin the next stage of their academic career. Many in the oldest class of orphans have graduated from college or vo-tech; some were delayed by the pandemic and are still in school. Several have started teaching careers. It’s very gratifying to see these orphans on their way to a productive future. Many have been cared for and educated by Kisima since they were in early primary school.

A couple of months ago a hailstorm severely damaged Kisima’s gardens and crops. The plants were able to recover but in June an even worse hailstorm occurred. The vegetables will have to be re-planted but it may be too late to replant the maize and bean fields. Crop failures inevitably cause price inflation of those foodstuffs. Maize and beans (augmented by a small amount of vegetables) form the basis of their diet and will now have to be purchased, making a sizeable dent in the budget. Kisima not only feeds the orphans and staff but also provides two meals a day to the 250 or so community children attending school there.

Bonnie Lefbom, who came with a group I took to Kisima in 2012 and who subsequently became active in the effort to support the orphanage/school, is in Kenya right now (July 15) with the first group of visitors since the pandemic started. I put out a feeler to see who might be interested in going this year and only one person responded. If you might be interested in going next year, please let me know. Trips are two weeks and in addition to working at the school we visit the elephant orphanage and the giraffe refuge outside of Nairobi, spend two nights in a retreat center in the last tropical rain-forest in Kenya, and go on a short safari in Maasai Mara.

Gerda Fink