We sent a team to Mtito Andei in early January to work with Global Roots manager Ritchie Mutua Martin on the expansion of outreach activities in Mtito Andei.
This poor region of Kenya remains one of epicenters for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya. Nearly 60% of the woman here are HIV positive and because many of them are widows, they are forced to turn tricks with truck drivers who stop here over night. Mtito is located halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa and it has always served as an R&R location for truck drivers.
We have always seen the need for an HIV/AIDS education kiosk on the highway so we were pleased when a San Francisco financier agreed to raise funds for it.
Our cultural center on tribal land near Mtito will be used to train the young men who will man the kiosk.
Ritchie Mutua brings a great deal of knowledge to our outreach team because he used to do HIV/AIDS outreach in the Mtito community for the Kenyan Wildlife Service.
Besides our outreach activities, we continue to fund two children's gardens and chicken egg farms in the local area for a successful school lunch program. We also provide solar lighting to dark huts so that children from poor families can do their homework.
Our founder and a team of nine (including four local staff) traveled across Kenya in July to check on the progress of all projects, investigate the soundness of a new project that will protect young Maasai girls from Female Genital Mutiliation and keep them in school and assist/train our local staff.
We started in the Maasai Mara where we interviewed young Maasai school girls and had long meetings with Caroline Nangeya -- a brave Maasai woman and FGM victim -- who has taken in more than 42 girls who ran away from both FGM and forced marriage.
After carefully analyzing Mrs. Nangeya's efforts, we determined that she understands the importance of transparency so we agreed to cover 100% of the food costs for these 42 runaways when they are home from boarding school for two months a year. We are now raising funds to build these children a proper dormitory.
We also traveled south to Mtito Andei where we have been supporting an assortment of poverty reduction projects since 2004.
1. We picked up shovels and helped Chairman Leva construct a new building that will be used as a Cultural Center.
2. We inspected the children's garden and chicken egg farm at Matangini School and met with the school master to find out what more we can do for his 300 children.
3. We delivered a complete outfit (shirt, pants and shoes) to more than 10 orphans.
4. We installed solar panels on at least 20 of the areas poorest homes so that school children can do their homework for the first time with a proper light bulb.
5. We visited remote children's homes and inspected the poorest part of Mtito -- on the East side of the Nairobi/Mombasa highway.
6. We visited the hospital and met with the nurse we have been supporting for two years.
Please see the attached photo
On July 2 a team of seven will arrive in Kenya to accomplish the following objectives:
1. The team, lead by GR founder Rick Montgomery, will visit a girl's home in the Masai Mara to support an intiative that will protect hundreds of Masai pre-teens from female genital mutilation. Global Roots has been working with the son of a Masai chief who believes that it is time to end this barbaric custom. Rick's team will encourage the young women to stay the course because we believe that it is wrong for any man to cut out the clittoris of a young woman without her agreement. Global Roots is looking into a plan that will involve text books and free college to any young woman who breaks from the tradition. We understand that it can be a lonely path but we have learned that many tribes will welcome back an educated woman who earns a salary.
2. The team will also visit Mtito Andei where it will support Levi and the Matangini tribe in their efforts to create a tribal owned safari camp. The Global Roots funded camp, JipeMoyo.com, will bring in badly needed income to a tribe that is currently impoverished. The Global Roots team will teach tribal members how to greet and care for foreign tourists.
3. The team will also help our longtime partner Rosina develop better ways to foster out the 1,800 HIV orphans she has under her care. Interviews will be conducted with all players including the local nurse. Rick Montgomery, team leader, hopes to purchase a mini van for the nurse so that she can drive into the countryside to deliver food to children who must take powerful dosages of HIV medication. Many children die because they take HIV medication on empty stomaches.
4. The team will also look into the creation of an HIV information center in Mtito Andei. It has been demonstrated that such centers can educate local people on better ways to protect themselves against HIV.
Our second chicken egg farm is up and running next to our Matangini children's garden!
We learned that local parents are much more likely to send their children back to school when they know a well-balanced meal is there waiting for them.
Our new chicken egg farm is producing just enough chickens to feed local children who are suffering from the AIDs virus. It's very important that these children receive a proper meal before they undergo their daily doses of high-powered drugs. If they take these drugs on empty stomaches, they are much more likely to succumb to the virus.
Any new donation given to this program will go to purchasing more chickens so that all children who attend the Matangini and Matulani public schools will receive this badly needed protein.
Please email us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are thrilled to announce that ground was broken on a community-owned safari ranch last June and two of the tents are completed. We launched this project because all of our poverty reduction work in the area (the building of a kitchen at the local school, the creation of a foster program for our hero Rosina, children's garden and chicken farm) pointed to one thing: there is no local economy! We are working with the tribal leader Leva to manage the camp in a proper manner (tourism professionals are volunteering their time). Leva and his tribe own this camp outright! No foreigner will ever make a single dollar here!
The camp gives us the opportunity to continue what we've already started. We are laying the foundation for a community center/vocational school next to the camp that will give young people more information about how AIDs is spread (this is one of Kenya's hot spots). Children will come to our center to learn English, computer and other skills that will help them climb out of a cycle of destruction that is prevalent in this part of Kenya. The school will also double as a foster care center.
In July we sent a nutritional team down to study the area. Suggestions have been made and we're now contacting several larger organizations for help. Our Director is meeting with the US Ambassador to UN projects in Rome this week.
One of our most recent volunteers, Maddie Carsman of Portland OR, returned home from her service trip to Kenya inspired to raise funds for a bore hole (well) that will benefit 1,800 HIV orphans Mtito. Maddie is just 17 and she has decided to put the onus of the project on her own shoulders! She is working directly with our Executive Director and local managers in Kenya.
The greenhouse we built for the children of Mtito Andei is already producing vegetables! See photo attachment.
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