Vision Africa

Vision Africa equips and empowers children and youths for a brighter future, ensuring that they have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and make a difference in their families and communities. The following principles guide our project partnerships and work. The emphasis will vary depending on the nature of the project. Provision - We contribute towards meeting the children's material and emotional needs. Protection - We protect the rights of children to have a happy childhood free from neglect, cruelty and exploitation. Preparation - We support projects that enhance educational opportunities and prepare children to fulfil their potential.
May 9, 2014

Mother of the Year

Lucy with Baby Grace
Lucy with Baby Grace

With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, 11th May, we thought we would share some wonderful news!

Yesterday, Matron Lucy from the St Andrews Baby Unit in Kandara travelled to Nairobi to collect an award. Local company Bidco Oil Refineries ran a competition on Facebook to find Kenya's "Mother of the Year". Lucy was nominated and received lots of votes from people in Kenya as well as people in the UK and the USA who have seen Lucy in action when they have visited the St Andrews Baby Unit. There were some lovely comments posted on her nomination including one from a member of the local community in Kandara who described Lucy as “the tireless, ever-loving mum”.

Lucy is a mother of 8 children of her own but that wasn't enough of a challenge for her. In November 2007 she took on the role of matron at the unit and since then she and her team have cared for over thirty infants. The unit is currently at full capacity with 15 children receiving total care from Lucy and her team.

When we went to collect Lucy's award, the representative from Bidco explained that they had chosen seven of the nominees to be rewarded. Three of these were based on the number of likes their nomination received on Facebook and four were chosen in recognition of their amazing work in the role of a mother. Lucy fell into the second category and couldn't quite believe that she had been chosen as a winner. She was absolutely delighted and received a certificate and hamper of Bidco products. Lucy was nominated to represent all of the mothers at the St Andrews Baby Unit so we hope you'll join us in congratulating them on their achievement for the wonderful work they do.

Without your support through GlobalGiving the St Andrews Baby Unit wouldn't be able to provide the services it offers orphaned, abandoned and neglected infants. Thank you for making this possible and for giving Lucy and her team the opportunity to make a difference.

As a Mother's Day gift to Lucy and her little ones, please tell your friends about this project and ask them to consider supporting the St Andrews Baby Unit.

Lucy at the Awards Presentation
Lucy at the Awards Presentation
Lucy Receiving a Hamper
Lucy Receiving a Hamper
May 7, 2014

Great Start to the New Term

Happy to be back at school
Happy to be back at school

After four weeks of holidays, KiMMta's nursery school re-opened this week and it was clear that the students were happy to be back. The project's chairman, Vincent, was delighted that on the first day of term over 70% of students reported back to class with more expected in the course of the week. This is a high percentage as it usually takes a week or so for parents to bring their children back to school in their community.

Vincent also shared the story of one little boy whose mother had transferred him to another school....unsuccessfully. The young boy apparently cried and refused to go to his new school claiming that he had to go back to KiMMta where his friends were and where they received good food and a cup of porridge. Vincent explained that this demonstrates the importance that children place on the project and on the need for the feeding programme. Another boy had been suffering from malnutrition before attending KiMMta's nursery school. He now receives two healthy meals a day and this has made a tremendous difference to his health and development.

Kate, who runs the Girls Empowerment Desk at the KiMMta, told us that many of the children she interacts with only have one meal a day and that is the lunch they are given at school. Without these feeding programmes students' academic performance suffers as they are unable to concentrate in class.

KiMMta's after-school programme of tuition will resume next week as they allow students one week to settle back in at school before they resume their additional studies. 

Thank you to those who have supported KiMMta's education programme to give brighter futures to children in Kibera. 

Porridge ready for serving
Porridge ready for serving
Feeding programmes help education
Feeding programmes help education
Apr 28, 2014

Peninah's Success

Peninah in her shop
Peninah in her shop

Last week, visitors from the UK arrived to check out our work in Kenya. They are my neighbours back in Scotland and have been supporting Vision Africa for a number of years so it is great to have the opportunity to show them first hand the impact of our work.

Within hours of landing in Nairobi we had started them on their tour of projects. One of the first places they visited was Seed of Hope where they met some Fashion Design students and new graduates who are now resident in the Dhamira Hub.

To show them the kind of future that these graduates can look forward to, I took our guests to visit Peninah who graduated in 2009.

My memories of Peninah are of a very quiet shy girl. In fact, I’ve had to dig back in our records to find out why she joined Seed of Hope in 2008 because she didn’t talk much to us back in those days. Peninah comes from an area near a market where her mother worked. Her father was a casual labourer and between them her parents didn’t earn very much. Having already funded Peninah’s sister to go to secondary school, there was no money left to allow Peninah to continue with her education when she finished primary school.

At 14 years of age, Peninah enrolled at Nairobi Seed of Hope and was a very serious student for her two years of studies. After graduating in November 2009, she found employment and worked for two years. At that point, her mother encouraged her to start her own business which she did with a friend. They opened up a small shop but as anyone who has their own business knows, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work to make it succeed. Peninah’s friend got tired of trying to overcome the difficulties and suggested they close the business but Peninah decided to keep struggling on her own.

Fast forward to last week and I hardly recognised the confident young lady who came out to greet our visitors and welcome them to her business. Peninah shared with them the difficulties she had faced and how she had overcome the challenges. She now has many customers and is looking to expand the shop that she is in. Rather than close the business when she got pregnant, she found someone to share the shop for a few months to allow her to go on maternity leave. She then went back to work and now wants to open a bigger shop so that she can continue to share the space with the person who covered for her. Her teacher who taught her these business skills would be proud of her!

Through Seed of Hope, Peninah was given and interest free loan from Kiva, This allowed her to buy fabrics to build up her business. She repaid that and got another loan to grown the business again. She is now hoping for a third load which will enable her to buy another machine and employ someone to work in the business with her.

As Peninah showed us some of the clothes that she was working on it was easy to see that she enjoys what she is doing. She also appreciates where she has come from as she says that having trained at Seed of Hope she is no longer dependent on her mother. In fact she supports herself and her child and is also able to help her mother. The pride in her face as she told us this is what makes all our efforts worthwhile.

Thanks to your support through GlobalGiving more Seed of Hope graduates have the opportunity to be successful business owners like Peninah. Your contributions have allowed graduates to set up their own businesses and start their journey to self-reliance.

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