Founded in memory and continuity of service offered by Ethel Jimmiel born on the 16th March 1945 in Fort Victoria (Masvingo), in Zimbabwe, Ethel Foundation for the Aged is a charitable non- governmental organization that seeks to guarantee that older persons in Kenya and beyond live a life of dignity in latter life.
The Not-for-Profit organization was formed by the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church congregation in Kenya, through the facilitation of Rev.Fr. Cornel Omondi Oredo to address the plight of the vulnerable older persons. Inspired by the service and ethics of Ethel Jimmiel towards older persons; Fr. Cornel Omondi engaged the community, initially in Tharaka-Nithi County in Kenya to seek the justification of Ethel Foundation for the aged in Kenya and beyond.
Since its establishment in 2018, Ethel Foundation for the aged has been providing humanitarian assistance and caregivers for those older persons who for a range of reasons have no safety-nets and are unable to meet thier self-care needs. The organization has also been undertaking advocacy on behalf of the older persons, to keep these vulnerable groups in the hearts and minds of the government and of the community. Ethel Foundation for the Aged was officially lounged in July 2021 by His Excellency Archbishop Hubertus Matheus Maria Van Megen, the Apostolic Nuncio of Kenya and South Sudan accompanied by Fr Paul Pazhangattu, C.Ss.R, the Mission Superior of Kenya Mission, and other Redemptorist confreres and the community representatives.
Ethel Foundation for the aged has its philosophy embodied within the Catholic Church Social Teaching on liberation theology which has positioned and embedded the Church in communities giving it an opportunity to observe and understand the challenges experienced by its congregants. In Tharaka-Nithi County of Kenya, where Fr. Cornel first engaged with the community on the need for Ethel Foundation for the aged; it was observed that many of the elderly congregants were living in dreadful conditions with poor housing, inadequate food, and highly in need of care and moral support. Many were almost destitute and depended on charity for survival. Ethel Foundation for the aged is built on the Redemptorist Congregation Charism which is grounded in the preferential option for the aged and the poor. The foundation is committed to respecting and protecting human dignity and the sanctity of human life.
Across Africa, it was also realized that traditional socio-economic safety nets for older persons were no longer effective. In line with African culture, older persons are expected to be looked after by their children and grandchildren. However, this is not the case today given the global lifestyle influence among the recent generations. Further, although the Government of Kenya (GoK) boosts the welfare of older persons by giving cash transfers to eligible Kenyans who are 70 years and above; many older persons in Kenya fall through the cracks as the need is greater than the resources available while others are forgotten and remain vulnerable.