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.
Dec 7, 2016

Keeping Children Busy Over the Long Holiday

KiMMTa Children enjoying a meal
KiMMTa Children enjoying a meal

End of term three came too early for pupils in both public and private schools despite the fact that children sits for end of year exams that determine if they are moving to the next class.  It is also believed that the ministry of education changed schools calendar to enable all students sitting for the end of primary and secondary examinations have peace and quietness and desist from exam malpractices. The major concern for parents and other stakeholders was the length of the holiday period and what would happe

Vision Africa shared the same concern as parents since it was bound to affect pupils in the early years of learning especially children living in informal settlement like Kibera. According to the recent survey carried out to early childhood education centres supported by Vision Africa, the teachers were asked to explain the significant benefits of the feeding program to pupils. The results indicated that the health of the children have improved by 76% hence enable the children to concentrate in class that boosted their class performance. The teachers also affirmed that 75% of the children attend the early childhood education because of feeding programme since their parents can only afford one meal per day. With this in mind, the management of Kibera Mpira Mtaani (KiMMTa) decided to extend the learning for two more weeks so that the children could continue to enjoy their meals while in school as they prepare for graduation of the pre-unit class.The graduation day at KiMMTa was filled with excitements as graduates entertained their parents and guests who came to witness their transition from pre-school to primary school. This year, 25 children graduated from KiMMTa ecd and are expected to join standard one in the coming year. According to the head teacher, all the pupils performed well in their end term exams as well as the standard one interviews. She informed us that16 of the pupils will be joining public primary schools while 9 will join private schools within the Kibera slums.

 In addition, KiMMTa after school program came up with holiday activities for all pupils in their programme who were at home. With support from Vision Africa and other stake holders, the after school management team prepared a two week programme that will bring positive change in the lives of  the children and young people who are at greater risk of engaging in vices due to idleness this long holiday period.  These activities included mentorship workshops, community services and football tournaments.The KiMMTa management also partnered with other community based organizations within the slums who are engaged in educational program by involving their members in all these activities. Vincent the KiMMTa chairman said that the holiday programme was a success as 240 children and young people participated directly in the tournaments while approximately 750 children and young people who attended were involved in community work like cleaning the market, dispensaries and the collecting garbage. They also got the opportunity to be mentored each day during mentorship sessions. I hope that there will be more of such programmes in the coming year so that many more children and young people can be empowered to make right decisions about their lives during school recess.

 Thank you for supporting the education of children in Kenya by contributing to this project. As it has been quoted severally, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world’. I believe these children from Kibera slums and other informal settlements will not only change the world but also their lives and living standards of their families.

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.

Pre-unit class graduation
Pre-unit class graduation
Youngstars before the tournament
Youngstars before the tournament
Mentorship Session
Mentorship Session
Nov 23, 2016

Celebrating Ruth and the 2016 Graduates!

Beautiful girls from Kitui Posing for the camera
Beautiful girls from Kitui Posing for the camera

Seed of Hope like many of our graduates like to say ‘is the place to be’. This is because many of our girls came in hopeless and unsure of what the future holds for them but by the time they graduate, their lives have been transformed and they are better prepared to face the world with confidence through the skills acquired in their course of training. Every year, the month of November is a hive of activity as with preparation for graduations and first year students preparing to sit their end of year external exams. The graduates at Seed of Hope Kitui had a fitting day for their graduation outfits and it was interesting to see the confidence in these girls as they posed for the camera with beautiful gowns. I believe their self-confidence will go a long way to ensure that they are able to market their products once they start up their business. We wish them all the best as they prepare to graduate this week.

After graduation, all graduates are expected to go for 3 months attachment to put their skills in to practise as well as learn from other professionals before they seek employment or establish their own businesses. This has been the norm in all Seed of Hope Centres but not for Ruth, a graduating student at Seed of Hope Nyamache.

Ruth joined Seed of Hope in 2015 after her dreams of joining high school were shattered as her parents could not raise enough money to enable her get admission to a local school that she had wished to join. It was at this point of hopelessness that her mother was informed about Seed of Hope by a neighbour whose daughter had graduated the year before. Ruth’s mother was encouraged to send her daughter to Seed of Hope centre to acquire relevant skills so that she too could become self- reliant in future. The first year came with its challenges for Ruth since she comes from a village which is 8 km away from the Seed of Hope Centre. It was difficult for her to walk this journey every day and she opted to skip some classes twice a week. Her class teacher was concerned and she decided to make a follow up. She visited the family to find out about Ruth’s absenteeism. After hearing about her situation, the teacher decided to offer her accommodation so that she could attend her classes regularly. This made life much easier for Ruth who now concentrated with her studies and became the top student in her class. In her second year, she worked even harder in her class work and impressed her guardian who connected her to a business lady from the locality who became her mentor and later her employer.

In the month of August when Seed of Hope students went for a recess, Dorcas the business lady decided to employ Ruth in her dressmaking shop since she was impressed by the kind of work that she was doing despite the fact she had not graduated.  She now trusts Ruth so much that she leaves her in charge of the business as she goes to town to buy stock or deliver products to her clients. During my recent visit to Seed of Home Nyamache, I visited Ruth in her place of work and found her together with her boss busy making wedding gowns. I asked Dorcas why she decided to employ Ruth before she graduates from her course and this is what she said “I was impressed by her work since I took her in and she has proved to be hardworking, committed and trustworthy person. My clients are happy with her work and that is why I had no problem employing her”. I was inspired by Ruth’s determination to live a better life since she is now earning a living and able to support her family back in to the village. She promised to save part of her salary in the next one year so that she can eventually start her own business and give other girls an opportunity to learn from her.

With the graduation at Nyamache now complete, we are looking forward to more celebrations at the other three centres and hearing more inspirational stories like Ruth’s.

 Thank you for supporting the Seed of Hope Centres! By contributing to this Programme, girls like Ruth are able to acquire skills so that they can be independent and able to raise the living standards of their families. I hope you find this partnership valuable and worthwhile. I would request you to please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.

Please note that on Giving Tuesday (29th November) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations on GlobalGiving with 50%. Matching begins at 00:00:01 EST and ends at 23:59:59 EST on November 29th, 2016 or when matching funds run out.

The gifts brought smile to Hair & Beauty Students
The gifts brought smile to Hair & Beauty Students
Ruth
Ruth
They had to show off their graduation gowns
They had to show off their graduation gowns
Nov 17, 2016

Hope for Raymond and other Children to Reunite with their Families.

Raymond
Raymond

It has been a little while since I visited St. Andrews baby unit and spend time with the children although I must say it gives me nostalgia whenever I plan for a visit.  This is because every time I see the children my heart is filled with happiness as there is progress made in each and every child. I must commend the work done by the matron and the house mothers who play a big role in taking good care of these children until they get to that age of learning to be independent and start school. Whenever I get an opportunity to meet the house mothers, I do not forget to thank them for serving these children as I often remind them that their work is beyond a normal occupation as they are called “mothers” with a purpose of raising a generation of children who are to become great and responsible people in future despite their background circumstances.

Raymond was brought to the St. Andrews Baby Unit when he was 7 months old. His parents separated due to domestic violence. The mother ran away and left Raymond and his two siblings with their father who is a heavy drinker. The man would leave the children on their own to look for casual work before getting drunk and spend the money he had worked for without considering the welfare of the children. This made the neighbours angry and they reported the matter to the authorities. After learning this, the father took the children to their maternal grandmother who was too old to take care of an infant. The police investigated the case and they were able to trace the mother who was apprehended for child negligence and put on probation. The children’s officer placed Raymond at the baby unit and ensured that the mother would visit him once in a while during the probation period to create the bond so that she can able to take him back at the end of probation period. The matron and social worker from the main children’s home recently visited Raymond grandmother’s and to their shock they were informed that the mother was released after probation but she took away the other two children who were living with their grandmother and went to rent a house in another town far away from her matrimonial home. We are hoping that the whereabouts of Raymond’s mother will be known and she accepts to take back her child and raise them all with a happy ending.

Other news is that all the children are making good progress and as Fidelis, John and Raymond are taught simple life skills like self-feeding and potty training. Natasha and Blessing are big girls who are able to dress themselves and use in house toilets on their own.

 As Vision Africa is looking in to ways whereby children in institutional care can be reunited with their families or placed with adoptive or foster families, St. Andrews Baby Unit will remain a safe haven to the vulnerable children who are rescued from parental negligence, orphaned or abandoned. The process will take months or even years to complete, hence Vision Africa is not taking chances with its child integration programme since its mission is to “Enable every child to realise their potential, be valued by family and community and ensure they  have dignity, opportunity and hope now and in the future through the 3Ps Protection, Provision and preparation”. Therefore we are engaging all stakeholders involved with in children’s welfare in government and County level as well other partner organizations that have successfully re-integrated children back to their families across East Africa.

St. Andrews Baby Unit also started the process of tracing parents and relatives of the children to ensure that they too are involved in the re-integration programme since some of them are not living far from the main children’s home. Although there are challenges being faced with regards to tracking down the whereabouts of families, there is hope for some children to be re-united with their families. Home visits and assessment are being carried out to ensure that before a child is reintegrated back to his or her family, all the issues that led to their vulnerability are resolved and the family is ready and willing to take them back in to their life just like in the case of Raymond.All children who have been abandoned and their families untraced have already been placed with adoptive or foster families.

We at Vision Africa appreciate your continuous support in making St Andrews Baby Unit a pleasant home for these children. We hope you find this partnership worthwhile because we believe the future of these children are in our hands as they grow up in a protected safe and loving environment where all their needs are well taken care of.

Please note that on Giving Tuesday (29th November) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations on GlobalGiving with 50%. Matching begins at 00:00:01 EST and ends at 23:59:59 EST on November 29th, 2016 or when matching funds run

Raymond,John and Natash having porridge
Raymond,John and Natash having porridge
John can now play with a ball
John can now play with a ball
 
   

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