Upendo Village: Kenyans Helping Kenyans Living with HIV/AIDS
Life and hope for Kenyans living with HIV and AIDS

About Us

Upendo Village is a project designed by Kenyans to respond at the local level to the needs of Kenyans living with HIV / AIDS.  Clients are surrounded with loving care, and are given resources and access to programs that improve health, restore self-respect, and give hope.

Upendo means "love" in the Kiswahili language, and adding the word "village” signifies the importance of a global response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa.


To exhibit love through action in our community by providing compassionate care and quality services of counseling, education and housing for women, men and children living with HIV and AIDS.


To portray and provide loving care to women, men and children, who have HIV and AIDS so that they can live with dignity, self-esteem, self sufficiency and respect.  We are committed to networking with other agencies in providing healthcare so that our clients can enjoy a free and full life.

Our History

Sister Florence Muia: "It took about 15 years of silence on HIV & AIDS epidemic in the country before the then President of Kenya, Mr. Daniel Arap Moi, acknowledged HIV and AIDS as a ‘national disaster’ in 1999.  The many years of silence allowed the disease take root in the country.  Watching all the suffering, I did not want to sit on the other side of the fence; I strongly felt I wanted to get involved with the fight against HIV and AIDS. I realized that I needed to establish a Kenyan project by and for the Kenyan people. My vision was for a safe haven for women, men, and children affected by the disease. I wanted to call this sanctuary ‘Upendo Village.’”  (Click here to read the whole story.) 

Read through our timeline.

*Important Note: While Upendo Village began as a dream that came to fruition through a partnership between the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi, and the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Upendo Village does not discriminate against any faith, creed, skin color, age, gender or sexual orientation.  The loving care and resources provided by Upendo Village are extended to all that seek assistance.



Upendo Village Board of Directors


Sr. Florence Muia, ASN, DIP, S.W., M.A.P.C., Founder, Chief Ministry Officer
Assumption Sisters of Nairobi

Guy J. Vaccaro, Ph.D. - Executive Director/President

Upendo Village

Beatrice Hernandez, O.S.F., M.D. - Chairperson
Wheaton Franciscan Sisters Provincial Directress

Laurence Buchman, B.S.- Vice Chairperson
Senior Partner, Vice-President, Operations

Teng & Associates, Chicago

Cheryl J. Blum, M.S. - Secretary
Technology and Business Development

Telecommunications Industry Association

Stephen Monaco, B.B.A. - Treasurer
Wheaton Franciscan Covenant Member

James Allen, M.D., Ph.D.
Metro Infectious Disease Consultants

Brother Bede Baldry, F.S.C., M.A.

De LaSalle Christian Brothers, Justice and Peace Coordinator

Spiritual Companion, Retreats, Brother David Darst Center

Mary Ellen Durbin
Retired Executive Director, People’s Resource Center
Wheaton Franciscan Covenant Member

Stephen Napleton, B.S., M.P.P
TriLinc Global

Sarah S. Herzog

General Counsel for Wheaton Franciscan Services, Inc.

Patricia Merryweather

Illinois Medicare

Kathleen McGowan

Retired Executive Director, Joliet Diocese Catholic Charities

John Plackett
Retired, The Plackett Group