In the fall of 2015, our founder and director, Fr. Silouan (Brown) began thinking of ways that he could personally help the different Orthodox missions in Africa. He soon realized that many scams were operating out of that area, and it was difficult – if not impossible – for the average person to know which cries for help were legitimate and which were not.
It was in light of this realization that Fr. Silouan decided to contact an Orthodox mission in Kenya which had been previously visited by another Orthodox missionary. But what could he do to help?
Fr. Silouan knew he did not have the money to help personally, but he realized that, being in the United States, we are uniquely blessed to have certain resources that are not always readily available in Kenya: Computers, internet access, and other technological tools to help raise awareness for the missions in Africa.
Fr. Silouan decided that the best way he could help the missions was to help them tell their stories to the world by building a simple website. So he got together with a small team of volunteers, and the original Orthodox Africa website was built.
In the intervening year, the organization has grown beyond Fr. Silouan’s wildest dreams.
Fr. Silouan has traveled to Kenya and seen the baptisms of dozens of faithful children and adults, met with priests and their wives, given catechetical talks to children, assisted with feeding programs, and been part of the lives of these missions.
The African missions have solidified into a team in Kenya with a board of directors, and the American volunteers have increased and also solidified into a team led by a board of directors.
Orthodox Africa, USA is currently seeking to incorporate as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by early 2017.
Currently, we support three missions in Kenya: St. Barnabas Orphanage and School, St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center, and St. Tabitha House (Orphanage). It is our goal to help them achieve long-term sustainability in their missions.