Lalmba's History

The Original Mom & Pop Relief Organization

Lalmba Association was started by "mom and pop" Hugh and Marty Downey from Kansas City, Missouri.  Hugh founded Lalmba in 1963, after seeing (and immediately meeting) the needs of two orphan boys he ran across while serving in the US Army in what was then Keren, Ethiopia.  He went home, married Marty, and together they have served the people of east Africa ever since, meeting the needs where they seem the greatest.  Little did they know that over the years, Lalmba would treat well over two million patients in our hospitals and medical clinics (that's a lot of sick people), and care for thousands of orphan children.  

We at Lalmba love what we do.  As Hugh and Marty grew older, they included many others in the work they have been blessed with.  Various volunteers in the US assist Jeff and Hillary with accomplishing the details of this work.  At this writing, several expatriate volunteers are serving in Kenya and Ethiopia for one to two years. Like us, their reward is in the work they do, and the lives they touch.

Even though Lalmba has grown over the past 50 years, we still insist on "feeling small."  It's important to us that our management, our volunteers, our African staff and our donors all feel like family.  We work from home offices in each of our houses instead of a fancy (expensive) building.  If you call the Lalmba phone number, you'll reach Hillary or Jeff, depending on who's in the US right then.

We are all grateful for the immense privilege of doing this work.

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