In August 2010, we identified some of the challenges facing people in Kangema and the surrounding area of the Central Highlands of Kenya. One of our co-founders, Martha Njoroge, and a couple of other ladies were already helping some of the orphaned children in the local area with school fees, foodstuffs and clothing and an agreement was made to build on this and turn it into something bigger and more sustainable in the long-term. We registered the organisation in Kenya during October 2010 and since then have been working towards our goal of setting up a place where orphaned children can come for advice, for training, and to connect with others facing similar issues as them. Once we have raised enough money, we will purchase some land and start building a custom built centre that will provide a base for workshops, learning resources, emergency shelter and will be available to hire for community events.
Although we aim to organise income generating activities in the future so we become less reliant on donor funding, at the moment we are 100% reliant on the kindness of others. There are currently six permanent volunteer staff members, with all donations put directly into the running of our projects. Our focus now is really on buying the land and building this centre so we can move forward with our plans of supporting these children on a sustainable basis in the long term.
Not only will the centre benefit orphaned children in the local area, but we aim to run workshops that will benefit the community as a whole (e.g. raising awareness of HIV/AIDS and reducing stigmatisation).
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are specific rights that a child should be entitled to wherever they live and whatever their circumstance. The guiding principles include non-discrimination; the right to life, survival and development; and the right to participate. Children should have access to adequate food, shelter, clean water, formal education, primary health care, leisure and recreation. They should be protected from all forms of child abuse, neglect, exploitation and cruelty. They should be entitled to the freedom to express opinions and be heard, the right to information and freedom of association.
Our objective is to create an enabling environment for these rights to be met and to help children mature and prepare them for an active role in society. We want to help orphaned children to realise their potential by teaching them important life skills and building their confidence, whilst supporting their basic needs of nutritious food, education and shelter.