Watu Wa Maana Childrens Centre, Ruiru, Kenya (43 Children)

Watu Wa Maana Children Centre

Meet Director Wanjiru Waira Kamau

In 2002, Director Wanjiru was called to minister to the street children of Ruiru. Starting with bible studies, sharing the gospel with the street children, she soon realized they also needed a home and founded the Center. With 18 children in two small rooms in a location owed by her parents, Watu came to be. 


For the past two decades, Director Wanjiru has put her BA in Psychology to good use every day. Her goal is to rehabilitate and reintegrate these children, helping them to find God's purpose in their lives and fulfill it. Wanjiru ensures they study hard and get a solid education. She also reaches out to these children’s families, sharing the love of Christ.

Watu Wa Maana Center

“Watu wa maana,” Swahili meaning “very important people” is the overarching theme by which this residential children’s home operates. It is located in Ruiru, an industrial town approximately 20 miles northwest of Nairobi.  Along with support from Haven of Hope International, Help the Least of These provides financial support to help with every day and special needs.

The majority of the children at the home have lost a parent (or both parents) ending up on the streets or under the care of abusive and neglectful family members. Along with the 36 children residing at the home, there are also 35 former Watu children in reintegrated into homes and still receive some support.  Thirteen have aged out and are continuing their education to pursue their vocational paths through Futures of Hope program funding.

The Center staff includes a Manager/Social worker, a Chaplain/Administrator, a House mother, a cook and a tutor. Each member has professional certificates in their area of expertise. In addition, local university students also volunteer time with the children. 

Thank You For Technology Packages
Watu Wa Maana Home Communication Centre

Education for Watu children is of the highest importance.  During 2020, Haven of Hope was able to a provide critical technology package so their children could attend primary or secondary school online during the pandemic--laptops, wide angle webcams, projectors, cables, screens and internet connection.   Being technology enabled allows not only education instruction, but also trauma-care training and tele-medicine resources now available to the orphanage.

Sustainability-minded, Watu raises chickens for food and to sell eggs to the community. In 2017, Watu installed shipping containers on the property and have been renting the space to merchants, providing Watu income to help pay education costs.

Wanjiru's vision is to have "Dream Center" that will provide adequate space for studying, along with an area for onsite vocational training.  They have clearly outgrown the original structures.

How You Can Help

The Center provides these children with shelter and safety, food, clothing, counseling, schooling, and a Christian foundation. The center believes that the best place for a child is in the family when the child is well-rehabilitated, and a healthy family relationship is established. The child is reintegrated into the family with continued Watu support, especially in education.

With your monthly support, HOHI can provide education materials and trauma care training, help with medical costs, and funding for vocational training, giving skills to many young adults who do not qualify to go to university and other diploma colleges. 

Watu Wa Maana Center
Watu Wa Maana Center
Watu Wa Maana Center


‘God has miraculously provided’ – Meet the ‘Mama and Daddy’ of Watu Wa Maana

January 15, 2024

By Laura J. Gates When God calls, he equips. Wanjiru Waira Kamau and her husband John Kanyoni know this to be true. These obedient servants have walked by faith for more than two decades in the vision God has given them to care for street children in Ruiru, Kenya. “God has miraculously continued to provide,”…

Celebrating the Launch of Haven of Hope Training Institute: Pioneering Excellence in Orphanage Care

January 1, 2024

In 2024, a groundbreaking endeavor is emerging in the realm of childcare and orphanage management at HOHI – the Haven of Hope Training Institute. This institute is not just about education; it’s a catalyst for transformative care in orphanages globally. By offering comprehensive certification courses, HOHI training staff endeavors to equip orphanage directors and staff…

Directors of Watu Wa Maana Arrive in USA for TBRI Training

October 23, 2023

Last year, John and Wanjiru Kanyoni, directors of Watu Wa Maana in Ruirui, Kenya, were selected as the recipients of a scholarship from TCU’s Trust Based Relationship Intervention (TBRI) training for trainer’s certification. Out of 250 applicants, John and Wanjiru stood out for their commitment to serving street children through their home, Watu Wa Maana.…

From Surviving to Thriving – A Progress Report on Watu Wa Maana Children’s Center, Ruiru, Kenya

February 26, 2023

WATU WA MAANA CHILDREN’S CENTER – Ruiru, Kenya At Haven of Hope International (HOHI), we are passionate about helping those in need and making a positive impact in the world. That is why we are proud to partner with Watu Wa Maana Children’s Center (Watu Wa Maana), an organization that is changing the lives of…

Thank You For Technology Packages

From Kenya, Africa…thank you for our technology package. Now our children can attend school during Covid.

October 8, 2020

Support from Haven of Hope International and The Least of These organizations provided the technology package and Internet connection service.


About the Republic of Kenya

Kenya is in East Africa on the Indian Ocean coast and bordered by Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Nairobi is its largest city and its capital. The city of Ruiru, near Nairobi,  is an industrial town and the 6th largest urban center in Kenya. Swahili and English are official languages in Kenya along with numerous indigenous languages. 

Kenya's geographic landscape encompasses savannahs, lake lands, valleys, mountain highlands and lots of wildlife. From Nairobi safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro.

With a population just under 54 million, approximately 3.6 million are orphaned or vulnerable children under the age of 18—47% are orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, 15% are double orphans (lost both parents)  and 85% are single orphans. 700 children are orphaned every day and 1/3 of these are orphaned due to HIV / AIDS. 

Kenya ranks as the eighth poorest country in the world – and the sixth poorest in Africa. Over 25% of the population live on less than $1 per day and 12-15% of households in Kenya are headed by an orphan sibling. In some regions, over 25% of orphans are acutely malnourished in spite of the fact that Kenyan’s economy is largely driven by agriculture.

As a Kenyan orphan or vulnerable child, challenges are many—physical abuse, defilement, sexual exploitation, child labor, early marriages—all are traumatized. Their future is unpredictable—no or limited access to proper health care, education, shelter and nutrition—and often disinherited by their next of kin.