Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya

by American Foundation for Children with AIDS
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya

Happy March! 

I wanted to share updates that will warm the cockles of your heart. We are committed to working with families and children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS in Miwani, Kenya. One of our goals is that all HIV + women in our programs are able to sustain themselves and their families. We want to see themselves paying for their children's school fees, clothes, daily meals and medication bills. It really melts our heart with joy to see that ALL children under our program are able to go to school and do well in classes, talk about a great impact!!!.

However, most HIV+ children in Miwani live with jobless single parents, grandparents or extended family members.  Their families do not have enough food and cannot afford school expenses.  To ensure that school age children have access to education, meals, good clothes and attend medication when needed, 31 women have jobs through our two job creation projects (sisal and garden) supported by the American Foundation for Children with AIDS. With fair daily wages from these projects, the women are happy to be able to solve their problem themselves, giving them a sense of dignity and high self-esteem.  Not to mention the role some of them play to make sure the projects are running well.

All our program are geared towards transforming lives of those affected or infected by HIV/AIDS and we are looking forward for those days that HIV/AIDS won’t be present in our community, until then, nothing will stop us from our work.  A big shout out to our donors and friends who have made it possible to bring hope and transform lives in this part of the continent. We say THANK YOU!

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa. thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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I am delighted to give you yet another report on how our work together is bringing about great admirable impact into the lives of women, children and families that have been infected/affected by HIV/AIDs. 

To know how our program is changing lives, I have visit the families of the women working on the sisal and garden projects and examine if really we are positively changing their lives, Yesterday i had a privilege to visit on of the women working on sisal project, I had a great interview with her, and I could not hide my smiling face anymore. 

I would love to share with you about the family of Connie who is working on the sisal project. Connie who has been a widow for 10 years has been living with HIV and AIDS for 12 years. Her husband died 10 years ago leaving her with four kids to raise.  With no job to depend on, she has a devastating life story for her children.  Once in her life she decided to turn her life to prostitution so that she could raise her children. Late at night she could leave her children sleeping to go for her "job" in town and would return very early in the morning (4 AM) so that her children couldn't get to know where she went. This was her life for 4 years when she decided to turn her life around, not knowing how many men she had infected with AIDS.  This did not put food on her table to feed her children. She faced yet another trials in her live as hopelessness and poverty took a central position in her life.  Connie would send her children to her relatives for a few days so she could finds ways to be self-sufficient, as she could go some days without food to eat and soap to clean her cloths.  

Connie joined our sisal project and she is proud that her life has changed for good, and surely with what i saw i truly could say that there is a sense of no more poverty and hopelessness as before for her. She has all her children under her care, they are no longer living with her relatives because she can comfortably provide food, soap to wash her family clothes, fees to educate her kids and she is living a good life within the community . What makes me happy is that the source of her income does not come from prostitution, but from a decent work. Surely there is a sense in which the sisal project has brought about a positive change in Connie's family, a family that once could not support her self is now able to comfortably support herself.  There is a sense in which dignity and hope is restored back to her life. There is a sense in which she is now self-sufficient and sustainable.  There is a sense in which AFCA needs to be proud because five lives are positively impacted.  

Apart from the daily wage she gets from sisal project, she is has a small garden and she copied how we did prepare the garden beds to produce.  Connie did exactly the same and I was extremely happy to see that she can grow vegetables of her own to help with the cost of her buying the veggies for her kids. She used her income from the sisal to buy enough seeds for her 3 garden beds.  I was thrilled more than ever before for her.  I love the fact that she is decent with everything around her, her house, compound and kids.

The team here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS thanks you for supporting this project and the work we do for the children in Africa.  As you start to make decisions regarding your end of year giving, please keep us in mind so we can continue our good work into 2020 and beyond.  We wish you a new year full of many blessings and as much hope as you have shared with us.  If you would like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

 

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I hope that this report again finds you well.  I would love to share more specifically on the sisal project, about the women working at the sisal project 3 days a week to earn a living.  I’m attaching photos so you can see the women working (dicorticating, washing the sisal for drying, picking the sisal leaves for processing, removing sisal wastes to the compost bin for decomposing, maintaining the decorticator with the water during the processing time and removing the dried sisal fibre)

Mitzi has 4 children, Lynn has 3 children, Joanne has 2 children and Margie has 6 children.  They are all HIV+ and they love the work they are doing here so that they can take care of themselves and their families.  I would love to report that at this moment we have all women working at the project.  This means that the project is now 100% women working in it.  They are dedicated women who are happy with this work.

I visited Mitzi to assess if the project is really helping them to get out of poverty, and this is was my finding ..

1. Her 4 kids are attending school regularly.

2. She is raising 5 chickens that she was able to buy with her salary from the sisal project.

3. Her house is neat with good chairs and basics of the house.

4. The kids do not attend hospital frequently.

5. The kids do not look malnourished.

6. She has her daily meals with her family.

7. She wears good clothes and is very healthy.

8. Kids have good clean clothes to put on meaning she can be able to buy soap.

9. Kids are doing well in class work.

I was so pleased and happy that the project is helping out the women get out of the cycle of poverty, and that there is no hunger in families affected or infected with HIV/Aids working in the project. I am happy to report that the effects/fruits of this project is great are so encouraging to be part of since it has created jobs for positive mothers in our community.

I can't stress more about how the sisal is helping our women, and I want to say A BIG THANK YOU to AFCA for helping us out in seeing that this project becomes sustainable to continue helping out the families. We appreciate the trainings and the financial support AFCA has invested in this project.

Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa. thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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I want to share some news about the sisal project and how it is helping the lives of HIV+ women directly involved in it.  I can't stress enough how this has positively changed their lives. 

Mama Justina is one of the women working in the sisal project.  Her husband died 6 years ago of AIDS and HIV/Aids, and after his death she refused to get remarried.  She was left with 5 children.  One passed away two years later and now she is raising 4 children in addition to caring for her aging grandmother.

With no job before, she was unable to afford the basic needs of her children.  Many times they were sent away from school for not having school fees, not to mention the food and medication which was so necessary.  Life for her was between a rock and hard place, there was nothing for her to smile about, poverty was so very present in her household.

Today, I am so proud to say that the sisal project has changed her life and that of her children.  There is a sense of hope instilled in the family.  Not a day has passed without having food for her children and they have not been sent back home for school fees or illness.  Mama has been able to buy decent cloths for herself and is living a life full of glory and happiness.  No wonder she works with all her heart and passion in the project.

Enjoy the attached photos of some of the women learning to make sisal baskets, what beautiful smiles and a great project!  Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa. thank you for your continued support of this important project.  If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org. 

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I would love to share about on of the women working in the sisal project and how the project is positively affecting her life.  Mama Abby has been living with HIV for now 6 years.  She is raising her four children alone and taking care of  her aging grandmother.  Abby's children were not able to go to school before the project because she was not able to pay the fees.  They were becoming of age to start their schooling but it was impossible.  It was a tremendous stress on her!

Today, Abby is providing food, clothing, school fees and medication. She is no longer begging her neighbors for food.  I went to visit her yesterday and it's such a drastic change, I don't know if I should smile or cry.  Hope has been restored back in Abby's life, and the lives of her children.  Making the sisal rope has been life-changing for all of them!

We invite you to visit one of our other GlobalGiving projects “Let’s Give Girls Training for a Vibrant Future” which is competing for a spot in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund now through March 14th.  You can vote with a donation as small as $10 and make a huge difference in the life of these young women by visiting https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/girls-vibrant-future/

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American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Location: Harrisburg, PA - USA
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Twitter: @AFCAids
Project Leader:
tanya weaver
Harrisburg, PA United States
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