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

Things happen in stages in order for them to be built well.

One of these projects is happening right now in Kenya. In order for us to build a sustainable food source for orphaned children, we need to start at the very beginning. For this particular project, that means we need to start with water, land and seeds. Let me explain.

There is a small orphanage in Kenya called Restoring Hopes. Living here are 13 beautiful children, all orphaned by AIDS and they are being raised by Hellen and Mama Roy. They are loved, cared for, fed, and hugged. While all that is being done for the kids is amazing, the feeding part is the part that caught my attention. Due to lack of funds, the kids eat very basic meals – beans and corn being the bulk of their caloric intake.

Talking to the directors of the orphanage, we sat and dreamed a little this summer, with me reminiscing of how things were when I grew up in an orphanage in Colombia. My dad was the director of that orphanage and one thing he did in particular always has stayed with me. He gave each of the kids there, along with my sister and me, seeds and a small plot of land, no bigger than 3 feet by 4 feet. We each had a special type of plant to grow and food to raise (mine was garlic!). At harvest time, we’d each sell our veggies to the orphanage, earning personal money and buying all the pride in the world.

As I told them this story, the folks in Kenya decided that this is just what the kids there need – to learn that with work comes pride and dignity. To learn that their efforts will help all the kids with whom they live. And to have joy in working the land. So, AFCA has purchased seeds for these kiddos and soon, small plots will be planted with cilantro, tomatoes, onions, kale, spinach, carrots, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and much more. This will not only serve the children in the ways mentioned above, but it will also provide them with balanced meals with all the colors of the rainbow. Super exciting!

Now, we need to go back to the beginning. While seeds and land are now available, water was the biggest issue. The closest water source was a long distance away and we didn’t want the children to have to drag water from such a distance. With this in mind, a water tank has been installed close to the orphanage, providing water to the kitchen, too! No longer does Hellen need to walk far to get water and now, the children will have easy access for their small gardens. THIS, my friends, is awesome.

I just know that sometimes our partners in Africa want to roll their eyes at me when I insist on backing up and trying to take care of small problems before starting a project. This helps avoid larger problems in the future but they seem inconsequential at the moment. Trust me when I tell you how happy they are that we took the time to scope out the land and to set up a water tank, with water piped in! Next, a little training in basic gardening will take place and then…THEN, the seeds will go in the ground and children will watch as their gardens grow. They will stand tall, holding out their hands with onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and kale for the directors to purchase. They will eat plates of greens, oranges, whites, and yellows. And they will know they are loved.

Thank YOU for allowing this to happen. Thank you for being a giver of hope.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

I am so excited to return to Miwani, Kenya this summer, with three back-to-back teams of volunteers. My, do we have plans with the community there!  We’ll be painting a school and clinic, setting up a playground, doing medical checkups, conducting training for community health workers, and we’ll be building a granary.

We have folks from USA, England, Ukraine, and Australia joining the local community to make this summer a summer of change in the small village where we’ll be working. How exciting to share cultures, languages, and joy together!

The granary building directly complements the garden project we have in Miwani, as it will allow our partner to have a safe place in which to store the harvest of vegetables and fruit.  Children from the orphanage on site will continue having food to eat, which community people will be able to purchase food from that location, as well. Potatoes, squashes, carrots, onions, and garlic will all be housed here, as well as veggies with shorter shelf lives, such as tomatoes, peppers, and kale. 

We are excited to expand the garden project through the building of the granary and we thank you SO much for being part this! Without YOU, it sure wouldn’t be happening. Thank you for believing that children like Tania, pictured here (yes, there are many boys and men named Tania in Kenya), are valuable and that they deserve a good, healthy life, just like you want for your own children.

Off to dig in some gardens in Kenya,


Tanya, for the children

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Children 1
Children 1

In 2016 I visited the village of Miwani, Kenya, where AFCA has various projects. My intention for this visit was to see how things are going, plan for the future, and teach some conservation farming techniques so that gardens would grow despite lack of rain. We worked hard and had a great time.  The older children from Hadrein Academy helped plant seeds and there was much laughter as we worked together. This was the first time that mulch was used on plants in their garden and we had no idea how things would turn out.

Something must have gone not-quite-right, as some of the plants didn’t grow as they should have, but others did.  I guess that is gardening though.  You don’t always know what you’ll get. But, the children are well and healthy as ever, thanks in part to that garden. Yesterday, I received a note from that project saying, “We want to thank you for the donations you’ve put towards the orphanage which ensure that the children have food to eat each and every day. Words are not enough to show our appreciation, as they are happy to eat good food and drink clean water. I must comment, the water filters have really helped as a lot! There are now no cases of stomach ache and typhoid with the children since they started drinking the filtered water. Thank you!” It is so exciting to know that gifts like seeds, training, and water filters can make such a difference!

Now, Kenya has been experiencing a drought for quite a long time now and the land is so dry now. Even so, they were able to harvest good greens for the children from the seeds we sent and it seems the children love eating them. And, great news is that the papaya seeds we sent seem to resist the drought and some are producing papaya fruit already! The children are so happy with the papaya trees, as fruit is already growing and the kids are dreaming of how good they will taste. The variety we sent seems to be different from the local papaya seed, as the trees have grown quickly.

When I return to this area with three volunteer teams in the summer of 2017, I am sure we’ll meet healthy children who now know what good, plentiful food is like.  Together with the volunteers, children and community members, we’ll be tackling the painting of a school, a clinic, and an orphanage, as well as setting up a tailoring school, and a playground.  Exciting times are ahead of us in this village and we are super excited!

If you’d like to be part of something like this and have been looking for a way to use your vacation time while doing something purposeful, check out our Vacation with a Purpose tab at There, you’ll find opportunities to volunteer in Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. We’d love to have you work beside us and the communities with whom we’ve partnered.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

We're counting our blessings this holiday season at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS.  It's been a great year and we have some incredible projects lined up for 2017.  All of them with the intention of helping HIV+ children and their caregivers break the cycle of poverty!

We continue to work closely with our partner on the sisal project (fiber from where bags, rope, and many other things are made) which hires HIV+ mothers so that their children can go to school, so that they can all eat well, and so that they have enough funds for their basic necessities. In addition, a school is attached to the project.  We are currently raising funds in order to build good, decent, hygienic bathrooms.

Your generosity is making a difference in lives of these children and their caregivers.  Thank you for supporting our work!  As you make your end of the year giving decisions, please keep us in mind so we can continue helping children in 2017 and beyond.  We wish you the best year ever, full of every blessing and happiness imaginable, knowing you are a hope-giver.   If you'd 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 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

With eyes focused on sustainability and reliable incomes so that families can eat well, which in turn, allows children to stay in school, AFCA is supporting a sisal project.  Sisal is a fiber that is used to make rope, shoes, baskets, coffee bags, and much more and it is highly marketable around the world.

In a small corner of Kenya, in the village of Miwani, a group of HIV+ women and men are working in sisal production, thanks to YOU.  They harvest the leaves and pass them through a process that removes the fiber from the leaves, leaving a mulch that is used to feed livestock and to make soap, which is another business enterprise workers can engage in. These employees are being paid a fair wage and better yet, they can expect a bonus if they are good workers and if they are reliable.  This is an uncommon practice and one that the employees are so excited about!

Another wonderful addition to this project is the fact that people work 3-day weeks.  This is particularly important for those who are widowed with children. A three day work week allows for days off when someone is not feeling well and it also allows time for household chores and childcare.  This is an inovative idea which is being embraced eagerly.

It is becasue of YOU that this can happen - people can have the dignity of working, knowing they will be treated fairly and well, their kids can go to school, they can save some money, and they can have hope for a better future.  Thank YOU for being a deliverer of hope.  Children like the ones in the photos are the true beneficiaries - they learn the value of good work, eat well and can study.  Excellent all the way around, isn't it?

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Location: Harrisburg, PA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AFCAids
Project Leader:
tanya weaver
Harrisburg, PA United States
$13,710 raised of $14,000 goal
411 donations
$290 to go
Donate Now

Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG8881

Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

American Foundation for Children with AIDS has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.