“Kindness is a language which the blind can see, and the deaf can hear.”- African Proverb

The Situation

Kisumu is the third-largest city in Kenya after the capital, Nairobi, and Mombasa, and the second-largest city in the Lake Victoria Basin with a population of slightly over 800,000. In Kisumu, 60% of the population lives in impoverished communities with three times the national average of 20.9% living in 'absolute poverty'.

What does this look like on the ground and what are the corresponding needs?

 ·        36% of respondents lack some form of occupation.

·        34% lack basic education.

·        77% live in single-roomed houses, many made of mud walls and floors without electricity.

·        49% lack sanitation facilities.

·        33% take over 3 min to access a water source.

·        12% take over half an hour to access a health facility.

·        Poor food security with most food products coming from other counties.

 The needs are many and complex. it is difficult to know where to commence addressing poverty, so this project has taken a wide-lens approach by working with children and families across the education, health and community development sectors.

The Objectives

Our objectives focus on 2 development areas:

1.      Education where we are committed to a nursery to high school pathway where young people are equipped for higher education (academic and vocational) and life. We have a strong emphasis on building a young person of strong culture, character and vision for their future. Vocational training needs to be seen separately from classroom education as it runs the risk of becoming a ‘second tier’ pursuit. In a country with a rapidly rising rate of higher education AND unemployment, it is becoming ever clearer that we need to place greater emphasis on training for trades and entrepreneurship.

2.      Community Development activities unify parents and children, the well and the sick, and the ostracised and mainstream population. Clinic health is critical in supporting a local community that is outside the easy catchment of Kisumu town. We provide inpatient and outpatient care, as well as maternity services run by 4 nurses and 5 support staff. And we have a 24/7 HIV AIDS clinic that supports about 750 patients with the distribution of medicines, consultations and follow-up. HIV Aids remains a concern in the community impacting about 10% of the population. Finally, we serve the prison population with leadership and moral character material that aims to build the confidence and respect of prisoners for themselves and others.

The Activities

We believe it is necessary to work across development sectors rather than adopting a ‘silo’ approach if we are to address the complexity of needs and issues that push people towards poverty and hopelessness.

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