More than 500 orphaned or vulnerable children provided with direct community support
WVP Kenya is working with 16 community-based organisations to provide holistic support and care to the many orphaned or vulnerable children in Nyanza and Western Provinces, areas of Kenya worst hit by poverty and HIV/AIDS. In the first half of this year in Nyanza Province alone, more than 200 children were able to attend school through school fee payments made by the community organisations, and a total of 329 children were provided with school uniform and other items (including text books) as well as with medical assistance in a number of cases. In the same period, 225 adults attended 14 days of training on a range of topics including parenting, child rights and project management, and 224 children attended two days of training on child rights and responsibilities.
A Child Protection Unit known as KAGO was founded following support from WVP in October 2012 across the four communities of Akoko, Gombe, Magak, and Nyamwanga. KAGO has 28 members working on a voluntary basis, all of whom received 14 days of training in the area of child rights and protection. This year, KAGO has been working closely with church and other community groups to ensure all children are being adequately and appropriately cared for in the communities, and has identified and dealt with a number of difficult cases. This work is supported across all WVP communities by our Child Protection Ambassadors, who work on a part-time basis to ensure the safety and security of their communities’ children, reporting difficult or concerning cases to WVP staff.
Jane (left) with eight graduating scholars going to University
Thirteen WVP scholars who graduated from secondary school in 2011 and 2012 will be heading to university later this year. Having received their marks in March, the scholars have only recently found out where they are heading and what they will be studying, so now the excitement and planning can really begin! They will be reading a wide range of subjects, including eco-tourism, economics, medicine, biochemistry, architecture, and mathematics. In May 2013, a further three secondary school graduates began college courses in teacher training, electrical engineering, and business administration. In total, WVP continues to support 486 children through full cycles of primary, secondary and tertiary education.
WVP has also continued to support to the most vulnerable of our scholars’ families, and has provided more than 50 small business grants this year. The businesses started range from small food stalls at the local markets to selling clothes and fried fish, and empower parents and guardians to provide for their children’s needs at home enabling the children to focus on succeeding at school.
Dorridge Methodist Church have nominated us as their charity of the year. One of our trustees, Katharine, went along to the launch event in September to tell them a bit about our programmes, and the response from the congregation was fantastic. So far they have been concentrating on raising money for communities to purchase chickens and goats for income generating activities. All the children in the church were given an egg box, and given a target of £4 to collect which would buy a chicken. The church have raised £300 so far and still going strong, so we're really excited about this fundraising opportunity. It's great to see people so inspired by our work.
In May 2011 WVP Kenya began working with the community of Nyajuok. The majority of families in the community are subsistence farmers and work hard to provide food for their families. Many of the group members have also run or helped manage smaller community groups in their local area. Within the community there are a large number of orphaned and vulnerable Children. WVP Kenya has worked with local community groups to mobilise the wider community and find solutions to the problems faced. In July and August 2011, 142 community members undertook facilitative training. The adults of the community were trained on topics including caring for vulnerable children, project management and financial management. 80 children of the community were also trained on the rights and responsibilities of children, using local facilitators. After training, the community members proposed that they could run a business hiring tents, chairs and a public address system to local functions. The group chose this business due to the prospect of fast returns and relatively easy maintenance of equipment. WVP Kenya staff helped the community to refine and add detail to their proposal and after approving it made the necessary purchases with funds from the Stichting Liberty. Since mid-October, 2011, the Nyajuok community has been running a fully operational social enterprise and their accomplishments so far have been impressive. As at the end of March 2012 the profits from their business
operations have been used to support 74 vulnerable children within their community. Children supported ranged in age from 5 to 19 with an average age of around 13. The vast majority of children supported were attending primary
school. Children to benefit from the project were selected by the community itselft through an open process where vulnerability of children proposed to be supported was discussed at group and community meetings. Support has been highly targeted as children and their guardians were asked what they needed most to attend school. Support included paying school fees, purchasing required uniform items, or purchasing needed school items like a school bag. A total of 34,520 KES was spent directly on the child beneficiaries by the end of April 2012 (see Table below.  Ksh 34,520 spent on items for orphaned children. Remaining profits to be spent on child beneficiaries mid 2012.).
The community describes themselves as “experienced, lucky and developmental”. They hope that through their efforts the vulnerable children that they support shall become role models for the community. The group members are particularly proud of the planning and co-ordination they feel they have demonstrated so far in running a business, identifying the vulnerable children in their community and purchasing the specific items they require. The
groups business has continued to make profits and from these profits they intend to support an additional 80 children within their community mid-2012. This project is likely to run for many years ahead and support and an ever growing number of children.
Nyajuok community members during a project committee meeting