Home     About Us     Our programs    Donate   Blog

About Us

We derived the name Casaupendo from God's second commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Casaupendo means House of Love. Casaupendo Orphanage was founded by three friends who yielded to a calling to serve orphaned children. Steve Mercill, Emmanuel Sasaka, and Sarah Namukoa founded Casaupendo after being confronted with the trauma, heartache, and suffering of orphaned children. Steve Mercill wished to honor his father, the Hayfork's Everyone's Doctor Earl Clayton Mercill MD. Earl Mercill dedicated his 50 years to serving the community as a GP doctor. His wife, Mariane Mercill had wanted to care for orphans all her life but couldn't do it. Sarah Namukoa, now a Ph.D. candidate, lost her father at ten and her mother at the age of 17 years. She understands the challenges of an orphan child and grew up with a deep desire to change the lives of orphaned children. Emmanuel Sasaka is a philanthropist and enjoys putting a smile on the hearts of others. 

During a safari visit in Kenya, the three friends identified the many needs of Kenyan people. The majority of people live in poverty. Some people live with less than one dollar of income a day. The children, mostly orphans, suffer in the community with no one to help them. With the high rates of HIV/AIDS infection in some regions in Kenya, parents die at a younger age and leave their children with either elderly grannies who can't afford a simple meal or no one at home to care for them.

Kenya has over 3.6 million children who have been orphaned and are vulnerable. Wehoya village has more than 1,000 orphaned children needing care and support.  Something had to be done to create an impact in this community. To change the lives of orphaned children in Kenya, Casaupendo Orphanage was set up. On November 26, 2018, Casaupendo CBO was registered as a community-based organization to support orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya.

After the official registration of Casaupendo Orphanage in Kenya, a simple survey was conducted in Wehoya village within Tranzoia County in Kenya. The study's findings established that orphaned children experience extreme child poverty and malnutrition. These children live in poor conditions, with their elderly grannies who can't afford a single meal, and in some cases, they live alone in their deceased parents' homes with graves showing evidence of loss and trauma. During a visit to one house, an orphan child told our team, "We sleep hungry most of the time when granny brings home no food." On the other hand, the granny shed tears, saying, "I beg food in the streets to feed these children. When I get no food, we sleep hungry. Please help me".

Casaupendo Orphanage also supports the feeble grannies who cannot afford a single meal.  In the photo, we visited a home and found an orphan with his granny hungry. They had not had a meal for two days. The two live in the tiny mud house in their background. We delivered food for the orphan and granny and enrolled the orphan in our orphan program. In our program, each child gets three balanced meals daily, clothing, safe shelter, clean water, health care, education sponsorship, counseling, spiritual mentorship, and training in valuable life skills.

In February 2021, our mission was registered as a 501 C3 non-profit organization in the USA with Cheryl Lusson as the president, Rob Hawley as treasurer, and five board members including Allison Sims, Steve Mercill, Emmanuel Sasaka, Cheryl Lusson, and Sarah Namukoa. Our program manager, Sarah Namukoa, a professional psychologist and Ph.D. candidate, designs life skills programs and trauma-informed care interventions that help children achieve their developmental milestones and heal from past traumas.

We depend on your support to realize our mission. Please get involved!