WESTFIELD – Nestled in the Nakuru County part of Kenya, is a town called Molo. Thousands and thousands of miles away from the Whip City, Westfield resident Zipporah Irari, otherwise known as “Zippie,” proudly calls Molo her hometown.
A town filled with poverty and tribal clashes, the children of Molo were in danger of being affected by the problems that were occurring.
After finishing high school in 2000, Irari started to have a vision. Beginning in 2001, Irari would invite several children to her parent’s home in Molo, to give the kids meals and would provide them food to leave with.
It was a passion for Irari that stayed with her in 2005 when she decided to become an American citizen. In 2005, Irari first lived in Arizona, and then shortly moved to Burlington, Mass., since she had family that lived close to the area.
Seven years later in November of 2012, Irari became a resident of Westfield. Irari took a job as a nurse at Genesis Westfield Center, where she is still currently working.
It wasn’t very much longer, in January of 2013, where Irari found New Life Christian Center, a church in Westfield. Just two months later, Pastor Wayne Hartsgrove called Irari in front of the church to lead a prayer for struggling missionaries in Africa.
It was that moment that triggered Irari’s passion once again. Irari’s initial idea was to build a soup kitchen for the children of Molo, but she knew very well that her destiny for the children of Molo stretched much further than the soup kitchen.
“I remembered my passion and my vision of building the orphanage that I so badly wanted, but didn’t know how I was going to do it,” said Irari.
Irari then quickly realized that she wasn’t alone with this passion. Several other members of New Life Christian Center were passionate about helping create the orphanage.
One of those individuals was Jim Danio. Known as “Trainer Jim” to the several Westfield High School students, as he is the school’s athletic trainer, Danio too had a vision.
In Sept. of 2012, Danio had a dream that stuck with him.
“Every night, every night, I had a dream about getting my passport,” said Danio.
The next month, Danio had his passport. After meeting Irari at the New Life Christian Center, Danio was on board with helping create the orphanage.
In June of 2014, along with Irari and Danio, members of the church made the trip to Molo. It was already known that it was going to be a gradual process with building the orphanage. The members spent their time getting to know the community of Molo and feeling that connection with them.
“All the people want over there (Molo) is love and acceptance,” said Danio. “I went over there and it changed me.”
Irari saw just how brutal it could be for some of the children in the community of Molo that didn’t have a family or parents to take care of them. According to Irari, while going through the village, she saw a group of children eating from a dumpster.
“It broke my heart,” said Irari.
It was yet another important moment that helped a member of the church like Irari realize just how badly she wanted to help change these children’s lives.
“I’ll make a home for them so they’re no longer on the streets,” said Irari. “They’re no longer struggling. They’re no longer on their own.”
A total of fourteen members of the church went on the trip. The cost for the trip was about $2,500 for each person. Danio thought of a way to help, as he sent out sponsorship letters to local businesses and see if they were interested in donating to the church.
It was a success and allowed the creation of the orphanage to take one step further. Just this past June, 10 members of the church, including Irari and Danio, made another trip to Molo.
This time around, action was able to be taken. With the help of her father, Elisaphan Irari, Elisaphan helped Zippie hire a construction company in the area of Molo to lead the building of the orphanage.
Breaking ground was their main purpose on the trip and Pastor Hartsgrove dedicated the orphanage with a plaque during the trip on June 22.
The orphanage is expected to care for up to 40 children with three floors. Irari is expecting that there will be an administrator, an assistant, and a nurse on hand to care for the children. A shuttle van will be directly taking the children to the town hospital in time of need.
Currently, the second floor of the orphanage is being worked on and the progress seems to be getting brighter as the days pass.
Irari, Danio, and other members of the church plan to visit the progress of the orphanage in the near future. Every day that goes by, it becomes a constant reminder of what the creation of the orphanage in Molo stands for.
The actual structure of the orphanage is expected to be as strong it can be, but it may be the 40 children that are by far the strongest.
“This is amazing to see people who just have so little but they have so much more than I have,” said Danio. “They’re just smiling, they’re just happy for what little they have, it’s amazing.”
Irari and Danio highly encourage people in the community of Westfield and surrounding communities to visit their website, The Call of Molo, to find out more about the project and have the option to make a donation as well.