Mully Follows One Man's Determination to Save Kenya's Orphans

The 2015 documentary, Mully, tells the incredible story of an abandoned child turned millionaire who gives it all up to found the Mully Children’s Family, the largest children's rescue, rehabilitation, and development organization in Africa.

Oct 24, 2018

Charles Mutua Mully knew first-hand what it was like to grow up an orphan. Born in 1949 to a poor family in Kenya, his parents abandoned him by age six in search of a better life. Mully spent the next ten years stealing and begging on the streets before a family took him in as a teenager to work on its coffee bean plantation.

Like a true rags-to-riches story, Charles Mully would later parlay a job as a taxi driver in Nairobi into a thriving, million-dollar transportation company. He began with one taxi, which became a fleet before turning into a transport business, and finally, an insurance company. By the time Mully reached his forties, he had become a millionaire.

It seemed Mully had it all living with his wife and seven children together in Nairobi’s wealthiest enclave. That all shifted when, in 1986, a gang of young men confronted Mully while attempting to steal his Mercedes Benz. “That was my turning point,” he explains. “I saw myself in their faces. For the next three years, I saw the children everywhere.”

After grappling with the guilt of his economic status and guided by his Christian faith, he realized what he had to do: become a father to the fatherless.

Friends and family called him crazy when Mully announced he would dissolve his businesses and invite Kenya’s orphans to come to live with him on his home.

“People told my wife to take me to the hospital,” recalls Mully with a chuckle. “They thought I had lost my mind.”

Instead, his wife supported Mully in his new calling. Not long after, their estate became home to almost 100 orphans. Soon, they built additional dormitories to fit everyone.

Mully eventually purchased a 40-hectare property in the Ndalani area, 100 kilometers east of Nairobi. Since then it has become a thriving community where abandoned children have a place to call home.

Equipped with minor, secondary, and vocational schools, the charity also runs entrepreneurial programs to help build the futures for its children. The grounds are nearly 50% self-sustaining thanks to an agricultural program that employs 800 seasonal workers raising livestock and growing everything from tomatoes to EU-certified organic French beans.

Mully reflects “I know if I take one child facing certain death from the slums, and I give them food, shelter, love, and education and turn him out as a productive citizen at the age of 22, I don’t know what more I can do.’”

Until today, Mully Children’s Family has helped over 12,000 vulnerable children and orphans with everything from food, clothing, and shelter to education and medical care. Their programs continue to rescue and rehabilitate giving thousands of abandoned children the chance to thrive.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.