HEROES OF THE NATION HISTORY
Twenty-three years ago, the late Bishop Weston and his wife, Violet, took in eight children from their church who had been orphaned by AIDS. They provided for them, started a small school, and soon welcomed seven others in dire need of shelter and education.
Both Weston and Violet were professional educators working in government schools.
Weston resigned from the teaching career and joined pastoral/clergy calling. Violet soon became a school administrator and school principal in a huge government school. However, she also had a specific calling from the Lord to be a mother to the destitute children.
On the other side of the world, the director of a large Christian relief organisation, Andrew Sievright, with 120 staff in Texas, USA, began realising that God was calling him to create a new model of orphanage with an innovative environment that included a school of excellence, the promotion of holistic well-being in every area of the child’s life, sustainability, and community transformation. It was a new ‘vision’ he had not seen in other orphanages. He was directed to start this new kind of orphanage work in Kenya, and the name he suggested, Heroes of the Nation, was fully embraced by Weston and Violet.
When they met Andrew Sievright in 2002, it was clear that they all had a heart for orphans but needed additional resources to care for the hundreds of children at risk in Nyahururu, Kenya. Together with Andrew and his ‘vision’, Heroes of the Nation was born.
Weston also provided the vision of a true leader for Heroes of the Nation and was called ‘Dad Weston’ by the children. His large heart, deep laugh, and kind smiles were a safe place for hundreds of kids who needed a father figure. Over 1,300 children are either in, or have graduated from, this transformational organisation.
Weston simultaneously co-founded Destiny Bible Colleges with Harold Eberle. Twelve colleges throughout Eastern Africa have developed and graduated thousands of pastors and leaders. Weston was a mentor and guide, becoming, in essence, a spiritual Father of Africa.
Andrew Sievright, who came to Kenya with a passion to do orphanage work, was the driving force behind establishing the goals and the campus at Heroes of the Nation. To fund the orphanages’ initial needs, he sold his house in California and gave much of the proceeds to Heroes of the Nation. In his 20 years of serving as president, he never took a salary but gave significant amounts of money and hundreds of hours every year.
An entrepreneur and visionary by nature, Andrew was mentored by his father in business and music, and by age 18, he had started several businesses. One of these grew into a thriving communications company. Next, Andrew turned his attention to international development and aid. He joined Youth with a Mission (YWAM), one of the world’s largest relief and mercy organisations, where he worked for 5 years. In the role of base director of one of the largest YWAM bases in North America, his years of business experience enriched the base’s training centre and ten schools. These schools, which taught skills such as desktop publishing and printing for third-world countries, writing, journalism, and music, became the training ground for students who would later be dispatched to 250 locations across the world.
In 2022, Andrew stepped aside from being president of HTN for 20 years to make way for ‘Next Generation’ leadership. But still resides on the HTN Advisory Board.
Weston served his country by running for political positions in both the Kenyan senate and parliament, as he wanted to see godly men and women serve inside the government and create real change that would bless the Kenyan people.
His heart for the marginalised led him to seek out a Massai tribe that needed care for their abandoned children. As the tribe saw Weston and HTN practically care for the least among them, they saw the love of Jesus. The whole tribe came to know Jesus as a result of the practical demonstration of love.
Weston passed on to Heaven in November of 2018.
For over 20 years, Violet did an amazing job of overseeing the schools and many other areas of HTN. The children call her “mum Viola.” She is greatly honoured and loved not only by the children and staff of HTN but in the whole surrounding community. She was made a bishop by many pastors and leaders, and she is requested by the same to come and speak her words of wisdom in their churches.
Since 2002, the Heroes of the Nation campus has grown to be one of the largest orphanages and schools in Kenya, educating and caring for over 500 children. Government officials have applauded the successful model of HTN, recognising its impact on orphans and in the local community.
Over the years, Heroes has made more partnerships and has had donors from the US, Norway, Canada, and Australia.
In 2022, Titus Hug, a long-term supporter of HTN since 2002, became the President of Heroes of the Nation, while James Mathenge became the CEO.