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 Children  Kenya Project #4168

Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya

by St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization
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Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
Educate and Feed 85 At-Risk Kids in Kibera, Kenya
St. Vincent's Food Distribution in Kibera
St. Vincent's Food Distribution in Kibera

Last week, we reported to you on the early threats of COVID-19 on our Kibera community in Kenya. Since then, while the number of Kenyans infected with the virus has remained relatively low at 122, the toll of the pandemic on residents of Kibera has been immense, as anticipated. With the majority of Kibera’s residents earning a living as day laborers, whose work has come to a grinding halt during this time, many families have been left without adequate means to survive.

March 16th marked the first day of closure of St. Vincent’s Nursery School. Without the two daily nutritious meals that we provide, we knew that many of the children we serve would be deprived of critical nutrition until our school can re-open. During the first week of our school closure, many parents shared with us their frustration and struggles around being able to provide food for their families. Too many parents reported that because of lost work, their families were living off of one meal per day in light of the pandemic. 

We knew we needed to take action. We mobilized support from our kind-hearted donor network (THANK YOU!) for an emergency food distribution, which was coordinated by our Board and Program Administrator on Friday March 27th. Over 110 families received food baskets packed by our teachers, each containing 4 kilos of maize, 4 kilos of rice, 4 kilos of beans, 4 kilos of millet flour, 2 liters of cooking oil, 2 kg of sugar and bar soap for handwashing. Recipients included approximately 80 families of our nursery school children, as well as families of children in our scholarship program and our own teachers. The food supply will last families for approximately three weeks, depending on family size. The distribution was conducted with the utmost care, with efforts made to stagger parents entering our facility to avoid crowds and a handwashing station set up outside our school gate so that each parent could wash their hands prior to receiving the food basket. During the distribution, our staff promoted messaging around hand washing as well.

Smiles of joy beamed across the faces of parents as they received their package. ‘I am going to cook a nice meal today for my family,’ one mother shared with another parent as she received help to carry the food wrapped on her head.

We know the need for additional food supplies will continue in the weeks and months ahead and we are continuing to work to see how we can best support our families, while also keeping our staff safe during this time. It is an uncertain time for everyone, but the food distribution made possible with your support came at a critical time for our children and families. We thank you for your continued involvement in our efforts to serve the most vulnerable families in Kibera.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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Beatrice uses loan to expand egg selling business
Beatrice uses loan to expand egg selling business

We are excited to share with you the launch of an exciting, new pilot program to increase access to economic opportunities and build financial literacy skills of parents of our nursery school children. Introduced in February 2019, the program targets parents with training and support to start or grow small scale businesses and ultimately empower them to better provide for the needs of their families. Our first cohort comprises 10 parents (9 female, 1 male) selected based on need and readiness to meaningfully engage in the program. 

As a first step, we convened selected parents to orient them to the purpose of the initiative and gather inputs on the parents' most pressing needs and challenges. The parents collectively developed a set of governing rules and established expectations and goals to carry their group forward. We utilized the parents' inputs to shape the structure and content of the initiative itself.

Following the initial orientation, the group participated in a one-week training conducted by professors from nearby Tangaza University through which they gained information and skills relevant to starting and managing small businesses. During the sessions, parents developed business plans, learned about establishing savings and discussed how savings could be used to expand their businesses. Each participant then identified their own viable business idea and received a small loan to launch their business venture.

Since the training, 8 of the 10 parents have successfully utilized their loans to start or grow a business and are routinely tracking their earnings. These 8 parents have also started to repay their loans on a bi-weekly basis, drawing on income from their start-up businesses. Since the initial training, we have supported bi-monthly refresher trainings to create a forum for parents to share their experiences in business start-up and troubleshoot the challenges faced. This has created a support group like environment in which parents are learning from and supporting one another in continued growth of their businesses.

In January 2020, the group will participate in a leadership skills training to prepare them for graduation from the program. The training will help them to elect group leaders and develop a succession plan for each parent to ensure the continuity of the group and its members following the involvement of St. Vincent's. 

Single mom to 5, Adelight is eager improve earning
Single mom to 5, Adelight is eager improve earning
Rose seeks support in starting a spare parts shop
Rose seeks support in starting a spare parts shop
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Organization Information

St. Vincent de Paul Community Development Organization

Location: P.O. BOX 56486-00200, Nairobi - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
Christina Stellini
Nairobi, Kenya
$146,296 raised of $200,000 goal
 
2,464 donations
$53,704 to go
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