Blog Archive

Kathmandu – 10 Years

Ten years ago we celebrated the initiation of our “Milk & Rice” and “Fruit on Fridays” programs at the Orchid Garden Nepal (OGN) Daycare Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. At that time, we were thrilled to have sixty children in the programs.

Meet Tarpon

Tarpon came to Orchid Garden Nepal at the age of 10. By then, he had already experienced a challenging life. He was born in Pachnthar, in the eastern part of Nepal. The youngest of two children, his father died before he had a chance to know him. His mother, Tara, unable to provide for her children, left them with her parents and traveled to Kathmandu to make a life. There, she remarried and had a son. Throughout Tarpon’s childhood, his mother would return to Pachnthar once a year to visit him and his older brother.

Protests & Civil Unrest

During April 2018, Nicaraguans began to protest the Government’s severe cutback in social security wages. Initially, it started with the elderly, but then active working families and students joined the protests.

Meet Team OGN

This is the group of women volunteers who help support and care for the children of Orchid Garden Nepal (OGN), the Daycare Center and School in Kathmandu. Furthest to the left, center above, is Bina Basnet, the Founder and Director of OGN.

Chonco School Expansion

This year we traveled to Nicaragua during the Spring with two very special people. One was our niece, Claudia Van Slyke (upper left) and the other, a long time friend and supporter of Keenan’s Kids, Bernadette DeRodes (upper left).

The Perseverance of Nepal

Nepal suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25, 2015, and then suffered another one of 7.3 magnitude on May 12, 2015. As a result, approximately 600,000 families have been displaced from their collapsed homes. Orchid Garden Nepal(OGN), the children’s daycare center located in Kathmandu and supported by Keenan’s Kids, lies almost equally between the two earthquake epicenters.

Major Life Changes in Nicaragua

Keenan’s Kids built and supports the Comedor (feeding center) in the rural village of Chonco, Nicaragua. The Comedor has now been in operation for almost five years, and provides breakfast and lunch to approximately 240 children throughout the school year. The food and nutrition is provided as an incentive to the families in Chonco to allow their children to attend school, rather than remain at home to assist with domestic chores and economic support.

Inspiration in Uganda

In 2013, the community of Kagoma Gate was named the poorest village in Uganda, Africa – that is saying a lot. In 2014, Keenan’s Kids partnered with the Giving Circle to design a program to help improve attendance at school. Similar to its other programs throughout the world, Keenan’s Kids committed to providing breakfast and lunch to each child in the Village, provided that parents of the children would allow them to attend school.

Havana, Cuba

Keenan’s paternal grandmother, Dulce Maria Cancela Rodriguez de Fernandez, was born and raised in Havana Cuba. We felt that Keenan would have wanted Keenan’s Kids to give back in Cuba for all that her grandmother did for her. So, during February 2016, Frank and Maureen accompanied a wonderful woman, Consuelo Issacson, to Havana Cuba. Consuelo is affiliated with the philanthropic organization, Caritas, and is responsible for raising half of their annual budget in the US. Caritas’ operations in Cuba are extensive, including support for indigent children, down syndrome children, and providing a variety of services for the sick and elderly.

Aftermath of Nepal Earthquakes

Nepal suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25, 2015, and then suffered another one of 7.3 magnitude on May 12, 2015. As a result, approximately 600,000 families have been displaced from their collapsed homes. Orchid Garden Nepal(OGN), the children’s daycare center located in Kathmandu and supported by Keenan’s Kids, lies almost equally between the two earthquake epicenters.

Meet Moses Wambi – Uganda

In every project, undertaking or effort, there is always one person who rises to the top to provide inspiration, strength and leadership. At the village of Kagoma Gate that person is Moses Wambi. Moses, together with his wife, Cecelia (both pictured above) have been the driving force behind the Keenan’s Kids feeding and nutrition program, in partnership with the Saratoga Spring’s Giving Circle.

A.J. Delago Tackles Nepal’s Earthquake

A.J. Delago was Keenan’s childhood friend that lived next door. They ran races together, they played soccer together and they built snowmen together – they were the very best of childhood friends. A.J. is now in Medical School at St. George’s University. When he learned  of the devastating 7.8 M earthquake in Nepal on April 25th, he knew he had to do something.

Families of Nicaragua

Keenan’s Kids built and supports the Comedor (feeding center) in the rural village of Chonco, Nicaragua.

Uganda Food Program Begins

In 2011 the The Giving Circle, a charitable organization based in Saratoga Springs, NY, started a program to help the village of Kagoma Gate, the poorest village in Uganda.

Tihar in Kathmandu

During late October 2014, Keenan’s Kids helped the children of Orchid Garden Nepal (OGN) celebrate the festival of Tihar, through its ongoing commitment to provide food and nutrition to this daycare/school facility.

Meet Aidad Maradiaga

Aidad lives in the village of Chonco, Nicaragua and is one  of nine children. She describes her family as loving and beautiful, and adores her father and mother.

A Family Story from Kathmandu

Sangita and Simron Bhujel were born in an extremely poor household. They lived in a house made of plastic tarps near Chabahil, a district of Kathmandu.

Keenan’s Kids goes to Africa

Part of the original mission of Keenan’s Kids was to help Keenan finish the journey she had started in Nepal and was to culminate in Africa. In the Spring of this year, Keenan’s mother, Maureen, made it happen.

Stephen in Nicaragua

Stephen Fernandez, Keenan’s cousin, will be graduating from Cortland State University in May 2014.

Dashain in Kathmandu

During late September and early October, Keenan’s Kids helped the children of Orchid Garden Nepal celebrate Dashain, through its ongoing commitment to provide food and nutrition to this day care facility.

Comedor Turns 1 Year Old

During February, brothers Fernandez traveled to Nicaragua to work at the Comedor (Children’s Feeding Center) and to measure the progress of Keenan’s Kids.

A Traveler from Far Away

She is a traveler from far away. Her name is Karen Flewelling and she is a member of the Women’s Global Giving Group that is the Sponsor for Keenan’s Kids’ Fruit on Fridays program.

Summer in Kathmandu

It is summer in Kathmandu, Nepal. Temperatures range up to 90 degrees, yet it feels hotter because the monsoon season is now here.

Holy Spirit goes to Nicaragua

During their Spring Break, Holy Spirit Prep, led by Father Jason and Maureen Fernandez, went to Nicaragua to support the combined Mission of Amigos for Christ and Keenan’s Kids.

The Comedor Opens!!! Chonco, Nicaragua

It has taken an entire year, but with the extraordinary partnership with the missionaries at Amigos for Christ and the people of the village of Chonco, Keenan’s Kids has completed and opened the Comedor (Children’s Feeding Center, shown above) in Chonco, Nicaragua.

Winter – Kathmandu, Nepal

The weather report gives us the high and low temperatures , but one has to live in Kathmandu to know how cold and stark it is during the winter season.

Faces of Chonco, Nicaragua

They are beautiful. They are God’s children. They are our brothers and    sisters. They are our children of the world. They are Keenan’s Kids.

Mission Trip to Nicaragua

During June and July 2010, Keenan’s mom, Maureen, and Keenan’s cousin, Andrea Corpora, made a Mission Trip to Nicaragua on behalf of Keenan’s Kids.

Food for School Program – Nicaragua

During June 2011, Maureen and Charlotte Gorman, one of Keenan’s wonderful childhood friends, made a mission trip together to the village of Chonco, Nicaragua.

CU Buffs Support Nepal Food Programs

During their Senior Spring semester, friends of Keenan at the University of Colorado sponsored a Fund Raiser to help support the mission of Keenan’s Kids in providing food and nutrition to indigent children throughout the world.

Chonco, Nicaragua

During January 2011, Keenan’s Kids continued partnering with Amigos for Christ, by meeting with the people of Chonco, and supporting their dream of a better life for their children. 

Fruit on Fridays – Happy Days

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Mission Trip to Orchid Garden Nepal

During June 2010, Keenan’s friend, Robert Wilson and one of his friends, Brad Smith, both traveled to Nepal and visited the Daycare Center, Orchid Nepal.

The Children of the World Thank You

During this joyous season we want to thank you once again for your generous contribution to Keenan’s Kids. We have closed the Trust, as everyone’s generosity has enabled us to fund two very worthwhile organizations for years to come.

Keenan’s Kids Continues Milk & Rice

With the help of all of you that have contributed to Keenan’s Kids, we have maintained the “Milk & Rice” and “Fruit on Friday” programs we started at Orchid Nepal.

Fruit on Fridays

Because of the overwhelming generosity of all of you who have supported Keenan’s spirit, Keenan’s Kids has been able to provide a fruit supplement to the children at  Orchid Nepal, once a week.

Milk & Rice Program

Orchid Nepal is a non-profit Day Care Center located in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is run by a wonderful woman named Bina Basnet, who is also the founder of the organization.

Orchid Garden Nepal

This is Orchid Garden Nepal. It is a Daycare Center in Kathmandu, the community in which Keenan lived with a Tibetan family, and where she created inspiration for the children of the lowest caste, and to all those around her.