From Colorado to Kenya: The help of one woman

ALAMOSA —Carol Riggenbach first went to Kenya two years ago to find an organization who specialized with elderly care that covers palliative and hospice care.

She spent her time in Kenya helping with an organization that conducted surgery missions. Since that time she created Rain Homecare International.

“You go in these big groups, but I went by myself and early to interview five different physicians to see who best fit my need,” Riggenbach said.

Rain Homecare International is a non-profit organization set up to help people of all ages with various health issues when it comes to covering the medical expenses one might need to help reconstruct a house. Riggenbach gave a presentation on the organization during Monday’s Rotary meeting in Alamosa.

Riggenbach runs the organization from Alamosa but operates with a volunteer with the organization in Africa, Albert, and a worker for Kenya Relief, who helps with the cases ranging from newborns to the elderly. Each case comes to them through Albert’s work, or they find a case.

“I trust Albert because he is real and wants to help,” Riggenbach said. “People feel a strong connection to trust him.”

Riggenbach is planning on going back to Africa in November of this year. On this next trip, she knows she will have to set up an administrative office for the Kenyan government to know it is a real foundation. For right now it is just direct from volunteer to the recipient, and she said she hopes to keep it that way in the future.

“It is Kenyans helping Kenyans,” said Riggenbach.

One of the cases this foundation is helping is a 22- year-old female with paralysis who had to scoot on her bottom to move. With the help of Rain Homecare International, she was able to get a wheelchair to move around more freely, along with new clothes, and a bed, as she had never had a bed before. The organization also pays $5 for medical treatments needed and transportation to and from the hospital.

Donations may be made to the organization itself or for a specific case to help with whatever that person may need.

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Kristin Hicks is an intern with the Valley Courier this summer.

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