Our Projects | Kenya
Kenya was the first country African Children’s Fund worked in and our name there has now become synonymous with our “Porridge Clubs”. These run in eight schools in and around Thika and allow children to take up the free education offered and go to school.
When parents cannot afford to feed their children, they have to work, beg or scavenge for food when they should be at school. The provision of a nutritious porridge meal once a day eliminates this problem entirely…
What’s more, a hungry child struggles to learn or concentrate – so the introduction of “Porridge Clubs” into some of Thika’s most needy schools has produced remarkable results!
Our partner Watoto Kwanza (Children First) reports that:
- Absence rates are down by over 80%
- There are fewer cases of children falling ill due to better nutrition
- The children's participation in games and physical education activities has improved
- Enrolment within the schools has increased with higher completion and retention rates once enrolled
- Children are achieving better results in their exams
Through Watoto Kwanza, we provide the schools with a basic kitchen, water and cooking utensils. After that the schools receive a supply of a nutritiously fortified porridge each month so the children receive a school meal each day. Some of the schools have planted their own kitchen gardens and are supplementing the porridge with fresh vegetables and beans.
Watoto Kwanza and African Children’s Fund are currently supplying 1,550 mugs of porridge each school day. This equates to 7,750 mugs each week which results in an incredible 93,000 mugs of porridge every school term! Impressive numbers, we’re sure you’ll agree!
13-year-old Agnes is a pupil at Ng’ate Primary School and she tells us:
“On behalf of all the pupils of Ng'ate Primary School, I would like to appreciate your support for the porridge feeding programm. Our pupils are healthier than other children in the community. Our performance in exams and sports is among the top ten schools. We hope that you will continue like that. Now, there is no absenteeism. Our health has improved from the time this programme started until today.”
Watoto Kwanza also manages our Education All Month, Every Month programme whereby we tackle absenteeism among girls by providing them with sanitary towels and underwear. Further information about this programme can be found on our Campaigns page.
Mkombozi School in the Kiambiu Slums is also supported by African Children’s Fund.
The Kiambiu Slums are home to over 100,000 people and children are believed to make up half of the population.
- There are no city council schools in the slums.
- There are no hospitals or clinics in the slums.
- There is no electricity in the slums.
- There are no toilets and most water has to be brought in, in bottles.
- Most of those who live there are low income earners who are down trodden by poverty Many are either casual workers in the nearby industrial area or wash clothes at the nearby estates.
- Many are single-mothers who do odd jobs or become commercial sex workers - most are either infected or affected by HIV AIDS
As well as trying to educate the children, Mkombozi School also cares for their nutritional and health needs. Most of the children who join the school are severely malnourished. The school aims to provide porridge and a lunch but getting the resources to do this is a constant battle.
Over 150 children attend Mkombozi School and on top of that, the school runs an outreach programme for orphaned and vulnerable children within the community called “School on Wheels” – making sure that as many children as possible are given opportunities to learn. When telling us what the support we give the school means, they told us:
“It has awakened the hopes and dreams of the poor and vulnerable children in the slums of Kiambiu.”
Child Advocacy – Happy Kids International (HAKI)
African Children’s Fund Kenya has run Happy Kids International (or HAKI for short) - a legal aid programme - from its office in Thika since its launch in 2011.
Despite working to a very small budget, HAKI is the only legal aid provider in Kiambu County (in which Thika is located) and has worked hard to:
- Provide free legal advice to vulnerable children and their families
- Run community education projects to raise awareness and sensitivity towards children’s rights
- Advocate locally and nationally against child abuse and neglect
Water for the Maasai
When a group of Maasai visited the UK in the summer of 2010, their singing, dancing and storytelling thrilled everyone they met - young and old alike. From donations raised during their visit, they built a bore hole, pumps and pipes which provide much needed water to seven schools and their surrounding communities.
Sadly the drought affecting the lands of the Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania has not abated and we have been contacted by the Chief of the group that visited us to say they desperately need more pipes to repair and extend the current network. They are also transporting water to outlying regions so more people and animals can benefit.
In order to help we need to raise £10,000 so all help you are able to provide will be gratefully received. Donations can be made by visiting our special JustGiving page.
Moving forward, our Maasai friends are also planning to build a girls’ centre in their village to provide refuge for those at risk of child marriage or female genital mutilation. The refuge will also run an education programme within the village with the intention of further breaking down some of these traditions which have no place in the 21st century.