Mar 24, 2020

Kenyan Schools Close Amidst Pandemic

We hope this message finds all of you and your families healthy during these unprecedented times. This is a very difficult time for all of us, yet we are grateful to have food, shelter and strong support systems to see us through this pandemic.  As the first cases of the virus were reported in Kenya about a week ago, we wanted to provide you with an update on the status of our own operations at St. Vincent's in Kibera and the effect of the virus on our community. 
Since the government mandated all schools closed beginning last Monday, we have mobilized quickly to orchestrate the return of children from our Rescue Center who have been sent home from boarding schools. We have made preparations to ensure that we have appropriate hygiene and sanitation supplies on hand and are educating our children about the importance of hygiene and social distancing, the latter of which is very complicated in an environment like Kibera. 
In addition to preparations out our Rescue Center, we have been preparing to distribute food/hygiene baskets for our young Nursery School families to help them bridge the gap until our nursery school can re-open. While this will mean an increase in food costs for us, as we must provide supplies to support the entire family, we feel this is a critical emergency expense during this time.  Our St. Vincent's families in Kibera live in shacks in close proximity to one another and many people are living with HIV, TB and other underlying health conditions.  In addition, almost all of our parents are day laborers and will inevitably lose all means to support their families during this time.  When our school is closed, our children miss out on the two daily meals we provide, and most families struggle to provide even one meal a day to their families under normal circumstances.    
We know that everyone across the globe is feeling the impact of this virus and that the needs are great everywhere. We are ever grateful for the support we are receiving through GlobalGiving and for this week's GlobalGiving matching campaign, which will help us to offset increased expenditures during this time.
Mar 24, 2020

St. Vincent's Pandemic Response

We hope this message finds all of you and your families healthy during these unprecedented times. This is a very difficult time for all of us, yet we are grateful to have food, shelter and strong support systems to see us through this pandemic.  As the first cases of the virus were reported in Kenya about a week ago, we wanted to provide you with an update on the status of our own operations at St. Vincent's in Kibera and the effect of the virus on our community. 
Since the government mandated all schools closed beginning last Monday, we have been mobilizing as quickly as we can to offer food and hygiene baskets to our families to help them bridge the gap until our nursery school can re-open. While this will mean an increase in food costs for us, as we must provide supplies to support the entire family, we feel this is a critical emergency expense during this time.  
Our St. Vincent's families in Kibera live in shacks in close proximity to one another and many people are living with HIV, TB and other underlying health conditions.  In addition, almost all of our parents are day laborers and will inevitably lose all means to support their families during this time.  When our school is closed, our children miss out on the two daily meals we provide, and most families struggle to provide even one meal a day to their families under normal circumstances.    
In addition to working on food/hygiene baskets for the young families,  we have also been orchestrating the return of children from our Rescue Center who have been sent home from boarding schools. We have made preparations to ensure that we have appropriate hygiene and sanitation supplies on hand and are educating our children about the importance of hygiene and social distancing, the latter of which is very complicated in an environment like Kibera. 
We know that everyone across the globe is feeling the impact of this virus and that the needs are great everywhere. We are ever grateful for the support we are receiving through GlobalGiving and for this week's GlobalGiving matching campaign, which will help us to offset increased expenditures during this time.
Mar 12, 2020

Parent Economic Empowerment Program: Where Are They Now?

In our last report, we shared with you our efforts in launching a new initiative to help empower parents and other members of our community through business training and lending. We are excited to report on the progress of this work, which commenced one year ago.

At the outset of the program, we recruited 10 participants to join our project. Nine of these were parents of our nursery school children and one was a young woman from our own Rescue Center. All of those recruited participated in the initial training and seven have continued to participate in the program - building their businesses, repaying loans, saving, and attending refresher trainings.

The seven active participants received a total of Kshs 30,000 (~USD$300) in loans, of which 86% of loaned funds have already been repaid (including three participants who have repaid loans in full and four women who are continuing to make payments). All of these participants have started and/or expanded businesses which they continue to run today. Throughout the loan repayment period, these seven participants have also managed to save a total of Kshs 5,700. Below is the status of active participants:

  • Peris received start-up funding in the amount of Kshs 5,000, which enabled her to open up a local food vending which is still in operation. Peris has been able to repay her loan in full and has saved Kshs 2,500.
  • Adelight received a loan of Kshs 3,000, which she used to start a business selling corn and onions. Profits from her business are used to pay for rent and food. Adelight has repaid Ksh 2,500 and has saved Ksh 1,500.
  • Rose received a loan of Kshs 7,000, which she used to improve her auto shop by restocking spare parts. Rose has repaid Kshs 4,000 to date. 
  • Susan received a loan of Kshs 3,000 to start a business selling porridge. The business is doing well and Rose has repaid Kshs 2,800 and has saved Kshs 200.
  • Beatrice received a loan of Kshs 3,000 to start an egg selling business. Having repaid the loan in full, Beatrice has been able to start saving, with a Kshs 1,500.
  • Pius received a loan of Kshs 5,000 to expand his food vending business. Increased sales allowed Pius to employ his wife in the business. He has repaid Kshs 4,500 and saved another Kshs 4,500, which he hopes to utilize to further expand his business. 
  • Veronica received a loan of Kshs 4,000 to set up a nail salon. She has repaid the entire loan and her business is doing well. She is hoping to expand her service offerings this year.

We are excited about the acheivements of our participants and our currently exploring ways to grow the program to reach additional parents.

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.