St. Tabitha’s House is a Christian orphanage under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria started in the Kibera Slums of Kenya. They currently house 26 children, providing food, shelter academic and spiritual education and so much more. St. Tabith’s House was founded by Fr. Agapios Lipesa and his wife Papadia Dorah. He was assigned the rector of St. George the Great Martyr parish in the Kibera Slums in the Kisumu Diocese in Kenya. As part of his work as a parish priest, he consistently saw the horrific conditions that the people of Kibera lived in. At the same time he felt a strong love for the orphans who make up the most vulnerable of the population.
After the country’s post-election violence in 2007, many parents from the Kibera slums died and the children were left as orphans. At the same time, Fr. Agapios was assigned to be the parish priest at St. George’s also in Kibera (one of the biggest slums in all of Africa). As he was feeding the children of the parish and watching the orphans suffer, he decided to start the St. Tabitha’s house to take care of the orphans and widows of the Kibera slums. He took the neediest kids to his own house to care for them as his own until St. Tabitha’s was built.
Currently, Fr. Agapios and Papadia Dorah have moved the children from Nairobi to Kisumu (a more safe, affordable and sustainable environment where they have a quieter peaceful life. They are hoping to raise a small flock of chickens and dairy cows which will be used to both feed the children and to provide a small but sustainable income for the orphanage.
How can the FOCA help St. Tabitha’s?
Our Gifts of Love campaign this year will be earmarked to send money directly to Fr. Agapios at St. Tabitha’s. As Jesus Christ asks us to feed the hunger and clothe the poor, we are asking your chapters/parishes to open their hearts to do the His work. Although they have a new home in Kisumu, they are still struggling to meet the basic need of the children and drive them to school in Nairobi and church in Kibera. They spend nearly $1 on every child for food daily ($26 daily for food), and $150 yearly for school fees for all the children. For those in High School, they spend $400 yearly for school fees.