PROJECTS FUNDED IN 2019
Safe Water & Sanitation
We are providing our support to the Uganda Volunteers Foundation to implement and carry out activities that will lead to access to safe water and basic sanitation in the rural communities of Wakiso District in Central Uganda, where the water access rate stands at an average of 35%.Various water collection points such as tanks, springs, wells and pumps will be built, as well as pit latrines in rural schools and remote communities. Healthy personal hygiene and sanitation practices will be taught in the targeted rural villages and community-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) ambassadors will be trained to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the project. There is also hope that this new infrastructure will lead to the development of various micro-enterprises around sanitation and hygiene and help promote a number of income-generating activities such as clay brick-making and agriculture, in an area where unemployment stands at a staggering 67%!
Dealing with Health and Violence
The Young Ladies Club in Kenya is focused on increasing access to safe and quality reproductive health and on providing economic opportunities for women living in the Korogocho slums of Nairobi. We are proud to be supporting an existing program working on making quality health care a reality for this impoverished community. 70% of the population consists of women who need help with reproductive health and gender-based violence. Many young vulnerable women are despised by men in the community and are physically assaulted and sexually abused. An in-depth course on reproductive health and gender-based violence will be offered to both young women and young men in this community and radio talk shows will be aired regularly to spread awareness about these issues. In addition, since 60% of women are less educated than men and economically disempowered, a detailed course on life skills, career selection and entrepreneurship will be offered to vulnerable women and support will be provided to help them to launch their own ventures.
A Community Orchard for Youth
We are working in collaboration with the Bukura Community Orchard in Western Kenya to help reduce the high number of unemployed youths in local communities. To prevent young boys and girls from engaging in illegal activities like petty theft, drug use and prostitution, they will be trained on fruit tree growing, entrepreneurship and environmental conservation. The goal is to reach around 200 youngsters and plant up to 5,000 mango, avocado and other fruit trees. The youth involved in the project will be completely responsible for harvesting and selling the fruit. In order to ensure the sustainability of the orchard, every beneficiary will pay a small percentage of their profits to a general fund which will help support the purchase of additional seedlings for the vulnerable young girls and boys who wish to join the project in the future. In addition to helping eradicate poverty and reduce crime, the hope is that this partnership will lead to the creation of more green jobs and small businesses as well.
Empowering Children to Lead Healthy Lives
Go Economic Empowerment Programme (GEEP) in Central Kenya is on a mission to educate primary school children on the importance of proper hygiene practices and introduce them to gardening and healthy nutrition to provide them with a sense of empowerment and self-reliance. Malnutrition and food insecurity are very real problems for families suffering from poverty, claiming the lives of countless children every year. Many children go to school every day with empty stomachs and in very poor health overall which severely impacts their academic performance. Poor hygiene and sanitation practices also affect school attendance and expose children to a variety of chronic diseases. With our support, GEEP is targeting 2,400 children in six primary schools in Muranga County; in each school they will establish a garden growing fruits, vegetables and herbs, with the hope that the children, teachers, and neighboring communities will then replicate this within their own homes and be able to supplement their diets with fresh and healthy produce. In addition, they will organize cooking demonstrations as well as workshops on mentorship, personal hygiene, basic sanitation and menstruation health managemenT.
Hip Hop is Green!
We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with the New Jersey chapter of Hip Hop is Green to organize its signature 10th Element of Hip Hop Health & Wellness event which is a hands-on, immersive, fun, creative and explorative learning experience, consisting of (1) a plant-based dinner served to approximately 100 to 300 attendees and designed to be a catalyst in local communities by connecting young people to wide array of healthy food and lifestyle options in their area, (2) a speaker symposium offering a comprehensive deep dive into plant-based eating, organic farming, exercise, animal rights, food justice and sobriety, and (3) a concert with performances by various Hip Hop artists. These performers use Hip Hop to speak directly to the youth and spark positive changes in their lives with a goal to inspire wellness and empower children to take better care of themselves, their communities, the animals and the planet!
Clean Water for Locals
We are providing our support to RICEP Korogocho to install a 10,000-litre water storage tank in the community of Baba Dogo in Nairobi to provide access to safe and clean drinking water for the residents. Almost all of the water in this community is provided by private vendors due to design limitations of the current supply system. Up to 60% of the population does not have water available within 50 meters of their home. The situation in almost all the schools is also critical, with a ratio of approximately 300 children relying on one tap, though the recommended standard set by Kenya’s Ministry of Education is 50 students per tap. Contamination of the available water, which sometimes runs through wastewater drains, is commonplace and is closely linked to the rapid spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. With this new tank directly connected to a nearby health center clean water access point, residents will have access to a continuous, local and safe supply of drinking water. In addition, 100 people will be trained as WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) ambassadors and will spread their knowledge of proper hygiene and sanitation practices throughout the community.
Feeding Orphans and Vulnerable Children
We are so proud to be lending our support to Kassanda Children’s Aid in providing nutritional support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) affected/infected by HIV/AIDS by facilitating the establishment of kitchen gardens in their households. 120 families in the Kassanda District in Eastern Uganda will be trained in organic farming, integrated pest management and simple irrigation techniques. If the household does not have any land or a backyard, the kitchen gardens will be established in tins, polythene bags or sacks. To complement the training, each household will receive education in their own homes about their nutritional needs and on how to create balanced meals and identify locally available food which matches the nutritional requirements of the entire family. They will also be supplied with a variety of plant and vegetable seeds and will be taught how to propagate the seedlings to ensure the long-term sustainability of their gardens.
The Brother’s Self Help Group in Western Kenya focuses on increasing farm productivity in a sustainable way by training farmers on regenerative agriculture. With our support, thirty farmers from the Munami Village will learn a dynamic and holistic approach to farming which builds soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Unfortunately, the majority of farmers in this area are very poor and rarely eat three meals per day, let alone a balanced diet. Poor nutrition has also led to poor cognitive development in children below 5 years of age. With these newly acquired organic farming skills, entire families will have access to nutritious and quality fruits and vegetables and the establishment of a local seed bank will ensure that this initiative perdures. In addition, the 30 trained farmers will be mobilized to become trainers themselves with a goal to reach an additional 5,000 farmers over a period of a year, thus benefiting entire communities and villages in the rural county.
Organic Farming for Urban Women
We are working with Hawi Women, a community-based organization in Kenya, to introduce healthy and organic farming for women living in urban centers by maximizing the little available space they have for food production. Farming has long been left in the hands of rural communities and large landowners, making vegetables very expensive to purchase for households living in urban slums. 50 young women living in the Nyalenda slums in Kisumu are going to be trained on converting the little available spaces behind their small houses into small organic vegetable gardens and on how to use their kitchen waste to produce organic manure for their kitchen gardens. During the training, several demonstration nurseries will be set-up across the community. The women will later be given seedlings from these nurseries to plant in their own kitchen gardens and will be tasked to spread their knowledge to other women throughout the slums. Ultimately, the goal is to provide greater food security and encourage healthy eating.
A Reproductive Health Resource Desk
We are very proud to partner with Afya Mama in Kenya to promote and enhance the reproductive health of the rural woman in Siaya County and to improve pre-natal and post-natal care for children by educating and providing factual reproductive health information and knowledge to women. This will be accomplished through the creation of a resource desk at the local health centre, where women and girls from the community can access well-researched and reliable information on reproductive health and obtain appropriate medical referrals for further assistance. Currently,traditional midwives assist women through their pregnancy, during and after birth. They also perform cultural rituals and provide social support to women during childbirth. However, without modern training on how to attend to pregnant women, they are unable to recognize and respond appropriately to complications of pregnancy. For this reason, deliveries attended by traditional midwives are risky for women and their babies, leading to poor health outcomes and even death. The resource desk will provide up-to-date and accurate reproductive health information and provide a comprehensive list of medical professionals and contacts in case of emergencies.
Empowering Women Affected by Ebola
We are proud to collaborate with the Foundation for Women and Children EmpowermenT located in Liberia to support women recoverING from the catastrophic consequences of Ebola by providing them with life-skills in sustainable vegetable garden production for food security and income generation. Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and empowering women is critical to eradicating poverty and accelerating national and global development. And sustainable agriculture is key to promoting food security and critical to help reduce violence against women and girls. The goal is to break the cycle of dependency and despair and enable the women to have greater control over their lives and enjoy better overall health. 40 most vulnerable women in villages located in Lofa County will be trained on sustainable organic vegetable garden production for food security, income generation and environmental protection, learning how to grow corn, bean, ground-pea, cassava, and peppers. Income generated from the sale of surplus harvests will be shared amongst the women to support the education of their children. The training will be complemented by trauma healing sessions through individual and group counselling.
Safe and Clean Spring Water
Barnabas Project Uganda’s objective is to provide a clean and easily accessible drinking water source to the 2,800 inhabitants of the village of Busoke in Central Uganda. The current water sources are natural free-flowing springs with open access for people and animals. With our support, this community-based organization will build spring boxes to capture, filter and store the water, making it easier and more convenient for the community to collect the water.The boxes can hold up to 5,000 liters of water at any given time, with the continuous overflow from the natural spring being released into an open trench and directed to a nearby swamp, where animals and birds can access water separately. Safe drinking water will help promote greater health and well-being in the community by reducing water-borne illnesses resulting from contaminated and dirty water and enhance educational opportunities for children and economic progress and greater food security for the entire community.
Combatting Vitamin A Deficiency
98% of the people living in Bungoma County in Western Kenya are small-scale subsistence farmers living on less than $1.50 a day and the majority are malnourished and suffer from food insecurity. Women and children have an especially low social status and very few opportunities for self-determinism. Throughout the region, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major health problem, with more than 60% of children in sub-Saharan Africa living with VAD. VAD causes night blindness and lowers a child’s capacity to fight malaria, measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and AIDS-associated illnesses. VAD also causes stunting in children, lowers IQ and significantly increases risks for both mothers and infants during childbirth. The costs of VAD in terms of lives lost and reduced quality of life are overwhelming. We are working together with the Wenyewe Livelihood Group to combat VAD, hunger and malnutrition by teaching local farmers how to grow various crops which are rich in vitamin A with a particular focus on orange-fleshed sweet potatoes which due to their drought-tolerance are also a reliable famine food. The project participants will also be provided with a chipper, a milling machine and a dryer to produce sweet potato chips and flour.
Micro-Kitchen Gardening for Single Mothers
We are working with Seed For Life Initiative to provide 40 single child mothers in Kasese (Western Uganda) with the skills to establish vegetable micro-kitchen gardens within the small spaces they rent. Child mothers face many different issues resulting from sexual encounters at an early age. Most of them drop out of school and are later abandoned by their husband and own families as well as by the community which looks down at them as failures. They live in small rental houses and struggle daily to provide their family with food, education and other basic necessities. And because they never finished school and can’t acquire any formal employment, they very often resort to prostitution. The proposed vegetable micro-kitchen gardens will offer these impoverished families a balanced diet to improve their overall health and, through the sale of surplus harvests, will allow them to start small vegetable enterprises to improve their income levels and livelihoods. Through income generation, these women will no longer have to participate in commercial sex work and will be able to access proper medical services and health support. The hope is that they become role models within their community and empower and train other women to follow the same path.