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.
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.

Apr 1, 2014

Saving an Angel (and a John)

Baby Angel
Baby Angel

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters through GlobalGiving since our last update in December. At that time we told you of three new babies that had been brought in to the St Andrews Baby Unit and have a safe, loving home thanks to your donations.

Since then, the unit has welcomed another two little ones in. Angel was just days old when she was found abandoned. She is making good progress and growing fast under the care of the dedicated staff at the St Andrews Baby Unit.

The other new arrival was rescued from a situation of neglect after his mother was forced to flee the family home. At just four months old, John had been fed solids as his caregivers didn’t have any baby formula to feed him after his mother left. Neighbours alerted the authorities to conditions in which John and his older brother were being raised and they were brought to Kandara Children’s Home with John being placed in the baby unit. Matron Lucy and her team have been working hard to ensure that John is receiving the nourishment that he needs to get him back on track and we’re sure in no time he will be catching up with his age mates.

Without your support, there wouldn’t be this safe haven for children like Angel and John. Words are not enough to thank you but we hope that the pictures of these children whose lives you have changed will show you the lives that have been changed thanks to you.

The St Andrews Baby Unit was launched by Vision Africa’s Founders, Rev and Mrs Packard, in November 2007. They sourced the funding for the unit, Mr Packard oversaw the renovation of a building to create the structure and Mrs Packard designed the interior and equipped the unit. Now in their eighties, the couple made a return visit last week and were delighted to see how well Lucy and her team are doing and how great the unit looks having had a makeover last year. Mrs Packard had her hands full meeting Angel and some of the other children. She has asked us to pass on her appreciation to everyone who has made the St Andrews Baby Unit the success that it is.

So THANK YOU from Mrs Packard, Lucy and her team and all the babies and little children that you have given hope to! Let's work together to give hope and a loving home to more little ones in the future. 

Little John
Little John
Mrs Packard returns
Mrs Packard returns
Apr 1, 2014

Message from Mariam and Florence

Students
Students

In August 2009, we posted our Seed of Hope project on GlobalGiving to compete in the challenge and secure a permanent place on their website. Since then, over 900 donations have been raised totalling over $39,000. This has supported the training of hundreds of girls across our four Seed of Hope centres. Graduates are now employed or running their own businesses, supporting their families and training other disadvantaged girls in their communities. This has all been possible because of YOU. 

The funds received through GlobalGiving keep Seed of Hope going. They ensure that students can learn the skills they need to earn a living and have hope for their future.

Please take a couple of minutes to watch the attached video where graduate Mariam and Seed of Hope Administrator Florence have a message for you.

Message from Seed of Hope

You can also read about a new initiative that will support graduates from the Nairobi Seed of Hope centre. The Dhamira Hub opened on the 2nd of March and will benefit graduates like Mariam as they work towards setting up their own small businesses.

In Nairobi today the vehicles used for public transport are on strike. We had expected this to affect the number of students attending school but were shocked (and very pleasantly surprised) to find the classrooms filled up by 8am. The students value Seed of Hope and the education they receive so they had left home early and many of them walked long distances to ensure they didn't miss a day of school. 

Thank you for ensuring that these students had a school to go to!

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