The Apiche Family

On the first anniversary of Rosie’s death, Joni and Ciff found out about the Apiche family, an orphaned family of eight living in rural Kenya, from Cliff’s sister Erika who had met one of the elder brothers, Mark, while attending a conference in Nairobi, Kenya’s capitol city. Across continents they reached out to each other and found comfort, friends (rafikis) caring and love. Joni and Cliff have supported the Apiche family since early 2008 by paying for school tuition for many of the siblings, living expenses, food, health related costs, and farming materials so the family can begin to thrive in a poor nation. The Apiche family gave Cliff and Joni a distant group of children to focus upon and help.  The family has expanded to 16 with the addition of Mark’s new wife and baby, and elder half-brother Absalom and his family as well, who joined Mark in Nyabondo after the post election violence in the spring of 2008. In 2012 Cliff and Joni were able to get a fence built around the property to protect the family’s livestock, and electricity supplied to their rural family home for the first time ever. Mark has been hired by Rosie’s Rafikis as Director of Operations and coordinates all the charitable activities and administrative responsibilities in Kenya. His honesty and strong work ethic, along with his very sincere desire to help his fellow Kenyans made him a natural choice for the position when the charity became more focused on the larger Kenyan population. He recently married and he and his wife Christine welcomed their son John into the family in October, 2010. In early 2013 financial help from Cliff and Joni enabled Mark and Christine to purchase a property of their own in Kisumu, and to enroll their son in pre-school. Additionally, with Cliff and Joni’s assistance Mark’s brother Fred has enrolled in Business School at Moi University in nearby Eldoret.

What began as a way to focus on the future after a terrible loss has grown into a new chapter in the lives of the founders and new hope for a poor family which had very little. Their mutual relationship has grown into a strong and loving bond.

The support received by the Apiche family, as well as the Director’s salary, is provided directly by Cliff and Joni, not by donations to Rosie’s Rafikis.