Story of Surgeon Who Quit Well-Paying Job to Save Kenyan Orphans

  • Dr Robert Mendonsa, the founder of Naomi Village Children's home in Kijabe.
    Dr Robert Mendonsa, the founder of Naomi Village Children's home in Kijabe.
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  • In 2008, Dr Robert Mendonsa, an orthopedic surgeon, and his wife Julie, relocated to Kenya with the aim of saving orphans across the country.

    The two left behind their successful private orthopedic practice in Texas, United States with the goal of building children homes in Kenya.

    In a recent interview, Mendonsa disclosed that his dream to serve the society's most afflicted was born in the year 2000 as the two were 'sitting squarely on the bullseye of our American Dream in the suburbs of Dallas.'

    In 2003, the two took a trip to Kenya for a tour of Kijabe as volunteers for seven months in a remote hospital overlooking the Great Rift Valley.

    Some of the surgeons attached to Orthopedic Associates of Flower Mound in Texas
    Some of the surgeons attached to Orthopedic Associates of Flower Mound in Texas.
    Orthopaedic Associates

    At the time, the HIV epidemic had just hit new heights. Parents were dying in their numbers leaving behind orphaned children.

    "The HIV epidemic had devastated one particular truck stop town in the valley below the hospital, leaving an orphan crisis behind. We encountered hundreds of destitute and parentless children growing up under brutal generational poverty.

    "Tragic scenes were everywhere – an ailing grandmother raising nine frail and dirty kids in a shack made of burlap sacks and cardboard, a baby left in a ravine to die, two toddlers holding hands next to the Trans-African Highway with eyes as vacant as a haunted house," he observed at the time.

    After four trips to the region, Mendonsa noted that he found it difficult to ignore the problems that many of the affected children were facing.

    "The decision to step over a line and never go back, to say yes wholeheartedly to something beyond understanding…I suppose in its basest terms it can be thought of as a choice.

    "Yet sometimes one’s heart aches so badly that to turn away would be to surrender to a fate far worse than apathy," he narrated on his decision to return to the country.

    Since they moved to the country in 2008, they have constructed Naomi Village Children's home in 2011, which now caters for parentless children.

    The two also put up Cornerstone Preparatory Academy (2013) and LEAP Preschool (2017) which educate 380 students daily.

    While in Texas, Mendonsa was part of the Orthopedic Associates of Flower Mound, an organisation founded in 1976 that provides all-inclusive orthopedic services and expertise to Flower Mound and Lewisville in USA.

    Some of the beds placed within the Covid-19 emergency treatment tent at the Machakos Stadium, April 20, 2020
    Some of the beds placed within the Covid-19 emergency treatment tent at the Machakos Stadium, April 20, 2020
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