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Pastor Samuel Kariuki and James Cahill on making a difference in the lives of families, orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya (Encore Episode)

Photo of James Cahill and Pastor Samuel Kariuki
Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 10:00pm

In an encore of “The Business Beat,” Steve Jones-D’Agostino interviews Samuel Kariuki, founder and president of both FOCUS and FOCUS Dream Center and a pastor with Liberty Church in Shrewsbury, and James Cahill, an engineer with Framingham-based J.F. White Contracting, who is providing volunteer engineering services to both FOCUS and FOCUS Dream Center. They talk about making a difference in the lives of families, orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. This episode aired originally on January 7, 2018.

In 2002, Pastor Kariuki, a native of Ruiru, Kenya, founded FOCUS, a non-government organization, in Ruiru, which has a population of about 240,000. “FOCUS” stands for “Families, Orphans, Children Under Stress.”

FOCUS was formed as a response to the social and economic challenges faced in Kenya by families, youth, children, and communities at large, with an overriding interest in HIV/AIDS and its social and economic impacts. FOCUS recognizes the HIV/AIDS crisis will persist for decades, and believes a conscious shift in our attention and efforts can help alleviate the suffering and pain many Kenyans face daily.

FOCUS’ dream and prospects are for a better and brighter future for those Kenyan communities. Recognizing the worth of each individual, FOCUS accepts the responsibility to protect, advocate for, and promote the well-being of those communities. FOCUS seeks to achieve its goals through these five programs: education; health; water and sanitation; food and nutrition; and, leadership development and empowerment.

In 2016, 14 years after he founded FOCUS in Kenya, Pastor Kariuki founded a U.S.-based non-profit organization called FOCUS Dream Center, in Worcester. That was done to support the work of FOCUS, and to increase FOCUS’ ability to help more children in Kenya.

The stated purpose of FOCUS Dream Center is “to raise funds to support sustainable community programs through evidence-based approaches that are effective and efficient.” Those programs provide educational, nutritional, and medical programs for orphans in Kenya as well as water and sanitation for the community at large.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve D’Agostino does volunteer public-relations work for FOCUS and FOCUS Dream Center.

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