CFOMI Logo 1 – Japheth Obare

Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill (CFOMI)

Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill is a faith based organization by virtue of being a Catholic Apostolate. We work under the ecclesiastical authority of the Catholic Archbishop of Kisumu Archdiocese. We are a ministry of the Catholic Worker Movement and our Catholic Workers are known as “Rafiki”. We believe in a simple lifestyle and spiritual values based on the philosophies of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. This we do with the sole purpose being to serve the severely mentally ill. We are grounded in the bible, prayer and christian faith in our call. All the twelve values listed as our foundation values speak to our DNA. CFOMI is a community, founded on seeking spiritual enlightenment, committed to learning, and living the gospel of love through sharing of our lives and serving the severely mentally ill.

We started in February of 2016 as a group of 10 people living with severe mental illnesses in Siaya County in Kenya. The story however starts a bit earlier on. It starts with the story of the first chairperson of CFOMI Japheth Obare. He has experienced paranoid schizophrenia since 1995. In 2015, he had a psychotic episode that his family got involved in. He later developed severe depression as a result of medication put secretly in his food by his family. He started having suicidal thoughts and started planning for suicide. While in the process of doing so, he decided to seek help as well and realized that there was none around. He eventually got some help in terms of hope from the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society in Canada. That is how he realized the need currently in the Kenyan mental health space after living in the USA for five years.

He decided to do something about it. He organized a group of ten people and with the help of the then British Columbia Schizophrenia Society Executive Director Deborah Conner, we got registered by the Kenya government as a society in January of 2019. Our focus is on advocacy, health and meaningful relationships for the severely mentally ill. The organization is currently focusing its work in Siaya County in the south western part of Kenya.

We are a membership organization and the organization is actively seeking new members. One can join as a member irrespective of their country of citizenship or religion. There are three classes of membership in CFOMI namely full members with voting rights, associate members with no voting rights, and contributing members with no voting rights. We only have ten full members at a time to constitute the board. Legally we are Schizophrenia Society of Kenya but we are doing business as Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill aka CFOMI.

Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill CFOMI)
Yala-Anyiko Road
PO Box 976, Siaya 40600, Kenya


Website: Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill

We need volunteers. Consider contacting Catholic Friends Of Mentally Ill to volunteer your time or to participate in their community life.



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“We must make the kind of society where it is easier for people to be good.”

—Peter Maurin

“God meant for things to be much easier than we have made them.”

—Dorothy day