An American philanthropist is appealing to the government to help her recover millions of shillings she donated to an orphanage in Kenya.
Avis Goodheart claims her Kenyan partner Pastor Esther Wambui, who runs the children’s home, gave false information about the number of orphans she has been supporting.
The donor says Wambui lied to her that she takes care of 148 children at the orphanage, only to learn that she supports 18 orphans.
Speaking to Citizen TV on Wednesday, Goodheart noted that she has sent more than Sh20 million to support the orphans over the last four years, but Wambui disputes the figure, saying the American contributed Sh7 million.
Goodheart came to Kenya in 2017 to visit children's homes when she met Pastor Wambui and they entered into a partnership to support orphans at Noah’s Boat Goodheart Children’s Home in Migori.
The foreigner says she sent Wambui $1,000 every month in 2017 but they decided to buy a parcel of land for the orphanage in Isebania, Migori County the following year.
Goodheart helped to raise funds to build the orphanage until 2020 when she returned to the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I sent her lots of money and one of my sponsors gave $18,000 to buy a car, and the same week we sent $2,500 to buy a piece of property,” said Goodheart.
Goodheart now wants Wambui to return everything she has acquired with the money including parcels of land, car, cows, and chickens.
On her part, Wambui denies allegations of misusing the funds, saying everything she has done is above board.
“Goodheart was sending Sh100,000 per month, with Sh60,000 going towards food for the children and the rest to their education,” said Wambui.
“I have all the documents for the pieces of land I have purchased. I bought five acres and I have built on three acres.”
She claims that there is a group that is determined to take over the children's home, which she founded in 2007 to ensure orphans get educated and have a good life.
Goodheart has instructed her lawyers to file a case in court seeking reimbursement for all the money she has spent on the orphanage.