Christine and Michael visited this project. Michael wrote,
"We visited the office of AfriAfya to test a survey for Global Giving. The office was quite spread out with a few desks. AfriAfya works on various projects including the one posted on Global Giving. We had a fantastic conversation with Sara regarding how the global economic situation is affecting funding for the non-profit sector. Ann is working in the financing section and told us that she decided to work with AfriAfya because she saw how much difference it made when people had access to information that they trusted.
AfriAfya's main goal in all of its projects is to use information and communication technology to improve the health of communities in Kenya We were unable to visit the project's field sites due to our very compressed schedule in Nairobi."
"I met Enouce Ndeche from Best Buddies Kenya. The original plan was to meet only with Best Buddies, but I found out that Best Buddies and CASL-VAP are the same organization, or at least run by the same people, so I ended up meeting with both. It was a hectic day, and totally exhausting, but well worth it! While the building that their “office” is in looked really fancy from the outside, the office itself was the size of a small closet, but they made the most of it, cramming 2 desks with computers and a small refrigerator (so they could sell drinks to support the project) inside. Enouce, and Best Buddies, love Global Giving since it was the first to finance their activities and is still their major source of funding.
The purpose of Best Buddies is to pair disabled children with other children from nearby schools to combat prejudice and ignorance, as well as increase the number of people advocating for the disabled. Enouce said that “disabled people weren’t seen as friends or individuals, but Best Buddies strives to make them fully included in society.” Listening to Enouce, eventually it struck me that the disabled children faced all of the same trials that any kid faces in a developing country- no food, clothes, job opportunities, lack of access to a decent education- but without the same abilities to adapt to situations, making their prospects twice as bleak.
The following day, we went to see 4 school or two pairs of partner schools, in the Manyatta slums of Nairobi. The first set were small, with all ages of children being taught. The disabled school was a secure compound, and we met some of the older kids that were paired with buddies. The school for non-disabled children was little more than a section of slum partitioned by metal sheeting. It had no books or supplies, but was the only option for parents who couldn’t afford the school fees (uniforms, pencils, books, etc.) for a public school. The principle was a small man overflowing with energy and enthusiasm that we were visiting his school, he was so proud of his school, dragging us into each class so that we could see how much they were accomplishing. I promised Enouce that I would send supplies for the school since they were trying to accomplish so much with so little!
The other set of partner schools were much larger, and government supported. At the disabled school, they taught mainly vocational education, but the principle was clearly burned out, saying “I don’t want to know what happens after” when referring to the prospects of her kids once they graduate. The last school we visited was a large, public school, but they weren’t expecting our arrival. Unfortunately some of the younger kids were out for recess when we arrived, and we were immediately mobbed by kids, to the ire of their teachers I’m sure. I managed to eventually make it to the head office by slowly wading through little bodies passing out handshakes and high fives as I went. I got to speak with the principle, who praised Best Buddies for changing his own attitude toward the disabled, as well as that of his students. It was another exhausting day in Kenya, but well worth the visit and experience."
When asked what they would tell their friends about this project Michael said, "Incredible: You need to see this!" Christine
said, "Great: They are making a difference."
GlobalGiving is committed to incorporating many viewpoints on our 600+ projects. We feel that more information, especially from eyewitnesses helps donors like you continue to support organizations doing great work in the community.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.