managed by J. Wanjala (Communication)
The number of orphans from H.I.V/AIDS pandemic in Kenya is increasing at an alarming rate. Globally it is estimated that more than 15 million children under the age of 18 have lost either one or both parents to AIDS. Pamela as young as 12 years old had to assume the responsibility of fending for her peers by the demise of both parents.
The number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to reach 18 million in 2010, culminating to 12.5% of all the children in the region.
In Kenya, an estimated 1.4 million people live with HIV/AIDS, while 1.8 million children have been orphaned by disease. Our organization, for example, has stopped providing home based care and food to 140 people living with HIV/AIDS who are bed-ridden.” At the same time, we are no longer providing formula milk to 330 HIV-positive mothers to stop them from breastfeeding their children. ‘Following this, the mothers have reverted to breastfeeding thereby exposing their children to HIV” the national adult HIV/AIDS prevalence is 7-8% leading to approximately 300,000 new HIV infections, 200,000 new AIDS cases and at least 180,000 deaths each year.
Alice Chebet lost her father 2 years ago only to lose her mother last year through H.I.V/AIDS pandemic.
In 2003, an estimated 500 people died of AIDS everyday in Kenya, where over half of the 32 million people live with less than one dollar a day.
Statistics show that one of every eight adult rural Kenyans and one of every five adult urban Kenyan is infected, bringing the number of people living with HIV/AIDS to over 3 million. Half of the infected are in the productive age group, below 30 years, leaving more than one million children in Kenya orphans.
Most orphaned children have no one to turn to and are left to fend for themselves. With the loss of parents, children suffer from economic hardships, lack of love, attention and affection, withdrawal from schools, psychological distress, loss of inheritance, increased abuse and risk of HIV infection, malnutrition, illness, stigma, discrimination and isolation among others.
Social and spiritual guidance is a key component to child development and crucial in developing stable and focused societies. A stable nation invests and imparts social and spiritual values to its younger generation.
The emergence of children and foster homes have rescued many destitute children and offered new hope and a new beginning.
These homes however, require consistent and stable economic support from those who are fortunate and God has endowed with opportunities.
The children require a conducive environment that is homely and with good facilities and amenities. Sima Community Based Organization offers hope to orphaned Children who had no one to turn to.
Expanding accommodation at the CBO will make the differences at this critical time. It will save a child from the streets, early marriages, child labour, prostitution, and drug abuse, getting into crime and HIV while giving them a chance for healthy and productive future. Keeping orphans and vulnerable children at the CBO and giving them, a chance to go to school is crucial for their future. Schools will provide education that can work as a safety net in the child’s life and help to break the cycle of poverty in their families.
Due to the high poverty level in the villages of Waitaluk, the community care system of HIV/AIDS orphans is overwhelmed and breaking down. More children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS in the focus area. The deep-rooted kinship systems that existed in
Kenya extended- family networks of aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, are age- old social safety nets. In cases where kindred are present providing, they are in many cases already impoverished, often elderly and have often himself or herself depended financially and physically on the support of the very son or daughter who has died.
CBO is the sole hope for orphaned children, hence, Sima CBO Orphanage has to accommodate more children and as such, resources are overstretched. The vulnerability of children orphaned by AIDS and that of their family starts long before the death of a parent. The emotional suffering of the children usually begins with their parents’ distress and progressive illness. This is compounded as the disease cause drastic changes in family structure resulting in a heavy economic toll, requiring children to become caretakers and breadwinners, and fuelling conflict as a result of stigma, blame and rejection. Eventually, the children suffer the death of their parent(s) and the emotional trauma that results. They have to adjust to a new situation, with little or no support, or they may suffer exploitation and abuse. The children home offers security to the child and protection from abuse by relatives and society. The home is complete with guardians and foster parents to create a more homely environment.
Why the Project Links Education, Nutrition and Accommodation?
A hungry child has no ability to think or do any physical work, and success is linked to capacity to do physical work and ability to think. A well-fed child gets enough sleep and provides energy to work and think. Food for education is a powerful vehicle as it makes children bright and alert. Therefore, food, accommodation and education are major basic needs required by all mankind.
Our Vision is to socially and economically empower HIV/AIDS orphans by providing an
environment that guarantees development of the children to their fullest potential.
To show mercy, restore hope and give vulnerable children a second chance in life.
GOALS OF THE PROJECT
To improve the health conditions of orphans and vulnerable children by providing them
with, shelter, clothing, food and improve the educational achievements and health status.
1. To improve orphans, vulnerable children, and their caretakers with nutritious foods in order to eradicate malnutrition.
2. To improve shelter for the orphans.
3. To increase knowledge of hygiene and sanitation within the orphans home by improving facilities and promote greater community co-operation.
4. To improve the health of children by providing adequate medicines and have them immunized.
5. To expand food production by extensive farming techniques to feed the children and generate more income.
To promote orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and caretakers with nutritious foods in order to eradicate malnutrition.
• Purchase of foodstuffs that comprise of balanced diet and prepare them for the children.
• Feed the children at the center on daily basis.
• Attend to orphans medical needs.
The above objective of provision of food will be met locally.
To increase school attendance, especially of girls, reduce dropout rates; improve attention spans in the classroom.
• Community sensitization (at the center) on the importance of education for orphans and vulnerable children.
• Provide secondary-going orphans with school fees, uniforms, and transport to and from school.
• To increase knowledge of hygiene and sanitation, and promote greater community co-operation.
To increase the capacity of the home to be able to accommodate more orphans.
• Construction of larger shelter.
• Purchase of additional beddings.
ABOUT SIMA COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATION
Sima Community Based Organization is a registered Community Based Organization with a mission to mitigate in the suffering of orphaned children, care and protect them. It was started in the year 2004 with main aim of working with and for children and the marginalized communities in Kenya. The project is located at Waitaluk location in Trans- Nzoia District in the Rift Valley Province. Sima Community Based Organization works closely with the underprivileged and the socially disadvantaged people in rural communities to IMPACT social and self-esteem to improve their social and economic status.
It is in the basis of these impacts that the Sima Community Based Organization was formed. The origin of the organization is Waitaluk. It was initially formed by a group of concerned residents who were affected with H.I.V/AIDS.
The increasing number of orphans led to the building of the first temporary structure in Sirende that accommodated the first orphans. With increasing number of orphans, foster homes were sighted where it was privileged to get well wishers to accommodate the children on short term as more accommodation in the orphanage is being worked on.
The project will involve working with and through the beneficiaries who include the community, children, teachers and their guardians.
There shall be sensitization of the community on the importance of education to orphans and vulnerable children to reduce the number of orphans running to the center seeking help. The project will also support the children psychologically. Purchase for foodstuffs will be made to provide daily meals to the children at the center.
For sustainability of this project after the donor withdrawal, the program has been designed in such a way that the home will generate some income from the farming, cattle rearing for the production of milk and meat and through foreign and local fundraising.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Sima Community Based Organization runs a feeding centre in Waitaluk in Trans Nzoia. The center has 100 children directly benefiting from this program.
We have 48 boys and 52 girls between 6 – 16 years of 100 have found a safe haven in the orphanage while the rest have been placed on foster home program. Since its inauguration two years ago, the founders have been using their own and meager resources from development partners to run the center and cater for the children needs. The children aged between 5 years to 16 solely depend entirely on what we provide in our center for their livelihood.
The increase in HIV/AIDS orphans has lead to increase in demand from the community to take more children. However, there are limited resources and facilities to sustain the existing children and hence cannot accommodate more. Despite the constraints, the home has changed the life of many children and tremendous improvement on many aspects of child development (physical, emotional and spiritual) has been achieved at the center.
This has brought the realization that nutrition plays a crucial defensive role in keeping infections at bay and promoting retention of children in schools. When food is scarce, guardians often use all means at their disposal to secure food for the children.
Sometimes, children are sent to work rather than school, hence interfering with the normal development. When parents or guardian fails sick their ability to work and earn an income is reduced. As family income declines, more money is needed to pay medical bills and less is available for the food. Children drop out of school to help care for the sick adult and help earn money by any means available. The girls are sometimes forced into risky activities such as trading sex for food and early marriages.
The CBO offers the best opportunity for orphaned children and guarantees food, medicine, and education. However, the Sima Community Based Organization being a non-profit organization depends on donations in kind and initiatives that can generate income to facilitate activities and improve and expand the facilities.
The number of orphans at Sima CBO orphanage continues to increase every day due to its proximity at Waitaluk location.
The first beneficiaries of the CBO are now a healed lot and some of them are in high schools within the province. Consequently, the CBO is experiencing hardships in finances to cater for school fees, uniforms, accommodation and adequate food.
The increasing number of orphans at the CBO has resulted to shortage of housing, beddings and kitchen equipment, hence the urgent need to initiate an appeal for funding project that will generate funds to meet the increasing needs of the children and expand
from your reputable NACC and First Child MEDS to enable us meet the crucial needs for the children. Since the children require to be guided throughout, facilities for education and skill learning activities are also required at the site. The success of this project will help the orphans in our programme get better education, accommodation, food and improved health. Above reasons legitimizes the Sima Community Based organization project and the partnership with you.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The project will work closely with the beneficiaries, who are the children, local
administration, and the schools where these children will go, and their guardians, and schools within and around Waitaluk. There shall be mid-term evaluation and end of project evaluation. The project stakeholders will be involved in developing the evaluation tools. However, Sima Community Based Organization’s Homework will be monitored on daily basis thus the benefits will be known