We are excited to announce our 3rd 2022 Spring Grant Recipient!
Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, Orphan Outreach is receiving a $17,000 grant towards their Narok Community Outreach Program in Narok County, Kenya!
Initiative Description: The Narok Community Outreach Program, based in Narok County of Kenya, is a new program started in May 2021 by Orphan Outreach and its Kenya NGO, Yatima Outreach, in partnership with the Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK). The program serves to provide essentials like food, education, counseling, and individualized care to preschool-aged orphaned and vulnerable Maasai children and their families living in the village of Naisoya in Narok County, which is often overlooked due to its remote location in Kenya. Most Maasai families lack the resources to provide the most basic of care for their children. Our program enables the children and their families to come together for nutritious meals, educational support, individual and group counseling, and parenting workshops. Because of the success of the program in just one year, the demand from the community for more children to be included is tremendous.
The Maasai community is an ethnic tribe in Kenya, known for living with the land and its wildlife. Due to modern progress, the Maasai have struggled to maintain their land, which is often inherited, and to be able to earn enough wages to provide even the essentials for their families, which average about eight members. Education for their children is scarce, particularly for girls. Culturally, the Maasai do not believe in the value of education; instead, the children often start school late, not at all, or are pulled to help their family work the land.
In a feasibility study conducted to determine the needs of the Maasai orphaned and vulnerable children and their families, it was found that in the Naisoya area:
• There are many orphaned and vulnerable children
• There is a wide gap in vulnerable children having access to education
• There is an alarming high rate of teenage pregnancy (40%)
• There are many children living with disabilities
• There is evident violation of child rights
• There is no access to safe water
• There is little knowledge of sanitation and hygiene
• There is a gap in provision of health services
• HIV is still prevalent
• Malnutrition is one of the greatest challenges
The ACK has asked Orphan Outreach to help with serving in this region.
Initiative Impact: Our two main objectives for the Narok Community Outreach Program are:
• To improve the psychosocial well-being of 10 orphaned and vulnerable children and their families in Naisoya, which includes providing education, quarterly medical assessments, and parent workshops focused on self-sustainability and the value of education.
• To improve the nutritional status of 10 orphaned and vulnerable children and their families in Naisoya, which includes providing two meals each Saturday to the children in the program, along with a monthly food bag provided to the families that will enable them to prepare two meals a day for one month.
Our program aims to restore hope for the vulnerable Maasai children in the village of Naisoya by providing holistic care and protecting the rights of children to ensure they receive an education. It’s vital we enroll young girls in the Narok Community Program to receive support for education due to the many challenges women face in the Maasai culture, including a 40% teen pregnancy rate in Narok County of girls between the ages of 15-19; child marriage; high school dropout; and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Our anticipated outcomes of this program are that the children and families receive monthly food supplies that help them grow and are no longer malnourished, children remain in school, have improved school attendance and performance, have access to learning materials and therapeutic play for healthy development, and have an improved home environment.
Initiative Sustainability: In all our endeavors we strive to provide programs that will last for generations. Some of the practical ways we engage in sustainability efforts are through partnerships, empowerment, and broadening our development efforts.
In partnership, we collaborate with many so the burden does not fall on any one group. In Narok, we are working with the ACK (Anglican Church of Kenya), the office of the Archbishop, the local diocese, and local schools. Yatima Outreach staff are utilizing local church volunteers to help implement the Saturday community outreach program, also developing strong community relations in Narok County by including community leaders in the program’s mission and activities. Local schools are embracing the Narok Community Program and its interventions with the orphaned and vulnerable children in the area.
We are empowering nationals in Kenya to lead the work. Yatima Outreach staff are all Kenyan and deeply dedicated to their country. We are working with the families so that they take ownership of the challenges they face. The families of the children enrolled in the community program are being positively influenced with parental training on topics such as education, agribusiness, and proper hygiene. As a result, the families are accepting the support, and ensuring they attend the resources being offered, while also ensuring their children attend school regularly.
Launching and maintaining a program requires both initial and long-term funding and capital. We do not want this to be ‘our’ idea with no buy-in or commitment from locals. All the aforementioned partners are key stakeholders. The land was provided by the ACK, and the church meeting space was provided through the Archbishop’s efforts.