Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
On Friday morning, 2/26/2011, the El Sol de Tijuana daily paper reported that an American, Kevin Arnold Neffe Jenssen, a 45-year-old director of the Lily of the Valley Orphanage (la Casa Hogar Lirio de los Valles) was arrested for alleged child abuse. The subject was said to have hit, pulled on him, and cut the hair of a child under 12 years. The paper went on to mention the affected child claimed more children at the orphanage are also hit with hands and a wooden stick.
At 8 p.m. on Thursday, the minor managed to flee and reported the incident to a group at Playa de Tijuana, crying and shaking, telling them about the alledged physical and psychological abuse he received at about 7:30 p.m. Tijuana Municipal police arrived on the scene where they interviewed Sandra Dunia Cuevas Bravo, 42, who was also identified as a director of the home. She stated the complaintant has been boarding there since he was age two as the whereabouts of his biological parents are unknown.
A Facebook page indicates Lily of the Valley Home is one of two evangelistic non-profit orphanages in Baja operated by administrative offices in National City. The Tijuana facility houses over 100 children providing them with food and shelter, in addition to education, clothing, basic medical care and love.
Neither Jennsen nor Bravo are listed as administrators or officers on the Facebook site. A U.S. phone number listed for the organization was changed from that one listed. The new number was answered by voice mail indicating the number was for New Covenant Tabernacle of Chula Vista. Sarah and Kevin Neff can be seen on a short video speaking about the home’s success at the orphanage, posted on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Iz-g...
An e-mail inquiry to an orphanage administrator elicited the following response: I am not sure who Mr. Jennsen is? We have no one on staff with that name. Sara Neff Bravo is married to Kevin Neff and they are the directors of the Tijuana Lily of the Valley Orphanage. Neither of them are being held by the Mexican authorities. Thank you for your concern. In His Service.
Late Friday, another Tijuana daily paper, Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias, reported Ms.Bravo describing Kevin Arnold Neff Jensen’s arrest as “arbitrary treatment by the authorities”. Her spouse, she said, “only applied a correction” because the young man had “nits” in his hair. She also added the DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) keeps them under constant supervision. The State System for the Full Development of the Family is the government institution for family matters and acts as legal representative for abandoned children.
Sources: El Sol de Tijuana, Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias, Facebook, You Tube