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.
Dec 8, 2011

December 2011 Update on Kibera Mpira Mtaani

Receiving equipment for exams
Receiving equipment for exams

The last few months have been very busy for Kibera Mpira Mtaani in terms of both football and education. The after school education program tutored around sixty students for their KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) exams which are sat at the end of their eighth year of primary education. These are the arguably the most important exams that students in Kenya will sit as they determine whether or not they will be offered a place at secondary school and which level of school they will go to - National, Provincial, District. Before the exams started Vision Africa and local British school The Banda provided students with the clipboards and geometry sets that are required to sit the exams. Within a week of the exams being finished, students were encouraged to complete forms for a number of scholarship programs in preparation for the exam results being released at the end of December. Very few parents in Kibera can afford to pay secondary school fees so scholarships and individual sponsors provide a lifeline for bright students. The education program supports over three hundred students on a daily basis. These range from the young ones who attend ECD (Early Childhood Development) classes through to those in secondary school. Kibera Mpira Mtaani's resource centre provides a safe place for children to do their homework and volunteer tutors are on hand to help answer any questions and set additional assignments. With the school year drawing to a close and exams finished, it was time for the annual Informal Schools Football Tournament to be held. The vast majority of schools in slums like Kibera are not supported by the government and can't afford to compete in the annual sports competitions run by the government. Kibera Mpira Mtaani's tournament gives schools the opportunity to come together, meet each other, develop their talents and have fun. Each school that competes is allowed to enter two teams, one for boys and one for girls. Rounds are played over a number of days and then the finals are held at a colourful event at the end. This year, the tournament had a special significance as it was funded thanks to a donation of money raised by some young children in the UK. Wescott Infant School in Wokingham raised around 650 by holding a "Concert for Kenya" evening at their school. This allowed Kibera Mpira Mtaani to hire pitches, pay for referees and cover other costs involved in the tournament. Teams that took part in this year's tournament were up against rain and mud as well as each other. On finals day, the pitch was like a mudbath but the teams' spirits were high and their teachers were on hand to encourage them. The players received a special visit from Francis Ouma of the Kenya Premier League team Sofapaka. Francis was representing a group called "Green Card Mtaani" which aims to teach young football players from deprived areas that they should say no to crime and drugs. He told the finalists "Football is not just about a talent, it's your life". MC Gigi Spice who helped keep the audience entertained and provided commentary for the event announced "even if there is no food on the table, don't put a gun on your waist". There was more advice for finalists as they participated in peer counselling in breaks between matches. A number of teenage boys and girls who have studied at Kibera Mpira Mtaani have undergone training in peer counselling thanks to CARE Kenya who also supported the finals event with some awards and refreshments for the teams. Some of the young counsellors were invited to talk to the footballers about challenges in life and how to make good decisions. It was great to see these youths giving back to their community having benefited from Kibera Mpira Mtaani's resource centre. Winners on the day were Spurgeons Academy who took the top spot in both the boys and girls categories. However, it could be argued that everyone who participated was a winner as they all seemed to enjoy the event. Priscah who played in the girls final told us "The best thing about the tournament was that I have been communicating with other schools, seeing how the other teams are playing and what their schools are doing and how we can make friends with them." Thanks to everyone who has supported Kibera Mpira Mtaani in 2011 and we look forward to sharing more of their success stories in 2012.

Peer Counselling
Peer Counselling
Finals match
Finals match
Dec 8, 2011

December 2011 Update from St Andrews Baby Unit

Latest Arrival
Latest Arrival

Looking back, 2011 has been a great year for the St Andrews Baby Unit it Kenya and as the year draws to a close, it is ending on a high note. Since the unit opened its doors at the end of 2007, the aim has always been to provide shelter for babies and infants who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or are in need of care for some other reason. For those who don't have families, or whose families are unable or unwilling to look after them, it was hoped that foster families could be found with the prospect of fostering leading to adoption. 2011 has been the year where we have seen systems put in place and our first two foster placements going ahead. Reports have been received this week that the first boy to be fostered has successfully completed three months of fostering and the family is seeking to apply for adoption. This is fantastic news and we hope that 2012 will see more children enjoying life as part of a family. Another achievement this year has been the enrolment of six children from the St Andrews Baby Unit at the Kandara Children's Home ECD (Early Childhood Development) Unit. Located within the same compound as the baby unit, the ECD Unit prepares young children for school and also caters for their first three years of primary education. The advantage of this particular unit, another project supported by Vision Africa, is that the class sizes are very small so students get plenty of attention. In recent months, the language skills of the toddlers from St Andrews Baby Unit have developed immensely as they have started conversing in Kiswahili as well as their mother tongue Kikuyu. Learning at such a young age will stand them in great stead as they progress to primary school. 2011 has seen two new arrivals at the St Andrews Baby Unit. Priscilla's mother was unable to take care of her when she was born so after a few weeks in hospital it was decided that she would be better place at the unit in Kandara. The hospital continues to provide formula milk for her and she is a healthy young baby. Just last month, the latest arrival was brought in at less than a week old. His mother had abandoned him at a clinic and couldn't be traced so the authorities decided to place him under the care of matron, Lucy, and her team. Mwaura is a healthy little boy and becoming more alert as each week passes. Another success story his year has been baby Emmanuel. Born on Christmas Eve last year, Emmanuel was just a few weeks old when he was brought in to the St Andrews Baby Unit. For several months, he remained very underweight despite the care and attention he was being given. Things slowly started to change and now Emmanuel is a bright little boy who is very alert and seems to enjoy being in the company of the other children while he sits watching them. Without your support, children like Emmanuel, Priscilla, Mwaura and the boys who have been fostered wouldn't have the care and support of the St Andrews Baby Unit. Everyone who contributes something really does help ensure that these children have brighter futures. On behalf of the staff and babies we would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported the unit in 2011 and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sitting Pretty
Sitting Pretty
Seasons Greetings
Seasons Greetings
Oct 4, 2011

Food for Thought

Graduations are just around the corner for our four Seed of Hope centres. Over the next couple of months, students will be working on their final projects and preparing to put in to practice the skills they have learnt in their two years at Seed of Hope. We look forward to posting pictures of their outfits which they will model on graduation day. Some of the centres go as far as to host a fashion show with first year students modelling outfits made by the second years.

Sadly, the food crisis in Kenya has seen unprecedented increases on food prices throughout the countries and as families have to tighten their belts, we have seen a sharp drop in the number of students who have been able to afford their government trade exams this year. This makes our Roots program even more important as it will allow graduates to set up small businesses rather than rely on employment which would require them to provide trade certificates. By equipping our students with Business Skills and Life Skills that build their confidence, we can give them the opportunity to start a business which will allow them to live independently and help themselves and their families in the future.

Our Nairobi Seed of Hope centre has been fortunate enough to gain support from the local organic farmers’ market. Each week, they are invited to collect produce which has been left over after the market and this is used to help with the feeding program that ensures students take lunch each day. Check out Purity’s video to see just how important it is to the girls that they take lunch at school. Over the August holidays, the headteacher of the Nairobi centre received numerous calls from students asking if they could go to school – even if it was just to do some general cleaning. This was because the girls were desperately looking for lunch so that they could ease the burden on their families.

It is times like these that we realise just how important Seed of Hope is to our girls and we really couldn’t keep the centres running without your support. We would like to thank each and every person who has made a donation to this project via GlobalGiving and let you know that your support is offering a bright future to girls who had no hope.

THANK YOU!

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