COVID-19  Kenya Project #30316

Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19

by The Rahul Kotak Foundation
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Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Summary of Relief Work
Summary of Relief Work

We continue to be in awe of the impact that has been created by your generosity over the past year. As we continue to support families that were impacted adversely by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, we feel a deep sense of gratitude for the support YOU – our incredible community of donors – have given to us.

By the end of February, we have been able to support 881 families (4,172 beneficiaries) providing a total of nearly 75,000 meals. Prior to the re-opening of schools, we were able to support 607 students with education packs that helped them continue to learn at home. We were also able to support 140 teenage girls and their mothers through our menstrual hygiene workshops where we discussed important issues like: personal and menstrual hygiene, body image and sex education. Each girl also received a sanitary kit that will last them at least 12 months and enable them to continue to go to school.

The relief we have been able to provide over the past year has resulted in savings of over KES 1.5 million (US$ 15,000) for the 881 families that have helped them cover bills and other expenses like rent in these difficult times.

Back to School for Students in Kenya

Schools in Kenya officially and fully resumed in January 2021. After a few weeks of adjusting to the new classroom rules, most schools are now running at full capacity. With no major spikes in COVID-19 cases so far, schools are likely to continue until the end of March before breaking for Easter and resuming in early May.

At RKF, we hope to gradually transition back to re-introducing all our programs at schools, especially the daily meals program. For now, we are continuing to support students through their families by providing food relief packs while we closely work in collaboration with each one of our school communities to identify how to improve the programs we offer and the best way to ensure we can adhere to strict COVID guidelines as we transition back.

Early brainstorming sessions with head teachers, teachers and parent representatives from different communities across the County have resulted in meaningful conversations that we hope will create more robust programs with greater emphasis on community ownership. We hope to share more details as this process continues over the coming weeks.

International Women’s Week

8th March is International Women’s Day and this year we are #ChoosingToChallenge. Our girls project, Empower and Educate the Girls of Rural Kisumu makes sanitary kits and menstrual hygiene workshops accessible to young girls. This ensures:

  • we make education more accessible and empower girls to continue with their academic journey
  • we stand up against ‘sex for pads’ and bring down the number of teenage pregnancies in our community
  • we teach girls how to care for themselves

So far, this program has reached over 440 girls and 200 mums. This year, we are hoping to take that number to 1,000 girls and 550 mums. And this depends entirely on your support and continued generosity.

To celebrate International Women’s Week, GlobalGiving is matching all donations of up to US$50 by 50% from 8th March to 12th March.

From our COVID Relief Workshops
From our COVID Relief Workshops
Education Packs
Education Packs
Back to School
Back to School
New stationery for the students at Nang'a Primary
New stationery for the students at Nang'a Primary
Girls empowering girls
Girls empowering girls
Learning how to wash our hands... correctly!
Learning how to wash our hands... correctly!

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International Women's Week
International Women's Week

Woohoo!! We have exciting news!

We are so deeply honoured to have received recognition from GlobalGiving yet again! These badges are awarded to non-profits to recognize their efforts in different areas every year. And for the second year in a row, we have received all 6 badges that GlobalGiving has to offer. 

RKF has received badges for being a top-ranked, highly effective and vetted organization. We are also site-visit verified which means a member of the GlobalGiving team has visited our projects and verified the work we are doing. We were also selected as a Staff Favourite and Project of the Month!

Furthermore, we received a badge from GreatNonProfits.com in November 2020.

International Women's Week

This week, GlobalGiving is matching all donations up to $50 by 50%. And only 48 hours left before the campaign ends. By making a donation, you join us in our movement to #ChooseToChallenge and call out gender inequality. Your donation will go towards making sanitary kits and menstrual health workshops accessible to young girls in some of the most vulnerable communities of Kisumu County. By this:

  • we make education more accessible and empower girls to continue with their academic journey. 
  • we stand up against sex-for-pads and reduce the number of teenage pregnancies
  • we teach girls how to care for themselves

So far, this program has reached over 440 girls and 200 mums. This year we are hoping to take this number to 1,000 girls and 550 mums... and this depends entirely on your support.

Site Visit Verified by GlobalGiving Staff
Site Visit Verified by GlobalGiving Staff
Top-Ranked Organization
Top-Ranked Organization
Vetted by GlobalGiving
Vetted by GlobalGiving
Project of the Month
Project of the Month
Staff Favourite
Staff Favourite
Effective Non-Profit
Effective Non-Profit
2020 Top-Rated Non Profit
2020 Top-Rated Non Profit

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You can now track the progress we make...
You can now track the progress we make...

In our previous report, we had shared that we were re-purposing all our programs to adapt to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

For seven months all schools in Kenya remained shut and the entire academic year is to be repeated in 2021. While candidate students (Year 4, 8 and Form 4) returned to school in October, the majority of students across Kenya are still at home. With a sharp spike in local cases in the past two weeks, there is increasing uncertainty whether schools will remain open.

To support students and their families through these times, Team RKF has been carrying out various relief exercises to make basics such as food, soap, books and sanitary pads accessible. Through the COVID Relief work we have been doing over the past few months, we have been able to:

  • Reach 241 families totaling 1,222 beneficiaries
  • Provide 252 food packs that have served 34,970 meals
  • Provide 94 Sanitary Kits (that consist of 564 re-usable pads)
  • Provide 90 Education Packs
  • Make 246kg of Soap accessible to different communities
  • Distribute over 100 re-usable cloth masks

We remain committed to supporting our communities through these uncertain times. Over the coming weeks we have planned to distribute over 200 education packs that were prepared by a team of volunteers.

Here is a heart-warming story from Mary, a 13 year-old student who is using her talent to make the best out of her time during this pandemic. She received a food pack for her family and an education pack:

“When schools closed because of COVID-19 I had nothing to do at home. When I am studying time flies fast, but sometimes I get distracted. I started braiding hair for my friends in the neighborhood as a way to pass time and make some pocket money. I also help my mother with house chores.

I was excited to hear that schools are reopening because I am going to see my friends, and will also be able to learn what I missed in the past few months.

The books I received from RKF will help me improve in Mathematics. When I grow up I want to be a doctor.”

(Translated from Kiswahili)

A student from Molem using her new education pack
A student from Molem using her new education pack
Mary shares her story and aspirations...
Mary shares her story and aspirations...
Food and Education Packs
Food and Education Packs
Students learning about handwashing
Students learning about handwashing
A mum from Dunga community receives a food pack
A mum from Dunga community receives a food pack
All smiles :)
All smiles :)

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Devastation caused by the floods in Dunga
Devastation caused by the floods in Dunga

Flood Relief 2.0

Since April 2020, thousands of people in Kisumu have been displaced by floods in the region. In May, Team RKF witnessed the level of devastation that many members of Dunga (a community we have been working with for the past few years) faced. Floods are in themselves a life-changing and challenging situation, and being displaced in the midst of a pandemic makes it even more so.

Team RKF adapted its programs to support nearly 60 families that had been displaced by floods in the region. We re-purposed our Meals Program and distributed food that would serve 10,220 meals to the families to provide them with enough relief over a 2-3 week period while they rebuilt their homes.

The generosity of our donors made it possible for us to provide mattresses, blankets, clothing and utensils to each family. Many of the families were still living in the community with neighbours or in damp areas. Food packs contained short-term supplies like milk and bread and more longer-term supplies that included flour for uji, flour for ugali, rice, beans, sugar, salt among others.

In light of the pandemic, we ensured all families also had re-usable face masks and enough soap to keep them going for a few weeks at the least. All children living in the evacuation camp received shoes/slippers, sweaters to stay warm through the rainy season and face masks to stay safe.

Team RKF took extra care while carrying out this activity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone was wearing a mask and had at least 1.5m distance between them. We were also able to have a fun little training with the children living in the evacuation camp about social distancing.

We have an abundance of gratitude for all of you, our GlobalGiving donors and a special thanks to Mrs. Sangita Raichura, Mrs. Suchita Raichura, Mrs. Indu Panchmatia, Muskan Singh, Zanela Adhiambo, Ella Bwonya, Team Red Cross and a couple of donors who wish to remain unnamed for their incredible support in making this project happen.

One story that really touched us at the evacuation camp was from Jacklyn:

“My name is Jacklyn. I am from Kapuotho but currently living in a school because the floods have destroyed my house. I have 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys and my husband passed away a while ago.

“My family and I have been staying at the school for three weeks now. I usually work as a house help but I have been jobless since corona started. I cook twice a day; breakfast and dinner or sometimes we drink tea and sleep because there is nothing to eat. It’s usually very cold at night but we have to sleep on a leso (cloth) because we don’t have blankets.

“I am worried because if schools decide to open then we will have to look for shelter somewhere else.”

Jackyln received the above mentioned items through Flood Relief Project. She was relieved and happy after receiving them.

(Translated from Luo)

Adapting to COVID

Everything we do at RKF is changing as a result of the pandemic; whether it is working remotely or re-purposing our programs. We have a lot to share about this, stay tuned for our next report... 

July Bonus Day

On 15th July 2020, Team RKF will be participating in the Annual July Bonus Day Campaign to raise funds to keep doing our work. Pandemic or no pandemic, education is every child's right and we will keep fighting until every child in Kisumu County can freely and readily access education. Will you join us in this fight?

The July Bonus Day is about big donations that make big dreams come true. Donations between $100 - $1,000 will get matched in the following categories:

  • $100 - $499 will be matched by 15%
  • $500 - $749 will be matched by 30%
  • $750 - $1,000 will be matched by 50% - HIGHEST MATCHING RATE AVAILABLE ALL YEAR!

Can you make a pledge?

Smiles hidden beneath masks :)
Smiles hidden beneath masks :)
Our Co-Founder Mohit Kotak in Action on the ground
Our Co-Founder Mohit Kotak in Action on the ground
Mountain of Mattresses
Mountain of Mattresses
Sweaters, smiles and social distancing...
Sweaters, smiles and social distancing...
Mountain of Mattresses
Mountain of Mattresses
Flooding in the Dunga Community
Flooding in the Dunga Community
July Bonus Day Matching Categories
July Bonus Day Matching Categories

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Mattresses being given to Ahero residents
Mattresses being given to Ahero residents

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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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
$38,190 raised of $50,000 goal
 
502 donations
$11,810 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG30316

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