The El Buen Pastor Fund was established in 2002 by Donna Zimmerman. Donna was a staunch supporter of children at an orphanage in Morelia, Mexico and saw a need to help in assisting the children of this orphanage to attain a better life. Unfortunately, Donna passed away in 2007. To carry on Donna’s desire and dreams, Pam Smith, who had been helping these kids since 1992 and Hazel (Sibillia) Rutherford who made numerous on site visits were determined to carry on.
In 2013, policies and personnel changed at this orphanage and the older kids were asked to leave. Sandra Martinez Mendoza, a teacher that was hired by the El Buen Pastor Fund, hurriedly, with the aid of a number of local supporters and friends in the United States, was able to give the displaced children a new home and Hogar Irekani was established. The name Irekani means “to live” in the language of Purhepecha which is a local indigenous Indian group.
The Board of the El Buen Pastor Fund made the decision to give their support to this newly established orphanage as the children housed there were the children that had been supported all along at the previous casa. Also, they were confident in the people involved in forming the new Board and Sandra who became the Director as well as continuing to be the liaison between the children and their schooling.
If it were not for all the people who came to the aid, morally and financially, of this new endeavor, these children would have had to face a very uncertain future. It is only with continued support and prayers that this work will be able to continue.