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.

Lots of excitement has been brewing with Kisima Academy’s drama and arts teams in the annual nation-wide competitions. The teams entered the local competitions in several categories. Four teams won the honor of progressing to the county level--Cultural Dance, Choral Verse, a Singing Game, and Solo Verse. County wide (like our State level) competitions were held last week with Cultural Dance and Choral Verse proceeding to the regional level. Cultural Dance did extremely well, placing first and winning a trophy. Congratulations to them! For the smaller children it was their first time on a bus or even seeing a paved road or a town. How exciting for them!

Kenya changed their school organization from a primary (PreK to 8th grade) - secondary (9th to 12th grades) school scheme to a primary (PreK-6) - junior high (7-9)- high school (10-12) arrangement. The junior high school students at Kisima are distinguished by their new green uniforms—a nice change for them after years of the blue uniforms. Soon Kisima will be adding 9th grade to encompass both primary and a junior high level.

Kisima continues to experiment with growing different vegetables in their greenhouse and expanded gardens, affording variety in their diet and better nutrition. Maize and beans are grown in their fields and are often affected by droughts. This year the drought is severe bringing hardship to many people in the country.

The high school and college students will soon be home for their April school holiday. We send all Kisima orphans to boarding high schools regardless of whether they are fully sponsored or not. With increasing numbers of kids graduating from high school, we’ve had increasing difficulty paying for college or vo-tech school for all of them. Last year we were $28,000 short, nearly depleting our reserves. We’ve had to make the hard decision to support each orphan only to the extent of their sponsorship. They will have to get loans or seek out scholarships for the remainder, neither of which is easy in Kenya. Though there is only one unsponsored orphan in each of the next four graduating classes, this year there are four completely unsponsored and two partially sponsored graduates. Please prayerfully consider giving a scholarship of any amount to prepare one of the orphans for a productive future. Contact Gerda Fink at 865-458-3295 or

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