The official launch of the Ethel Foundation for the aged in Kenya

On Saturday, 24th July 2021, on the eve of the grandparents’ day, the official launch of Ethel Foundation for the Aged took place in Kenya, East Africa. His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria Van Megen, the Apostolic Nuncio of Kenya and South Sudan was the main celebrant at the Eucharistic celebration, along with Fr Paul Pazhangattu, C.Ss.R, the Mission Superior of Kenya Mission, and other Redemptorist confreres.

The Vision of Ethel Foundation is a distinguished service-oriented foundation showing a commitment to social transformation according to the Gospel values by reaching out to the elderly people in society.

The Values of Ethel Foundation is very much of Redemptorist charism. It is a preferential option for the aged and the poor. It is committed to respect and protect human dignity and the sanctity of human life. The Goal of the Foundation is to transform people’s perceptions and thinking to interrogate the dynamism of African cultures in caring for the aged and to create awareness in the community of the need to care for the aged. Its Mission is to reach out to the aging members of the community regardless of their race, belief systems, religion, ethnicity, or political affiliation.

Ethel Foundation began with the vision of Fr Cornel Omondi, C.Ss.R. in our parish Iruma, in the diocese of Meru in Kenya. He had witnessed the elderly, abandoned by their children, and no one to take care of them when they were old and sick. He had witnessed a woman eaten by maggots while still alive.

When he shared with a few youngsters in the parish his desire to help such people they came together to do something. Soon others joined in the vision of Cornel and thus Ethel Foundation was born in 2017. It is a registered society now, under the Ministry of East Africa community, labor and social protection department of social development. Besides Catholics, there are people of other denominations and faith in the governing body of the Ethel Foundation.

Ethel Foundation currently has 44 dependants in Iruma in Tharaka Nithi County. İt has a plan to expand its operation to other areas too. A main need of the elderly is their daily food. Also, many of the dependents need toilet facilities, repair of their leaking roofs, and strengthening of their mud walls.  The Foundation runs entirely on donations from well-wishers, members of the organization, and some corporates. Besides Fr Cornel Omondi, two other Redemptorists too, Frs Titus Mutiku and Lewis Mutiso, are members of the Board. The confreres of Kenya Mission and the Provincial government of Bangalore province are in support of this noble mission.

Fr. Paul Pazhangattu, C.Ss.R.

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