Africa Rising has focused a lot of energy this past quarter to register an Africa Rising branch in east Africa (Kenya), as part of the transition to grow the organization to become a more African led organization. This has included many conversations with lawyers that are helping to guide the legal process and obtain necessary documents for the registration. Most exciting, however, an advisory board has been established in Kenya to help guide the transition and provide leadership to shape the future of Africa Rising. There is a lot of enthusiasm and new ideas are emerging from the advisory board in Kenya on how to carry forward the model of networking as a capacity building tool for Africa Rising's grassroots organizations in east Africa.
The Africa Rising partner organizations continue to thrive and grow in their outreach to the communities that they serve. Africa Rising continues to facilitate meaningful relationships that allow one organization to learn from another.
We would like to highlight that Amani Children's Home in Moshi, Tanzania recently celebrated 10 years of rescuing street children! Their dedication to these children and their families have made a great difference in their communities. Amani Children's Home empowers these children through education, sports and recreation, counseling and care giving, HIV/AIDS programs, and addressing family needs to help create a safe home environment for the children to return to.
You can learn more about Amani Children's Home at there website: http://www.amanikids.org
Africa Rising's Fourth Annual Meeting took place in Masaka, Uganda in September 2012. Twelve of the fourteen Africa Rising partner organizations came together to share their succcess stories and challenges over the previous year. This year, the Concerned Children and Youth Association (CCYA), the daughter organization of Concerned Parents Association (CPA), joined the partners at the annual meeting.
The meeting was strategically located at St. Jude's Family Projects, a family farm that has grown to become a center of excellence and learning for agriculture, an area that many of the the parter organizations were interested in for implementation in their own communities. The organizations learned practical agricultural models that could be easily applied. More importantly, each organization identified practical next steps on how to further grow their own organizations to also become centers of learning.
Shalom City has moved from the temporary IDP camp to the new property. After years of advocating for the government to act on its promise to secure post-election IDPs their own land, residents of Shalom City have been granted this land. Inspired by the annual meeting, Shalom City is planning to start its own community farm on the new land. The community garden will help to ensure food security and provide income generating activities for the community.
African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) and African Economic Foundation (AEF), together with Africa Rising, visited Kilisa village to introduce Maasai elders to the successful water project implemented by AEF. Approximately 20 Maasai elders visited the project to learn how to build subsurface dams and use the water for income generating activities. See the attached picture of the Maasai elders viewing a greenhouse project.
Africa Rising is in the process of registering itself in Kenya, to establish an east African branch. All paperwork has been submitted and we are awaiting a response from the government. This is a step towards Africa Rising's goal of being more African led and shifting its core leadership and management functions to Africa.
A group of Maasai leaders from Ilmamen village will be visiting Kilisa Village of the Kamba community in Kenya. The Maasai are known as the Kenyan cultural ambassadors while the vibrant Kamba are culturally famous for Kenyan wood-carvings among other things. The two communities live on similar terrain of very dry lands. Kilisa village has however found a way to secure water for dry seasons by building sand-dams on their seasonal rivers. The Maasai leaders will be visiting Kilisa to witness first-hand the innovation that has changed the face of the village and to take back that knowledge to their own situation.
This is a great example of how the Africa Rising network helps facilitate growth and learning among the partner organizations. This knowledge exchange initiative is an agreement between two Africa Rising partner organizations; Africa Economic Foundation (AEF) & Africa Leadership & Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) Kenya. The two organizations have plans to establish a long-term partnership to venture together to address the drought crisis that threatens their communities. This exchange will be the first among a series of initiatives to bring the two communities together in Peace-building and Community Development.
This partnership have drafted plans to co-write and submit a grant proposal for funds to build similar wells in Ilmamen village and begin agricultural projects to generate income.
Africa Rising has been working hard to prepare for its annual meeting, planned for Sept 20-22, 2012. This year's annual meeting will emphasize capacity building to help equip the grassroots organizational partners become centers for learning. This will also be a time to vision together about the future of Africa Rising, as we strive to become more African-based and are registering an official branch in East Africa.
Partner organizations within the Africa Rising network are continuing to learn and grow from each other. Through the exchanges of ideas and resources, Africa Rising has helped the following partners to achieve milestone goals!
FADECO’s Founder receives UN SEED AWARD: Joseph Sekiku, has been awarded the UN-2011 SEED AWARD recognizing his contribution in promoting post harvest fruit solar drying, a technology that helps small scale farmers to add value to their crops, reduce post harvest losses, creates jobs and enhances both food security and revenues. The award ceremony took place in Pretoria, South Africa.
Child Reach Africa to open a Guest House in Kampala: In a move towards sustainability, ChildReach Africa will be opening a Guest House on Entebbe Road, Kampala. The income from the Guest House will help meet some of the administrative expenses for the organization.
AEF Kilisa starts Green House & Food bank Projects: Kilisa village have started a large green-house project this month. The community received a grant for this project. The commercial project are growing vegetables targeting the local market. Income from the group sales will be used to buy more green-houses. Individuals will have a chance to own a green-house through a savings and loans scheme. The Food Bank project aims to ensure food security during dry seasons by buying surplus from the community after harvest seasons.
CREED Africa hosts volunteers: CREED Africa opened their Guest House to a couple from North Carolina that spent over two months in the rural organization. The two volunteers who came through Africa Rising helped build start new sustainable programs in Bee-keeping and Maternal Healthcare. The volunteers were the first occupants of their newly completed Guest House.
TULIP under New Management: TULIP has safely transitioned and is under new management. The organization which assists teenage girls from Nairobi slums get back to High School is now under LifeSpring Chapel, a Nairobi Church. The organization founded in 2002 by Mary Munyi who received a study scholarship as the Board ended its term in 2008. A transitional Board worked with the church to re-structure the organization.
The exchanges within the Africa Rising network are having a tangible and immediate impact on the communities surrounding out partners organizations. Here are some of the results of the exchanges so far:
Teachers are using lesson plans and insights about school operations to improve the level of education for children in two schools in Uganda.
Discussions about parent outreach efforts are helping two schools grow and be sustainable.
35 members of a newly formed agricultural society are improving their livelihoods.
A village has a new resource person who is passionate about crop diversification.
Leaders from one organization in Kenya have started kitchen gardens as demonstration plots for their community.
An organization focusing on empowering women with HIV/AIDS will pursue a new strategy in income generating efforts for economic empowerment of youth.
A youth group was formed in a village in Northeastern Uganda where young people are taking ownership of community development efforts and helping create positive change.
Sixty leaders are better equipped to help their communities heal from violence that caused them to be displaced permanently from their homes.
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