In 1992, Cheri Thompson and friends witnessed 10 boys – one only 3 years old – getting beaten because they were begging for food.
Cheri is the Founder and International Director of Challenge Farm. She has more than 35 years of missionary and teaching experience in 3 countries.
Cheri is known in Kitale as "Mama Cheri" for her deep love for Africa and the African people.
As a result, they began a weekly feeding and education program for those 10 boys. The program quickly grew into a full-time program serving over 200 children, known as the Light and Power Center. Located in Kawangware, one of the worst slums in Nairobi, the center provided children with food, literacy training, and basic work skills as an alternative to street life. Gift bag making and welding became a source of income for many of the older boys.
After training Kenyans to run the project, Cheri and her family moved to Kitale, Kenya in 1999. Light and Power Center was established in Kitale as a drop-in center where more than 50 street kids came for hot meals, medical care, and training in literacy and life skills.
In 2000, the Thompsons bought a 10-acre farm 7km northeast of town. The mission was to provide a more stable, safe environment for children living on the streets. Before the farm could be developed into what we now know as Challenge Farm, Cheri’s husband, Rick was diagnosed with cancer and died 10 months later. However, with the help of short-term missionaries, missions teams from various churches, and many supporters, Challenge Farm continues to grow.