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

News from Upendo Village

Remembering Sr. Maggie Ryan

Upendo Village lost a great friend, Sr. Maggie Ryan, on October 22, 2014.  Sr. Maggie passed away at the age of 94 after 77 years of service as a Franciscan Sister.  Learn about her life and her service here.

New Water Bottling Project

As you may know, in 2008 Upendo Village in Kenya was donated a water well by the Rotary Club of Naperville that has the capability to clean, treat and dispense approximately 2400 gallons of water per hour.  This well also has two external tanks that stores around 12,700 gallons of the produced water. Upendo Village has been providing clean and treated water to thousands of people over the past five years. This resource is precious and scarce, especially to those living in rural areas in Kenya.  Oddly, our water supply is also under utilized by the general public. 

Upendo Village in Kenya has come up with a project that would not only market the resource to the surrounding areas, but also allow Upendo Village to help more people in need.  The seed money for this Water Bottling Project has been chosen to be funded by St. Raphael Church in Naperville, Illinois!

Read more about the Water Bottling Project here.

Upendo Village's Annual Holiday Bazaar

All are welcome to do some holiday shopping.  Just like years past, the sale will feature Wheaton Franciscan Sisters' crafts, Upendo Village Crafts, rummage sale and raffle.  Read more, download the poster to post around your time, and learn how you can help here.

UPDATE!:  Raffle Prizes and the winners have been announced! To see the comprehensive list click here.

Dine for Upendo Village

Pizzeria Bombola (2901 Ogden Ave., Lisle, IL) is donating 10% of all receipts for those that indicate they are dining for Upendo Village for the entire month of September.  Print out a voucher by clicking here, bring it to Pizzeria Bombola with you and present it to your server.  At the end of the month, 10% of the total received by those dining for Upendo Village will be donated to Upendo Village, and matched by an anonymous donor to for the capital campaign!  Enjoy a great meal, and help Upendo build a kitchen!  Learn more about the capital campaign here.

Sr. Florence's U.S.A Schedule

Sr. Florence Muia and Sr. Agnes Waema are visiting the United States from July 10 - August 20.  They will be speaking about Upendo Village with different interested groups and at several churches.  Check out their schedule at the link below as it develops.

Sr. Florence and Sr. Agnes' 2013 Speaking Schedule


Sr. Francisca Kivindyo has passed away

Sr. Mwikali "Francisca" Kivindyo, an Assumption Sister of Nairobi, whom many of you know from her visit to the U.S. with Sr. Florence the past two years, died the morning of Wednesday, April 17th at 10:30 a.m. our time, at the age of 50.  Her passing is due to ovarian cancer and related complications. We find solace in the fact that she is no longer in pain and is in the loving embrace of God. 

While Sr. Francisca was with us, she touched many lives and she will be sorely missed.  We will be sending out a special edition newsletter in the near future celebrating the love and livelihood that she brought to everyone she met - especially the children of Upendo Village.  Sr. Francisca loved each child as if they were her own - sharing in their joys, strife, success and struggles.  She was a beacon of hope, mother-figure, and best friend to many.  Because of her profound dedication to the children, in lieu of flowers, consider donating to the Sr. Francisca Memorial fund, which will be used for the needs of the children of Upendo Village. 

Click here to learn more about Sr. Francisca's Memorial Fund

If you know of individuals that would like to receive the memorial newsletter, please forward this e-mail notice to them and remind them to sign up for our newsletter on our home page www.upendovillage.org

EDIT: See Sr. Francisca's special edition newsletter here.

Please continue to hold Sr. Francisca and her loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

Annual Upendo Village Holiday Bazaar!

Come to this event and get into the holiday spirit! There will be Upendo Village crafts, Sisters' crafts and ceramics, homemade jams and jellies, an exciting raffle and a variety of items in our ever-popular rummage sale! This year's sale is scaled down from the years before, so be sure to come in early so you don't miss the bargains! Check out the info for this event here.

Oktoberfest at St. Joan of Arc to Benefit Upendo Village

St. Joan of Arc Parish in Lisle, IL is once again hosting an Oktoberfest celebration with craft beers and authentic German food and music!  Admission is only $5 and you will also have a chance to purchase Upendo Village crafts and participate in a raffle.  Check out the details here.

New Program: Internally Displaced Persons Training Program

Five camps for internally displaced persons are in the Upendo Village catchment area. The IDP Training Program is a new project that is underway at Upendo Village that would conduct education to improve basic life skills and civic involvement as well as to increase awareness of the risks and consequences involved with prostitution, drugs and substance abuse.  Read More.


Update!--Fourth Annual Upendo Village Jewelry & Handcrafts Benefit

If you missed it, check out this clip from Kevin Macheck who covered the event for Naperville Community Television.

Meson Sabika in Naperville is hosting this benefit for the fourth year in a row! Bring your friends and enjoy delectable tapas and refreshing sangria while shopping Upendo Village's handmade crafts all for just $25. View the promotional flier here.

Upendo Village Benefit by Pizzeria Bombola in Lisle, IL

Pizzeria Bombola (2901 Ogden Avenue, Lisle, IL 60531), Lisle's newest pizzeria and burger bar is partnering with Upendo Village for the month of May!  Read more about this exciting partnership here.

Sponsor Dr. Mungai Kamiti's Ultramarathon Run for Upendo Village

Dr. Mungai Kamiti is running the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa on June 3, 2012 to raise funds for Upendo Village.  Learn more about Mungai, and how you can support his 56 mile run here.

The Gift of Light Program

Sister Florence is excited about her Solantern Gift of Light Program—harnessing God’s gift of the sun to light homes of Upendo Village clients, who live in rural areas without electrical power. A primary challenge of Upendo families is costly, poor quality light after sun fall. Read more about Solanterns.

Upendo Village Welcomes Sr. Florence this February!

Sr. Florence will be making her first ever trip to the United States from February 8-28 and has quite a few speaking arrangements set up. Events and dates that are open to the public are listed in RED. If you have questions about any of the events below, or would like to possibly add to the calendar, contact Marybeth at 630.909.6604. 

February 11 & 12
St. Elizabeth Church
Chicago, IL

Sr. Florence will be speaking at all masses.  Saturday at 4:00pm and Sunday at 8:00am and10:30am

February 16
Our Lady of the Angels Motherhouse--Auditorium
Wheaton, IL
The Wheaton Franciscans will be hosting a night of refreshments and candid conversation with Sr. Florence. Stop by and bring a friend to learn about the life giving work of Upendo Village from 5:00pm-7:00pm.

February 17
Immaculate Conception High School
Elmhurst, IL
Upendo Village has been chosen as the Lenten Project for Immaculate Conception Parish this year. Sr. Florence will be speaking to the high school students about what Upendo Village is, and the differences in the lives between comparative age groups to these students, and how Upendo Village is helping change their lives.

February 18 & 19
Immaculate Conception Parish
Sr. Florence will be speaking at all masses. Saturday at 5:15pm and Sunday at 7:30am, 9:00am, 11:30am and 5:15pm

February 19 from 2:00pm-4:00pm
Kie&Kate Couture and Cuvee Wine Cellars
Elmhurst, IL

Between the 11:30am and 5:15pm masses at Immaculate conception, Kie&Kate Couture and Cuvee Wince Cellars will be hosting a fun reception for people to meet Sr. Florence on a more personal level.  Plus, 10% of all purchases that are made by Upendo Village Supporters will be donated to Upendo Village!

February 21
Immaculate Conception Grade School
Elmhurst, IL
Sr. Florence will be speaking to grads K-8 about Upendo Village and the differences between the life of a child their age here in comparison to a child in Kenya, and how Upendo Village is helping change their lives and future.

February 22
Cardinal Meyer Center
Chicago, IL
Sr. Florence will be meeting with the leaders of the Black Catholic churches in the Archdioces of Chicago

February 23
Loyola University
Chicago, IL

Sr. Florence will be visiting her alma mater to speak to a class that will be traveling to Upendo Village in June.

February 25

Grandmothers to Grandmothers Program

Sr. Florence will be meeting with the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Program from Sr. Joan of Arc Church in Lisle.  This grassroots program was recently in the news for their efforts in assisting the grandmothers of Upendo Village.  Read the article here.

Help Upendo Village Win $5000!

We have entered our youtube video in Good + Brookside Foods "Give Back" Challenge!  The submission that gets the most votes will receive a $5000 grant towards operations! Please go to this link and vote for Upendo Village before December 9 at Noon PST.  Please share the link with your friends, family and online social networks to have them vote too.  As supporters, you know how much good $5000 can do in Upendo Village. Also, if we get to the most discussed or most watched, Upendo Village will be introduced to the thousands of followers of Good! Please vote and paste the links below in your Facebook status and Tweets!  Thanks in advance!

Go here to vote for Upendo Village: http://brooksidefoods.maker.good.is/projects/UpendoVillage

Update your Facebook status to something like this:  Hello Friends! Please help this wonderful cause I support by going to http://brooksidefoods.maker.good.is/projects/UpendoVillage and voting for them to win a $5000 grant!  Watch the video there, or go to www.upendovillage.org for more info on the organization. Voting ends December 9 at Noon PST! Please paste this into your status for an least an hour to urge your friends to vote too.  Thank you!

Tweet this: RT: Vote4 @UpendoVillage in the #good+brooksidechallenge. Most votes wins $5000 grant! Vote 4 us http://bit.ly/rTS1j8 by Dec9

We are sending this voting information to all of the supporters of Upendo Village, but we could use all the help we can get, so once you get the e-mail, please forward it to your friends and family.  Thank you so much for your continued support!


Flooding in Upendo Village


October 24, 2011


Urgent Update from Upendo Village


While the horn of Africa has been experiencing drought, a sudden downpour on Thursday afternoon created a menacing outcome for Upendo Village.  A nearby retention pond overflowed sending a crash of water through the neighboring secondary school and through the perimeter wall of Upendo Village, flooding the compound below the Sisters'

residence and collapsing the wall behind the generator.  The collapse of the perimeter wall and portion of the Sisters' residence poses an immediate threat as less than a year ago, Upendo Village experienced a robbery.  Additionally, the torrent of dirty water from the retention pond contaminated the underground water tank which has been a crucial element of operations during the drought.  In response to this devastation, the security company has been contacted to provide additional security at night for the duration of the time that the wall is in repair, and the underground tank is being pumped out to be cleaned.  Sr. Florence has also been in contact with various community leaders to determine what improvement options are available for the retention pond to increase drainage efficiency and avoid future flooding.  Thanks to generous donors, some money was left in the Recovery Fund after the robbery and is being usedtowards the added cost of guards and tank cleaning. As long as these funds last, they will be made available during the repairing process.  The unforeseen added expense adds strain to our already tight budget due to increased expenses and high inflation.  However, the emergent nature of these repairstake precedence as the safety of the Sisters and clients of Upendo Village are of utmost importance.  Please keepUpendo Village in your prayers during this time of recovery.  If you would like to help make sure that these incidents are always treated with immediate responseand care, you can donate to the recovery fund at www.upendovillage.org/help -



Thank you and God bless,


Upendo Village Staff

Holiday Marketplace--November 10, 2011--UPDATE!

The holiday marketplace is coming, and all of the proceeds will go to Upendo Village! This event will be a bigger production than it has been in the past as you can see in the poster, so we need help! We are looking for volunteers to donate their time the day of the event, bakers, and donations to the white elephant sale. Please contact Marybeth Medrano if you have any questions at 630-909-6604

If you haven't bought your raffle tickets yet, or haven't decided which prize you would like to use your chances on, take a look at the baskets below.  Click on the image to make it larger.

Charles Rubia Kimani 1998-2011

At 5:00pm on October 3, 2011, Charles Rubia Kimani passed away as a result of an accident on Maai Mahiu Road where a vehicle lost control and knocked Charles down.  Charles was rushed to Naivasha District Hospital, and passed upon arrival at 6:00pm.  Charles was 13 years of age, the fifth of six children born toHIV positive parents, Ann and Isaac.  Charles' family became part of the Upendo Village program in 2006,  and was sponsored by Virginia and William Miller through CUSP.  Charles dreamed of continuing his education and becoming a teacher, and in memory of his spirit, Charles' sponsors have decided to continue giving the gift of education to Charles' younger brother Peter.   Charles was the second child to pass away in the Upendo Village program.  Please pray for this family and Upendo Village in these times of mourning. 

St. Joan of Arc (Lisle) hosts 2011 Oktoberfest

October 1, 2011- St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church will be hosting Oktoberfest in the St. Joan of Arc School Gym.  This is a 21+ event that will be featuring live music, German food, various alcoholic beverages and desert! For more information on the event, view the flier here.

Children of Upendo Village Sponsorship Program (CUSP) 2011 Visit

Karen Claeys and Mary Rittman are currently on their annual visit to Kenya and they return this week.  To read their updates from their trip, read their notes home here.

Meet Sister Florence and Sister Francisca!

Sister Florence and Sister Francisca are scheduled for several speaking events throughout the duration of their time in America beginning May 12.  Which opportunity will you take to hear them speak of their life-giving mission? An abbreviated version of public events is posted here, and a more comprehensive version will be posted soon.

Robbery Recovery Project:  Healing and Rebuilding Upendo Village
Read details on the steps that have been taken towards physical and emotional recovery on site since the robbery in late February here.

Thieves Break in to Upendo Village Compound

Details are still coming in, but what we know is that on February 21, a gang of thieves broke into the compound, ransacking the clinic and Sisters' living quarters. For more information...

Holiday Gift Giving Idea
If you are pondering how to gift loved ones, why not donate to Upendo Village in their honor and give them a card to let them know that they are honored in this way. There are two Christmas cards to choose from: one gives a pair of chickens and the other gives a goat.  Just download one of the PDFs, print, fold, sign and mail! Then click on Donate in the left hand column to arrange for your gift to Upendo Village in their honor!

November 2010 Letter from Sr. Theresa Langfield, Executive Director
"I bring you greetings, best wishes and heartfelt gratitude from Upendo Village. We simply cannot thank you enough for continuing to be an important part of our mission – a mission that brings a beacon of life and hope for thousands of Kenyans living with HIV/AIDS." To read Sr. Theresa's letter about the life-giving work of Upendo Village, click here.