about us

Giving hope to children

Africa Orphan Care was established in 2012 to support the continuing work of the Newstart Children's Home in Harare and other similar ministries across Africa reaching out to provide care and hope to orphans. We provide medical and building volunteers as well as financial resources and needed medical supplies. We also seek to improve educational opportunities for the children including ongoing school fees and support.


A message from our Board Chairman

Shirley and I have had the privilege of visiting Newstart Children’s Home in Harare and will always be astounded at the dedication of the staff to the lives of the children in their care. Specifically, we are in awe of the parental love that Dr. Saleem and Mrs. Grace Farag have lived out over many years, nurturing their family of more than sixty precious lives. Many of these children have arrived there as abandoned babies and are thriving young people today, with a firm sense of belonging to family. As they mature, some have returned to serve their Newstart home needs. To name a few:

Tonderai came as an 11-year-old who now has an electronic engineering qualification.

Nyasha (meaning “Mercy”), orphaned and brought by a Catholic priest to Newstart has qualified with a Bachelor’s degree.

Shephard, a fragile little abandoned day-old baby, had to be dropper-fed. Prayed for and loved he has become a thriving child belonging in his home, Newstart.

And then there is Hilton, Christina, Ricky, Elijah, Anna, Beauty, Grace … each life a miracle.

We will long remember our stay there, residing in a guest room that was a part of a girl’s dormitory and waking each morning to the sound of singing as a group of children started their day with worship. As we spent a few days on this campus we became aware that something very special was going on. Jesus was active growing lives for an eternal Family. I am so grateful to the Farags, their own family around them and the many, many donors who faithfully give to make a difference in each life at Newstart, children who know that they belong to a special family and to Jesus for eternity.

Dave and Shirley Allen, Portland, Oregon

Meet our dedicated Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are long-term supporters of the ministry supporting orphaned and abandoned children in Africa.  Dr. Rick Westermeyer, who has been to NewStart over twenty times, and Ron Benfield formed Africa Orphan Care in 2012 and have served on the board since then. Marilyn Patchin has an extensive background in supporting orphans around the worldand has served on the Board since 2012. Pastor Dave Allen has spent time at NewStart and has served as Board Chair since 2020.  Kristina Johnson first visited NewStart as a volunteer in 2013, and joined the board in 2021, along with Allana (Westermeyer) Harboldt, who has volunteered at NewStart multiple times.

An additional co-founder of Africa Orphan Care was Mary Farag Penner, who cared deeply about the children at NewStart Children’s Home and was a frequent visitor and volunteer.  Sadly, Mary passed away in January 2020 in the midst of helping create a safe, comfortable space for volunteers to stay while giving their time to the children of NewStart. A favorite with the children of NewStart, Mary gave selflessly in her many visits to Zimbabwe. A chapel at NewStart was built as a place of worship in her memory.

Dave Allen, Chair
Rick Westermeyer, MD, Secretary
Ron Benfield, Treasurer
Allana Harboldt
Kristina Johnson
Marilyn Patchin

Advisory board members

Shirley Allen
Dick Duerksen
Dwight Nelson
Alan Parker
Sue Patzer

Get involved

our goal

Africa Orphan Care is a volunteer Christian organization open to all who embrace our mission statement.  We welcome inquiries for volunteer opportunities in building as well as medical and educational endeavors. Of course we appreciate the generous gifts that keep hope and opportunity alive for these dear children.

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