Dear Valued Supporter,
Thank you for your continued support for our emergency support to the vulnerable young people we work with in Kenya. The impacts of covid and drought have been longer lasting than we could have imagined when we began providing emergency support some 3 years ago.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected many different areas and people in different ways. Many businesses were shut down, and people lost their jobs and livelihoods in the process.
Devastatingly, at the same time, a drought began that is going on for a third year now. The communities in our project areas farm small plots and food stock for most families was over in a short period of time.
Through your generous support, we have kept a student relief rice programme going to students at our Seed of Hope vocational training centers. This started as bags of rice to take home with them every weekend to ensure students and their families have something to eat at home.
However, in 2022, we experienced a huge rise in our student numbers. At the same time, worrying rises in costs of food and currency fluctuations have meant that our income could not stretch as far as before. To keep the emergency support going as best we could, we had to adjust the provision of rice to once a fortnight. We also partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture to train farmers in the communities where we work, on new drought resistant farming techniques and crop varieties to improve food security.
The rice you have helped us to provide for students and their families, together with the free lunches provided in the training centers, has ensured that the students were protected from hunger and kept up with their attendance and performance.
Through your support, in 2022, we’ve been able to provide practical support to 100 young mothers with childcare vouchers and free packs of sanitary pads to all female students each month so that nothing stands in the way of their learning.
This has resulted in an incredible, almost 100% retention of our students throughout the year. And the vocational and business skills they have gained will enable them to start up their small businesses or access employment to secure their futures and those of their young families.
This year we are training and supporting our highest number of students. We're so happy to equip young people with skills for the opportunity of a brighter future. But the ongoing drought and food crisis means we remain worried about what the months ahead will bring.
We just wanted to send our sincere appreciation to you.Your support has enabled us to get much needed help to the young people we work with at this prolonged time of crisis. It has changed their futures for the better, forever!
With best wishes,
Mary & Florence (Kenya) and Leela (UK)
Raising Futures Kenya
Dear Kind Supporter,
Back in 2020 when we started providing emergency support for the vulnerable students we work with in Kenya, and their families, we never envisaged 2.5 years later it would still be needed.
Sadly the economic impact of Covid-19 means unemployment levels are still sky high. A year of severe droughts has caused crops to fail, driving up food prices. Fuel prices have gone up, as has inflation. Families are struggling to put food on the table, more than ever before.
Last month we were hit with another blow. The British Pound dropped in value overnight making the money we usually transfer to Kenya worth far less, meaning it doesn't support as much as it used to.
This is a worrying time for our team in Kenya as poverty is increasing at alarming rates and people are unable to eat.
The cooked meals and snacks we provide to every student, every day, is sometimes the only meal they eat all day. We're continuing to provide a weekly bag of rice for each student to take to their family. But the cost of rice is increasing hugely, at a time when the cost of living crisis is reducing the amount people can donate.
This year we are training and supporting more students than we have in the previous 10 years combined. We're so happy to be able to provide this opportunity to secure employment or start a business, so these young people can have a brighter future. But we're worried what the next few months will bring.
We just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your kind support. You are providing us with a lifeline during this time of crisis.
With best wishes,
Kirsty & Natalie (UK) and Mary & Florence (Kenya)
Raising Futures Kenya
We've had a record-breaking year so far in terms of the number of young people we have enrolled acoss our Seed of Hope vocational training centres. Whether it is the steep uptick in unemployment in Kenya or word of our award-winning programme is getting around in the communities we serve - whatever the cause we have enrolled an incredible 463 young people so far in 2022 - significantly more than we ever have before, since the programme was founded in 2005!
This is obviously great news and we have taken time to celebrate being in a position to offer our free holisitic programme of vocational training so many young people. But the impact of cost of living increases and the drought is still being felt by Seed of Hope students and their families and now we have more than ever before to support.
Thanks to your support through this project, we have been able to continue providing students and their families with food parcels every Friday. These parcels have provided a life-line for families whose crops have failed or whose limited income hasn't been able to keep up with sharp increases in cost of basic food items - in most cases items are at record highs.
With families struggling to make ends meet due to the lingering impact of covid and cost of living increases children are not returning to school so they have no employment skills or qualifications, and therefore have very few opportunities available to them. We will continue to provide vocational training and business skills courses for free, along with counselling, cooked meals, food packs for families, vouchers for childcare and travel, menstrual hygiene packs - anything young people need to be able to learn skills and become self-reliant. The additional food parcels are on top of this already comprehensive package of support. We wouldn't be in a position to do this without your help through this project. Thank you so much.
Next time you hear from us, we will have enrolled even more young people on to our Seed of Hope programme! We hope to be able to report that life has become a little easier for the families of these ambitious young people - keep your fingers crossed for us all.
Kirsty (UK), Flo (Kenya) Vic (UK), Mary (Kenya)
When you decided to support our small organisation to cope with the wide-ranging challenges our students faced from COVID-19, none of us knew how this would play out. The whole world has been living in fear and uncertainty for two years; the ramifications of this on our collective mental health remain to be seen. We are starting to feel some stability returning to life in Kenya, but the impact of COVID-19 will live on for decades and will undoubtedly shape the future direction of our work at Seed of Hope and Raising Futures Kenya.
When you donated to our emergency appeal, you put your faith in us to respond to the needs of the young people of Seed of Hope - we are so relieved to have been able to respond so swiftly and thoroughly thanks to this appeal and your help.
Unemployment in Kenya has doubled since the start of COVID-19, more people are experiencing poverty than ever before, especially the young. We've seen first hand the devastating impact on children, young people & families. With all disasters, the vulnerable are always most at risk.
With your help we have provided:
We are so proud of what we have accomplished this year with your support. In total we have been able to support 359 young people with a vocational or Business and Financial Literacy and IT skills course - this was achieved in just 6 months rather than the usual 12 due to the closure of educational institutions in Kenya because of COVID19. This is the highest number of students enrolled in one academic year since our Seed of Hope programme was established in 2004! When students were not attending classes in person, they felt supported with WhatsApp support groups and deliveries of hygiene products and emergency food parcels.
It’s time to look forward
In 2022 we have ambitious plans to replace our temporary corrugated iron and shipping container classrooms at our Nairobi site (pictured below) with a purpose built, accessible and inspiring centre which will improve learning conditions for students and allow us to support even more young people (up to 510 students at our Nairobi site alone). We have made exciting progress towards our fundraising goal and will continue to raise funds to allow us to start construction in the summer of 2022. If you would like to learn more about this take a look at our other GlobalGiving projects.
Thank you so much once again for your support.
Mary and Florence in Kenya and Vic and Kirsty in the UK
I hope you have been staying safe and well.
Firstly I wanted to thank you for your incredible support to our emergency COVID-19 appeal to support children and young people in Kenya. We have been able to provide immediate support to children and their families exactly when they needed it, thanks to you.
Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to impact unemployment and poverty levels in Kenya, many of our students in our two rural Seed of Hope training centres are now facing an even more devastating disaster. Severe droughts this year have resulted in crop failures driving up the cost of food, as there is less available, making it even harder for families, already struggling, to make ends meet. Wells have also dried up forcing families to buy water - another expense they can't afford.
Many of our students reported that the lunch we provide whilst they learn was the only meal they were eating all day. Some students were even taking their lunch home to share with their younger siblings and parents. We responded immediately and have been providing every student with a bag of rice each week to take home to their families, and we have started providing breakfast and fruit snacks for the students so they can focus on their lessons without being hungry.
The impact of the drought will continue next year as below average rains are forecast for the rest of this year which impacts the crop cycle and produce due to be sewn or sold for next year. The regions most affected are those who have already been hit hardest by the impact of COVID-19 and are living below the poverty line.
Thanks to your generosity and kindness we have been able to quickly provide emergency support to families already devastated by COVID-19 who are now coping with drought too.
Thank you for standing by us - and these children and families. This really is providing an essential lifeline for people who have nowhere else to turn.
We really value your support.
With best wishes,
Raising Futures Kenya Director
P.S. As a valued member of our Raising Futures family, we'd love to invite you to a special online event to meet the team.
Join us on Wednesday December 1st 1-2pm (GMT) where you'll hear from Andy, our Chair, sharing stories of our Seed of Hope graduates. Mary (Operations Director) and Florence (Seed of Hope Manager) will join us live from Kenya to tell you what's happening in Kenya. Myself and Vic will also be joining from the UK.
You'll have the chance to ask questions and make suggestions if you like, or just sit back and enjoy listening (it's not essential to have your video on/participate).
To register to join us online please visit our website, we'd love for you to join us https://www.raisingfutureskenya.org.uk/meet-the-team-event/
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