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 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
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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Effective Badge
Effective Badge

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.

Vetted Organization
Vetted Organization
Top-Ranked Project
Top-Ranked Project
Site-Visit Verified
Site-Visit Verified
Staff Favorite
Staff Favorite
Project of the Month: February 2019
Project of the Month: February 2019

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It's Christmas!
It's Christmas!

Every year, Team RKF spends the Christmas Holidays with the children spending it at Obama Children's Hospital in Kisumu. 2019 was especially challenging due to the doctors' strike, however, like we do every year, we packed some toys, gifts, Santa hats, food and lots of cheer and made our way to the hospital.

We spent the day decorating the hospital, setting up a small Christmas tree and getting in some fancy car rides before enjoying lunch and finishing it off with some fruit and cake. This is a day that fills our heart with strength and joy as we get to interact with children who show such incredible hope and resilience. Team RKF is always inspired and we couldn't think of a better way to wrap up the year... until the next one :)

We would like to give a special shout out to the nursing staff at Obama Children's Hospital, and a local baker, Arpita Patel, for baking a lovely cake for all the children and parents who were at the hospital. This would obviously not have been possible without the incredible RKF Volunteers and Interns: Roda, Muskan, Zanela, Rodney and Chelsea. And of course you! We have such deep gratitude for the incredible support we get from both local and interantional communities for the work we do.

Photo Credits: Saj Chotai

Check out my new ride!
Check out my new ride!
Let me show you how to drive this car...
Let me show you how to drive this car...
Volunteers from Team RKF
Volunteers from Team RKF
Driving into the sunset :)
Driving into the sunset :)
Here's to smiling... always!
Here's to smiling... always!
O Christmas Tree...
O Christmas Tree...
Lunch time
Lunch time

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Painting of the school
Painting of the school

Valley Makeover

We remember walking in to Valley Academy for the first time in 2016 quite vividly for two reasons: the first being the incredible energy and enthusiasm of the students and the second being the fact that it barely looked like a school. Over 80 students sat in an open Church hall on benches and on mats while teachers from different corners of the hall tried to keep the attention of their students.

Over the past three years, a lot has changed at Valley Academy… they have movable classrooms, colourful desks and chairs, art work and charts among many other things. However, one aspect of the school has remain unchanged: the interior and exterior of the Church hall has never been painted and as a result the school was always a dull grey which hasn’t been the most conducive learning environment for the children. Not anymore!

On Tuesday, November 5th 2019, The Rahul Kotak Foundation partnered with Kansai Plascon to host one of their CSR activities, a Painters’ Training Program at Valley Academy. Over 100 painters, 20 church youth and 15 volunteers attended this event to give the school a beautiful makeover. The newly painted hall will provide a conducive learning environment that will make a huge impact in the lives of the children that attend school in some of the most challenging circumstances.

We would like to give a special shout out to Kansai Plascon, especially Mr. Karim Velji and Miss Josephine Bittah, for partnering with us, to make this incredible makeover possible.

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. As Giving Tuesday is only a week away (3rd December 2019 – Save the Date!) we wanted to share some of our goals for the upcoming 2020 academic year.

  • 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.

Watching the school transform
Watching the school transform
The Transformation Process
The Transformation Process
Practical Training for Painters = Beautiful School
Practical Training for Painters = Beautiful School
Set up of the event
Set up of the event
3rd December: SAVE THE DATE!
3rd December: SAVE THE DATE!

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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
$27,950 raised of $50,000 goal
 
389 donations
$22,050 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG30316

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