After 13 years of working to improve the lives of children around the world, AYA has closed its doors. It has been a privilege to work alongside our supporters who helped provide food and clean water, orphan care, education, medical care, and income projects to poor and needy children.
A large part of AYA's story over the past few years has been the creation of our farming project in Kenya. The idea for the farm came after years of raising money annually to feed the children in our partner projects, and with food costs rising we realized there needed to be a more sustainable solution.
Today, the farm maintains 15 beautiful acres in the most fertile region in Kenya and provides food to children in dozens of schools and orphanges throughout the country. By providing this food, money that was once spent on feeding chidlren is now used to buy other basic necessities and school supplies. The farm has created not only support, but a sense of hope to thousands of children on an yearly basis, and we are excited that you have been part of this dream come true!
Even though AYA is closing as a U.S. non-profit, AYA Kenya will continue the work as a Kenyan charity organization. The partners we have worked with for 13 years will continue operating the farm as a cooperative, and will continue to ensure that children are receiving sustainable food and hope for the future. Thank you for support and commitment to these children - you have truly made a difference!
For questions regarding AYA Kenya's farming cooperative, please contact:
Fred Afwai (email: email@example.com)
Director, AYA Kenya
After sharing the story of hungry children in Africa, raising funds (thanks to your support!), planting seeds, caring for the crops, enduring the rains, and much waiting...the time has finally arrived for the harvest at AYA's farm! It is a joyful culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and patience on the part of our friends in Africa who operate the farm, and we are pleased to report once again that this year's harvest at AYA's farm has been a huge success! As you are reading this email the harvest has just occurred and will soon be distributed to 4,000 children in AYA's partner schools and orphanages throughout Kenya.
One of the partners receiving food from this year's harvest is Rehema Day Care and Orphan Center in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Rehema was founded by Pastor Erastus Omukhango and his wife Ruth, who have spent the past several years living amid slum conditions in order to provide hands-on care to desperately needy children in the community. Pastor Erastus and Ruth now have a school, orphanage, church, and feeding program for street children who often fall below the radar of aid programs. In addition, the pair run incoming-generating projects to help sustain their work at Rehema, including a vocational seamstress program, poultry project, and computer lab that serves both students and the surrounding community.
Thanks to your support of AYA's farm, the students at Rehema are receiving food from this recent harvest! Perhaps more than that, they are receiving the hope that people around the world were willing to come together to help improve their lives and ensure their basic needs were met. The children at Rehema are one of 17 total partner schools and orphanages that this year's harvest will be feeding in the coming months. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to provide food and hope to these children!!
When it comes to farming, rain is essential. There have been many times when we have spoken to our partners in Africa that drought is threatening, and they are praying for rain so their crops and gardens will grow. This year, however, the area of Kenya where AYA's farm is located has experienced heavy rains. The result has been a delay in the ability to tend to the crops, an unusually high amount of weeds (which requires the purchase of additional weed killers), and the delay of constructing a fence around the farm, which will protect the vulnerable crops from thieves. This has put a burden on AYA's team in Africa, as they struggle to extend the pay of the workers, purchase unplanned for weed killer, and hire guards to protect the farmland until the fence can be constructed.
AYA's farm feeds extremely vulnerable and needy children in 17 partner schools and orphanages throughout Kenya. The photo included in this report is of two girls who attend Rehema Day School, one of the primary recipients of food from AYA's farm. Thousands of children are depending on the harvest expected in late October/early November. At present, we are concerned about this year's harvest if we cannot address the needs created by the extreme rainfall.
In the U.S. non-profit world, the summer is typically a down time. Most fundraising pushes happen earlier in the year or during the year-end giving season. Therefore, AYA does not currently have the extra funds to address these unexpected challenges due to the heavy rainfall. As the summer is winding down, would you consider giving towards the AYA farm's pressing needs created by the extreme rains?
I was fortunate to make another trip to Kenya in March to catch up with our partner schools and community projects. It was great to see first-hand the impact AYA and the farm are making in the lives of children. Since I stayed with Fred and Alice Afwai in Nairobi, I spent a lot of time Candlelight Primary School and Hands with Hope Safehouse. Fred and Alice are the founders and directors of these projects; they have dedicated their lives to providing education and opportunity to desperately poor children who otherwise may not be able to receive an education or have a safe place to live.
The reason the farm is so vital for these projects is two-fold. The harvest from the farm provides food for the children. There are over 250 children in the school and each child receives a hot lunch every school day. For many, this may be their only meal; the food provides an incentive to come to school and helps children learn better when they are not hungry. As well, 26 children live in the safehouse, and Fred and Alice are responsible to see that the children get three meals a day. Secondly, receiving food from the AYA farm allows more money to be devoted to other needs such as textbooks and teachers’ salaries for the school and clothing and health care for the safehouse.
To see more of Candlelight’s work in action visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qne3gXjm4zk. Please consider helping AYA impact the lives of more children by donating to the AYA Farm on Global Giving.
AYA would like to extend a huge thank you to our donors for helping us get three-quarters of the way to our goal of owning 20 acres! At the end of December, the three acres adjoining AYA’s farm became available and AYA supporters heeded the call to purchase the land. This brings the total acres we own to 15. This land is valuable not only because of the additional food we can produce, but because it is attached to the current farm and helps us to work more efficiently and securely.
As we look forward to 2012, we hope to raise enough to buy another 5 acres (currently selling at about $5000 per acre). We also need to work on fencing the current property due to the high potential of theft and animals grazing on our crops. Our project manager is currently working on an estimate.
We would also like to welcome the newest AYA Farm supporters on Global Giving. We are truly excited and humbled that so many people have chosen to support us amid so many worthwhile projects. If anyone ever has questions or would like more information about the farm or any of AYA’s projects, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We truly can’t continue to impact children’s lives without you!
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.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
Still want to help?
Find another project in
that needs your help.
Director of Development