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Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu

by The Rahul Kotak Foundation
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu
Mattresses being given to residents of Ahero
Mattresses being given to residents of Ahero

In the latter half of January 2020, Team RKF set off to Ahero to visit a few evacuation camps put in place to shelter some of the families that were forced out of their homes by the heavy rainfalls that befell the area in December last year.

After just 3 days of heavy rainfall, about 220 families* from just one of the little village communities in Ahero were displaced. The rains were so intense that they caused the water levels of Lake Victoria to rise enough to cause destructive floods and backflow* that destroyed, and even carried away the homes of the residents. As a result, many were left homeless, cold and without basic amenities that they would normally rely on for survival. This did not exclude the food supply which became very scarce. Many children have been greatly affected by the disaster as well as its aftermath.

After an initial visit to assess the situation on the ground, Team RKF decided to find a way to help, in however small a capacity, provide some relief to those who were affected.

On the last Tuesday of January, the team set off to Ahero in the early hours of the day. We drove to a remote area in the region with murrum roads made slippery and muddy by the water saturation. Despite the difficult conditions, we were able to visit 2 camps within close proximity to each other. Here we saw first-hand the destruction and devastation that the community was dealing with. A few people shared their stories as well as giving us an insight on the struggles that befell them after the floods. The majority of the camps’ population were women. Some were still in their teenage years while others were older than 60. After inquiry, we found out that some people were sleeping on some mats or torn mattresses while others on the bare ground with some of their salvaged clothing for cover in the night. Many of the women had children, and no means to provide them with meals because most of their foodstuff and cooking items had been carried away by the floods or rendered completely unusable altogether.

One of the concerns we had was that some of the younger women were in need of sanitary towels, because it was likely that they were in short supply after the disaster. Same case would be for the children and their stationery.

Thanks to help from GlobalGiving and some generous local donors, we were able to purchase some mattresses, blankets, dry foodstuff, sanitary towels, clothes and soap that we distributed to the families in the camps. As usual, we did not leave behind supplies of books and pencils for the children.

Please note, RKF largely works in Education, and this has been a new area for us to find a solution. We’re working to set up a small fund aside so that we can be quicker to act/liaise in the future, should such an unfortunate scenario reoccur in Kisumu. To address issues in Environment through education, Team RKF has also recently started a new project.

Check it out here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/environment-in-education-planting-100-000-trees/

On our visit, we were able to speak to some of the residents of Ahero who were displaced by the floods. Here is a story from Jane, one of the residents whom we were able to help: (this story was translated from Kiswahili)

“My name is Jane. I have 5 children. All my children go to school. I have been staying in different camps for two months because my house got filled with water. My family first moved to a school in Nyamasao but we had to come to this church because schools opened and the school also got filled with water. I cook twice in a day but the quantities are very little so nobody gets full. I also have 2 girls that menstruate and we use old clothes because we don’t have sanitary pads. I can’t go to my house even after the rains stop because it has collapsed due to the heavy rains.”

Later on, she came to speak to us privately to thank us for the pads that she had received and said that, “It will help my girls”. This is also a perfect example of why we are participating in the Girl Fund Campaign.

*Reference: Nation.co.ke https://www.nation.co.ke/counties/kisumu/Two-drown-as-they-cross-river-in-Kisumu/1954182-5372458-15tt19r/index.html

Girl Fund Campaign

6th March 2020 is a special day for RKF! We are participating in this year's GirlFund Campaign to raise funds for our project: Empower & Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu. The first 24 Hours of the week-long campaign are crucial because this year Bonus Day is on 6th March from 00:00 EST to 23:59 EST (8am in Kenya, 5am in UK).

Throughout the week, the more donors we have, the more likely we are at to make it to the top of the leaderboard and qualify to be one of the 8 organizations that will receive year-long support from the GirlFund!

Help us spread the word and if you wish to make a donation, all you need to do is make a donation of as little as $10 (online) or Ksh. 520/- through M-Pesa (Paybill: 891300; Acc No: GG31852).

For every $10 we raise, we will be able to keep one girl in school throughout the next academic year.

Blankets donated to women still living in camps
Blankets donated to women still living in camps
Members of the community outside the camps
Members of the community outside the camps
Community members receiving flour supplies
Community members receiving flour supplies
Of course we took books :)
Of course we took books :)
Help us get to the top of the Leaderboard
Help us get to the top of the Leaderboard

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Vetted Organization
Vetted Organization

We're so excited to share this report!!

Every year, GlobalGiving awards up to 6 badges to organizations on the plafrom for the work they do, their engagement and effectiveness. RKF is one of the select few organizations to have been awarded all six badges in 2020 and we are so thrilled to share these awesome badges with you.

What do these badges mean:

Effective: GlobalGiving recognizes RKF for their efforts to learn, improve and grow their impact

Vetted: RKF has been vetted by GlobalGiving's rigorous due dilligence process

Top-Ranked: RKF has demonstrated a high level of engagement with the GlobalGiving community and a commitment to effectiveness via GG Rewards

Site-Visit Verified: One of GlobalGiving's field travelers, staff members, or ambassadors has visited this organization and verified the work they're doing.

Staff Favorite: GlobalGiving Staff works with, supports and visits thousands of organizations every year. RKF is one of their favorites.

Project of the Month: A project of RKF's was featured as a GlobalGiving Project of the Month.

We feel so honoured and encouraged by these badges and we know it wouldn't have been possible without the incredible support of all our donors, volunteers, interns and schools!! Thank You!!

We have a speical report coming up about Team RKF's visits to Evacuation Camps in Ahero... keep an eye out for it. More details coming soon.

Staff Favorite
Staff Favorite
Top-Ranked Project
Top-Ranked Project
Effective Badge
Effective Badge
Site-Visit Verified Project
Site-Visit Verified Project
Project of the Month: February 2019
Project of the Month: February 2019

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I will stay in school
I will stay in school

Menstrual Hygiene Workshop

In the final academic term of 2019, we partnered with Madhvi Dalal of PadMad to carry out a unique Menstrual Hygiene Workshop. While in the past we have taken pride in educating girls about their bodies and keeping them in school by ensuring they have access to reusable sanitary pad kits, this workshop challenged us to think beyond… we invited the boys of Light of Hope School in Nyamasaria to join the Menstrual Hygiene workshop!

It started off in usual fashion with a short prayer and song (I’m happy today, so happy…). What we witnessed after that, was an educative session in which both boys and girls were able to openly learn, discuss and ask questions about menstrual health. This was done to create an atmosphere in which young students didn’t feel shy or alienated by the changes that they experienced in their bodies as a result of reaching puberty. The workshop also educated the students about the importance of protecting our environment by minimizing/eliminating use of disposable sanitary pads.

The workshop ended with a Yoga session for the boys while 44 girls received menstrual hygiene kits that will last them at least 5 years while they continue with their school life. With this, RKF now has over 200 girls under the Sanitary Pads Program!

One of the highlihgts of the workshop were the beautiful affirmations we all shared at the end: I am, I love myself, I am strong, I can give, I can receive, I can change. We honor the resilience of these incredible girls even in challenging conditions and we promise that Team RKF will continue to work to help these students blossom to their fullest potential.

End of 2019 Academic Year

As the academic year in Kenya has come to an end, we have had a chance to reflect on some of the achievements and milestones we have reached with your incredible support. We wanted to share some of our goals for the upcoming 2020 academic year with you:

  • In 2019, we reached a milestone of serving just a little over 200,000 meals. In 2020, we wish to reach the 500,000 mark taking us closer to our 5-year goal of 1,000,000 meals. And it's not just about the numbers... we would like to introduce fruit and serve more vegetables as part of the Meals Program
  • In 2019 we have set up 2 more libraries in Kisumu County. In 2020, we aim to have set up an additional three libraries, having distributed over 25,000 books
  • With the ever-increasing focus on Climate Change, we aim to start an "Enviornment in Education" program that introduces simple and practical solutions for looking after the Environment through workshops and tree-planting exercises. It is our goal to plant at least 20,000 trees in 2020
  • And so much more...

Does this sound like something you would like to support? Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest days to support non-profits. This year, GlobalGiving is matching funds using an Incentive Fund of US$500,000. Save the date and support our projects on Tuesday, 3rd December 2019.

Checking out the new kits
Checking out the new kits
New Pads = New Power
New Pads = New Power
More Power!!
More Power!!
Yoga for the Boys!
Yoga for the Boys!
Save the Date!
Save the Date!

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Watching Fiona's Story Keenly
Watching Fiona's Story Keenly

Last month we carried out the annual July workshops during which we had the opportunity to go to St. Vitalis Nang’a Primary School and have a discussion with about 120 girls from Class 7 and 8 during the Menstrual Hygiene Workshop. We had a very personal and constructive chat involving a question and answer session where the girls expressed their challenges of going to school during their periods such as not having access to pads, enough underwear, pain relief medication or enough food during their periods.  

We distributed 990 disposable pads that were donated by the Sisterhood Empowerment Group and 56 re-usable kits to the girls at the school ! More updates coming next month on re-usable kits, so stay tuned.

The responses we received from the students were astounding! One of the girls volunteered to provide a demonstration on how to use a disposable pad and another student elaborated on how to maintain the reusable pads such as washing them with cold water to prevent a stain forming and completely drying them out in the sun.

The second part of the workshop was the most exciting to the girls! We showed the movie Queen of Katwe to Classes 6, 7 and 8 using a projector onto a makeshift screen made out of a blackboard and white bed sheets. The movie is about a young Ugandan girl who fights her way to an international chess championship despite her financial circumstances. The movie was definitely well received by the girls; as the movie was playing the girls enthusiastically applauded every time Fiona (the star of the movie) won a chess match.

Towards the end of the workshop we had a chat with the girls on what they learnt from the movie. Some of the responses to the movie were: “Hard work always pays off,” “Don’t give up” and “I would like to start playing chess!”

New pads!
New pads!
Immersed in the movie :)
Immersed in the movie :)
Re-usable kits
Re-usable kits

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Yet another feather in our cap!
Yet another feather in our cap!

Earlier this May, we had the opportunity to welcome one of GlobalGiving's field travelers, Isabelle Hall, to our projects in various localities in Kisumu including Dunga, Kondele and Nyalenda. We had a great time showing her some of the work we have been able to achieve as a result of the incredible support we have received from all our donors on GlobalGiving, not to forget the amazing support we have had from the GlobalGiving team. Isabelle also helped us put some final touches to our recently completed library; we can’t wait to share an update with you in June on our Main Project Give Hope to Kisumu's Underprivileged Children.

This was a great opportunity for us to connect with GlobalGiving and receive feedback on our projects. As a result, RKF is now a Site Visit Verified Organization; another esteemed badge we are honored to hold.

We also attended the GlobalGiviing Partner Workshop held by Isabelle that allowed us to learn more about GlobalGiving and network with peers from Kisumu that are already on the platform.

Final touches on the new library
Final touches on the new library

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Organization Information

The Rahul Kotak Foundation

Location: Kisumu, Kisumu County - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheRKFoundation
Project Leader:
Mansi Kotak
Kisumu, Kisumu County Kenya
$8,495 raised of $15,000 goal
 
103 donations
$6,505 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG31852

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