In June, we filled out our application forms to register as an NGO. We wrote a constitution, recorded minutes of our meeting in which we decided to register as an NGO, and gave all of this to people we knew in Malindi who file paperwork for NGOs, but didn't officially turn it in because it had to be deemed acceptable first.

First of all, our minutes were rejected. Essentially, we were told that they weren't wordy enough. It was only one typed page, for goodness sake. We needed to shoot for something closer to five pages and more repetitive. So we did that, shaking our heads.

Secondly, our constitution was rejected. We took our articles of incorporation from the US and adjusted them to fit this side of the organization. Again, it wasn't long enough. While rejecting the constitution, the office told us that they could write our constitution for us, for a fee. Rodgers asked if what we turned in would ever be good enough or if they would keep rejecting it until we paid them to write it for us. Their lack of response told us this was true. Two months later, they delivered to us our constitution, which was word for word, typo for typo, the "sample" constitution from their website. While we were in the process of correcting it to send back to them for filing (because I'm not all about filing official paperwork with typos in every sentence), we met with a friend of a friend.

He is Kenyan, runs a children's home in the Rift Valley Province, and has a lot of experience with registration of children's homes. He advised against becoming an NGO. We told him that we'd been told that, because of scam children's homes, child trafficking and exploitation, we wouldn't be able to register a children's home unless it was under an NGO. He told us that we could register under a church, as long as the church had verbiage in their constitution about taking care of destitute children. Or we could register a ministry, which is a different process and office than NGO registration, and register the children's home under the ministry. We didn't know this was possible. The way he explained it, it does sound like a better route to take.

We're going to visit him next month so that he can help us with the registration. We'll get to see first hand how his children's home operates day to day. And, since we'll be very close to Mt Kenya and Lake Nakuru, we will probably also take a day or two for sightseeing. Even Rodgers hasn't been to this part of the country before!