The Nest

Since 1994, the Nest Children's Home has been providing care for children whose mothers are imprisoned. The Nest is located in rural Limuru, Kenya, about 20 miles from Nairobi, and is directed by Irene Baumgartner.
Portrait of a Kenyan Family
For countless women in Kenya, poverty and single parenting is a way of life. Lacking education, and without a husband to provide for the family, a woman often turns to theft or commercial sex to meet her family's basic needs. Some rely on alcohol to numb the ache of a poverty lifestyle. As these forces combine, children are often neglected or abused, and the woman is charged, convicted and imprisoned for criminal behavior. Without a father, and with mama in prison, who will take care of the children?
Operation Rescue: The Nest
Working with the courts and the Kenyan Children Services, Nest social workers strive to locate the best form of protective custody for each child while its mother is imprisoned. If no willing family member is located, the Nest accepts custody of the child and begins the process of integrating the child into the ever-changing community of the Nest. The accumulated affects of poverty, neglect and/or abuse, plus sadness of being separated from mom are often evident in children when they arrive at the Nest. The staff works hard to comfort and welcome each child. Daily chores, school and the activity of the Nest becomes the child's new routine. The Nest also ensures that each child gets to visit its mother in prison regularly.
Set Free: Breaking the Chains
When a mother is released from prison, the Nest brings the woman to its Halfway House facility. Here the woman is able to reside with her child/ren in safety. It's a time of reintegration for the family, and the Nest staff works with each woman to develop better parenting and life management skills. After several weeks, the Nest helps the family return to its home. The Nest ensures that school fees are paid for children, and helps the woman establish a simple small business so that they have a viable and legal form of income. The Nest tracks the family for about one year thereafter.
Extending the Boundries
In addition to providing for the children of prisoners, the Nest also provides custodial care for children who are truly orphans. The Nest has supported many Kenyan and international families in the adoption of their children!
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God
Micah 6:8


The Nest Photos

View photos from The Nest.

Nest Foundations

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--

when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, lie a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:6-7, 10-11