Josiah Oketch and Jacqueline Achieng, Kasarani Alpha Nursery Self Help Project
By David Omondi, East Africa Team Member
The Kasarani Self-help project helps the orphans and vulnerable children within Obunga slums in Kisumu County, Kenya. The project goal is to provide quality education to disadvantaged children. They have over 200 students from preschool to 6th grade and they expand to the next grade every year. The school also has a farm where they grow and sell vegetables. Because they work with orphans, they often partner with organizations that support people living with HIV/AIDS by offering training and feeding programs to improve nutrition.
The dilapidated structures that act as classrooms for the over 200 students they support compromise the very quality education that they seek to provide – the classrooms are as vulnerable as the children they support. Since meeting them, I have shared with how we have made it at Akili School and the need to develop a strategy for the school, have a strong online presence, develop a network of supporters and start small and grow gradually.
I feel that I can mentor Josiah and Jacklyne and help them attract supporters and grants to support their work and achieve their vision of empowering orphans and vulnerable children through education. They do not know how to find grants online and are very discouraged. Giving them this flow fund will connect them to a network of people who believe in them and care about their success. This will show them that there are great people out there who can stand with them and help them succeed.
Josiah and Jacklyne are visionaries. They will use the money to cement and renovate floors of 2 classrooms to provide a conducive study environment for the children and also prevent infestation of disease-transmitting jiggers. They will also use the funds to expand their vegetable farm and boost food production at the school with the sole aim of improving nutrition for the disadvantaged children.