Animal Aid

Pledge success for Kenyan orphanage

Posted 1 April 2006

We at HIPPO are very grateful indeed to Animal Aid and in particular to Chris Anderson for organising this appeal. It succeeded in its aim of raising £2000 for an extension of the irrigation system at the vegetarian orphanage in Kenya, which now has 86 children in its care. Our thanks also go to the many Animal Aid supporters who sent their tenners and in some cases considerably more than £10. We know that the resources of animal-caring people are much in demand even from causes very close at hand, so we sincerely appreciate this demonstration that they also care about the plight of small human beings in far away places.

Already 2 acres of land at the orphanage is in successful vegetable production following the completion of a water borehole at the end of 2004. Initially when launching the appeal we had in mind the extension of this enterprise. However during our recent stay in Kenya we were able to discuss more fully with the orphanage directors what their most pressing needs are, and it became clear that the greatest part of their purchased food bill is for fruit. We therefore agreed with them that this special project should comprise the creation of a fruit tree orchard. The money raised will pay for the necessary irrigation system and most if not all of the fruit trees. We hope that all contributors will be happy with this modification. We will bring you news of progess as the project proceeds. The East African Mission is only one of the three vegetarian orphanages that HIPPO supports in Kenya (we also send food, especially TVP, to orphanages in Romania, Latvia and Croatia). It is however the longest established and the largest. Another has 55 children including some who are disabled. A third, which has now been running for two years, specialises in taking babies, often newborn, and has 17 little ones now. A recent arrival was found on a garbage tip, umbilical cord still attached. Several are HIV positive. All are wonderfully well cared for and unbelievably happy and beautiful. We visited them many times during our stay in Kenya, and it was always an uplifting experience. This orphanage is presently accomodated in a large rented house but a new building on 30 acres of land is almost completed and a borehole has just been drilled. They now need money for a pump and an electricity generator to power it – so if anybody feels disappointed that they missed out on the previous appeal here is another chance! Remember that all these children will be raised as vegetarians too.

For those unaware of our background, HIPPO was founded as a charitable trust in 1999. The experience of living in Ethiopia for 18 months fully awakened the founders to the connection between land degradation, famine, and meat-eating. Infuriated by aid charities that constantly promote the expansion of livestock they decided that it would be better to light a candle themselves than merely to curse the darkness of others. Vegetarians are not infrequently portrayed as animal lovers who care little about people. HIPPO maintains that vegetarianism is in fact the only sound basis for philanthropy and that vegetarians are the only people who have truly "joined-up thinking" on the issues of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and enhancement, wildlife conservation, world hunger, cruelty to animals, and what Robbie Burns called "Man's inhumanity to man" that "Makes countless thousands mourn."

For more information please contact HIPPO, Churchfield House, Weston Under Penyard, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7PA. Email:

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