Project Afya's Ultra-Poor Graduation approach is a multifaceted set of interventions designed to address the complex nature of extreme poverty. Participants receive health and nutrition support, a stipend to use as seed capital for a small business; training in life skills, finance and business skills; and regular coaching and mentoring. Participants unlock their intrinsic potential and develop sustainable livelihoods that set them on a path of upward economic mobility.
All operations take place at the Monicah Ndegwa Center for Women and Children. The center has been in operation since September 2021. Our first cohort graduated in August 2022, and our second Cohort completed and graduated from the program in December 2022.
The Board of Directors made the decision to close the Monicah Ndegwa Center for Women & Children in February 2023 due to insurmountable challenges to the center’s sustainability. We believe that the decision to not continue the center’s operations is in the best interest of our organization because we are currently unable to afford the operating costs and instead, we’re incurring debt.
It’s important to note that we’re not dissolving Project Afya Inc., or Project Afya CBO. We’re only ceasing operations at the Monicah Ndegwa Center for Women and Children and putting all programs and activities on hold.
Thank you for your support.
The Stitches of Hope Empowerment Program serves vulnerable women in Githurai,Kenya which is a semi-urban area. Women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to poverty because of gender-based violence,harmful cultural attitudes and beliefs around gender roles,norms and female empowerment.
The principal goal of the Stitches of Hope Program is
The program utilizes a volunteer expert dressmaker/ tailor to provide basic technical skills training to the participants. External volunteer trainers and interns from Kenyatta University (KU) help to provide business and financial literacy training.Additionally, we identify community members with the relevant skills to serve as mentors.We also invite program graduates as mentors,to return to our center and offer their stories to teach and inspire new beneficiaries.
We use poverty to identify vulnerable populations and to help us locate and reach women and children without access to basic needs.Because hunger and poverty are correlated,we have partnered with community hospitals currently we work in partnership with the St John’s Hospital and the local area Chief and Church leaders from the community to identify and refer women and children who are malnourished or at risk for malnourishment.We conduct a living conditions assessment of the target participant by visiting their homes to explore their economic potential and the barriers they face.
On the 24th of August 2022, Project Afya had its first ever graduation of the Stitches of Hope Program. The first cohort of beneficiaries graduated. The beneficiaries acquired vocational skills in tailoring and dressmaking a course they have been learning for six months.
They are now ready for the job market. We are requesting for your support to provide them with sewing machines so that they can set their businesses up and running.
Thank you for your continued support.
Greetings from the Monicah Ndegwa Center for Women & Children!
These are reports of our three programs:
This is a progress report submitted for the Children's Uji Program (CUP) with regards to Preventing Maternal & Child Malnutrition in Kenya implemented by Project Afya in Githurai. The schools in this locality have been affected by childhood malnutrition due to the high rate of poverty in the community. If this problem is not addressed in time, the effects are usually irreversible.
This year's CUP program commenced on 31st May 2022 with 168 pupils from Early Childhood Development Education(ECDE) that included the PP1and PP2 classes.These are children that are under 5 years old and are susceptible to infections hence the supplemented porridge boosts their immunity. Below is a summary of pupils who were served porridge during the JUNE period;
WEEK ONE:-151 pupils
During week one,the children were delighted that the program was back and their excitement was written all over their faces.
WEEK TWO:-168 pupils
Week two showed a spike increase in attendance which is an indicator that the program is achieving the desired result.
WEEK THREE:-164 pupils
The week three data collected indicated that some pupils were absent from school due to the flu outbreak caused by the cold June weather.
WEEK FOUR:-183 pupils
Week four registered an improvement in attendance as the students sat for their exams.They were also excited about the porridge and had recovered from the flu.
WEEK FIVE:-149 pupils
The Thursday of week 5 showed a spike decrease in attendance because the PP1 class had closed school on Wednesday. Their portion of the porridge was then given to the rest of the older students who were elated to have a taste.
As we served porridge to other students we noticed Naomi sleeping. Upon consulting with her teacher, we found out that Naomi comes to school on an empty stomach since there is no food at home. She depends on the porridge we serve at the school.. We gave her some porridge and snacks and it was wholesome to see her come to life again. She even asked for more saying ‘niongoze’, which means ‘give more more’. This is evidence that some of the pupils. We have no food at home. With the high levels of poverty in Githurai and the elevated cost of living, parents are thankful for the CUP program.
The Stitches of Hope program empowers women to lift themselves out of poverty through developing skills in tailoring and dress making. The program also mentors them to become drivers of social change for themselves and others in the community.
The first cohort of women is set to graduate on August 17th 2022. Currently the second cohort is in session. We have 8 women in the second cohort which is a great deal for us. They are very interested and eager to learn about all aspects of sewing and they are making strides in their training. The women are greatly for this opportunity as it will help them become self reliant and be able to make their own decisions with regards to their families and communities.
With the increasing number of women, there is a need for more sewing machines and we cannot do this without your support.
The goal of the Kinga Community Health Program is to promote health and prevent disease in Githurai. The program delivers health and hygiene education at the community level using simple terms and basic illustrations. The lessons are centered on the whole-person taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just symptoms of a disease.
In April we rolled out the Kinga Community Health education program, a weekly health education program where interns from Kenyatta University hold discussions about matters concerning health with the ladies enrolled at the Stitches of Hope program.
The program runs every Wednesday and the health talks are about topics such as reproductive health, mother and child health, infectious diseases and noncommunicable diseases.
Thank you all for your generous donations and continued support!
Progress Report March, 2022
The Stitches of Hope Program has been running for seven months now. We have eight participants and an instructor. Five are in the first cohort while 3 are in the second cohort. The participants in the first cohort have all perfected the art of sewing, tailoring and dressmaking. They have learnt to cut, measure and sew fabrics. They are now able to make outfits on their own which has been achieved through their consistency, cooperation and commitment.
Beginning February 2022, the first cohort embarked on the second and last phase of the program which entails making items for sale, writing business plans and proposals and getting mentorship which will last another six months after which they will be ready to start their businesses.
Our trainer Catherine is very helpful and resourceful in training the women. She is able to concentrate on one person at a time and this has enabled the women to learn firsthand and become creative by the day. They are able to refer to their notes and consult with each other and this leads to good quality work.
Currently we are enrolling new participants for the next cohort. These participants will be taking the course at a fee which will help in sustaining the program.
The participants are grateful for the donation of the sewing machines as this has helped them to concentrate on improving their skill easily and quickly.
Stella enrolled in the program with a lot of baggage which made her become vulnerable to gender based violence. She used to sit alone quietly and always seemed to be lost in thoughts. Since joining the program Stella has been able to make progress with her life and keep herself busy with the course. She has become confident and her self esteem has been restored. She is now doing well for herself and is one of the best students so far.
The women have learnt to cut, design and sew aprons, dresses, shirts, skirts, trousers, shorts, bags among others.
Last month we signed a contract for sewing uniforms for a security company which will help in the sustainability of our program. The women have done their best to make sure that we deliver on time despite not having an overlock or button hole making machines, which we outsource.
To our donors we cannot thank you enough for your continued support and dedication. Your continued financial support makes it possible for us to alleviate poverty through skills training, knowledge and resources and give women a better chance in life.
Country Director - Kenya
Dear valued supporters,
The Children’s Uji Program (CUP) is going well and we prepare porridge every Tuesday and Thursday. The second school term started on October 11, 2021. The Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) class comprises two - classes PP1 and PP2. Enrollment of PP1 pupils is still ongoing, currently PP1 has 87 pupils, 45 boys and 43 girls. PP2 has 91 pupils, 47 boys and 44 girls. As at November 4, 2021 the total number of pupils was 173. Our cook Darius has been very supportive.
We have changed the name of our centre from the Anne Kagwe Centre for Women and Children to the Monicah Ndegwa Centre for Women and Children. This is because the Anne Kagwe Center was our pilot project which lasted from November 2020 to October 2021. We have now launched the full Ultra Poor Graduation Program at our new center and we plan to enroll more women by the end of the year.
The Stitches of Hope Program (SOHP) is doing good. Currently we have five participants (women) enrolled. The participants are very committed to the training and they have learnt to run the machine, make straight stitches and cut clothes. After the Little by Little campaign we acquired four more sewing machines which now makes a total of 6. This will enable the participants to learn independently. We will be sharing photos of our new setup soon!
We have also enrolled our 3rd Cohort of interns. The four public health students are from Kenyatta University and they started on September 20, 2021. The interns will work hand in hand with the staff and help in the day to day activities of the organization. The interns are; Joan, Geoffrey, Cliff, Clinton. We will be sharing their photos soon when we do a formal introduction. We thank our partner Kenyatta University for believing in our mission and continuing to support our work.
We also acquired new staff on October 18, 2021 as we believe that this will help in the efficient and smooth running of the programs. The new staff are graduates of the Public Health Department at Kenyatta University, and all are former Project Afya interns. Frankline is now our Community Health Educator. Charlene is our Food and Nutrition Program Coordinator, and Wilson is our Resource Mobilization Officer. We have a strong team of dedicated and passionate staff helping to deliver our programs on the ground.
Thank you for continuing to believe in our mission and for your continued support. As the Thanksgiving season rolls around, let us not forget those still suffering from food insecurity and other poverty related issues. We welcome your support during our Giving Tuesday Campaign on November 30th. This 24-hour campaign will help us raise more funds to support our Stitches of Hope Program. Our goal is to have a total of 10 sewing machines which will help us impact the lives of many more women. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support.
Project Afya Team.
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