One of Elba’s Best Citizens Does God’s Work in Kenya

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Some of the best moments on our trips are the times we arrange to meet ‘interesting local people’ and learn about fascinating work that is being done in the very place we are visiting. We had an eye-opening visit in Roberta Adami’s home this afternoon in the tiny village of Poggia. She is 45, a medical researcher who spends a great deal of her time and energy helping the poorest of the poor–orphans and adults who live near Lake Victoria in Kenya. She told us about the Mama Magdelena Ndeda Foundation and how she’s rallied people from Elba and the world to adopt Kenyan kids and help improve their lives.

“One time I opened my door and there were 3000 people waiting there, all wanting medical care,” she told us. “There wasn’t anything we could do, you can’t pick and choose.” She goes to Kenya regularly during the year, helping a pastor there minister to a flock of thousands. “Once we asked all of the kids who are orphans to raise their hands…and nearly every hand went up.” She laments that the country seems to be comprised solely of orphans and widows…so many widows. “45% of the people in the region are HIV positive,” she said, making health care even more difficult.

Despite the grave situation, she remains hardworking, steadfast, and hopeful that her hard work will someday ring the ears of some of the rich Kenyan widows she knows. “If we could only start a family home, a place where kids could live…I know someday we will be able to do it.”

We ate icecream and as she talked, her passion and devotion to this place and these hard tales was palpable and noble. She is a lovely woman who deserves a rich widow or a richer foundation’s generous funding.