Project Harambee helps in the support of several communities of those seriously impacted by HIV. We mainly, though not exclusively, work with women. For their work they receive payment that assists with medical care, rent, and children's needs. Because sustainability and good management are critical components of successful projects, we need to work with schools, clinics, or other entities that have a well-organized infrastructure in place.
The first group is located at Mukuru and uses the facility of St. Mary's Church. They have now incorporated as a government-recognized co-op: MWECHI (Mukuru Women's Empowerment & Community Health Initiative). In addition to making and selling crafts, the groups members are all home health care providers for HIV+ community members. One, Catherine, is a certified midwife.
The second comprises groups in several Nairobi slums at Lea Toto clinics. The Lea Toto ("to raise a child") children's outreach clinics were founded by Father Angelo D'Agostino, S.J., a physician who founded the first orphanage for HIV+ children in Kenya (www.nyumbani.org) . The mothers, organized by Sister Therese Little and Vivian Bowyer Brown, organize and meet to work together to improve their lives through education and craft sales.
Our third group is in Naivasha, at Upendo Village, a comprehensive clinic and social needs program run by Sister Florence Muia. (www.upendovillage.org) . Upendo Village is also the site of our largest animal program. We have provided a great many high-quality dairy goats for families, chickens, and beehives.
NEW IN 2007: Before his untimely death in late November of 2006, Father Angelo D'Agostino had mobilized to serve the enormous population of grandparents in Kenya raising their orphaned grandchildren. He founded Nyumbani Village in Kitui, which opened in late 2006, although resources for the families were scant. Of particular concern is the lack of protein in the diets of the children and grandparents. Sister Mary Owens, director of the Village, knew that goats and chickens would provide the best sources of protein via milk and eggs--but funds were lacking. HARAMBEE is very proud to announce that we have brought "Critters for Kenya" program to Nyumbani Village, providing high-yield dairy, chickens, and beehives, as well as training for their care. (www.sustainableag.org)
2008: We have begun craft and animal program in Zambia at three locations. Soon there will Image Galleries showing our projects at these locations. In Zambia we have sponsored the construction of a brick piggery in the village of Mlanga and are selling gift cards for the purchase of high quality pigs to improve the existing stock.
Also new this year: In the village of Kaluoki, in souteastern Kenya, we started a porridge program for the schoolchildren. This part of Kenya has been very seriously affected by drought, and of course the children suffer most. Through YOUR donations we are providing several meals a week of high-protein uji. We are initiating a craft group to foster the wonderful weaving skills of the grandmothers in Kaluoki and we will sell their goods at our craft and holiday fairs.
2012 update: It's not too easy to keep our website updated--we're always mighty busy! Please see the "my blog" tab for information. A fuller progress report detailing new projects we support in Uganda and Rwanda will be posted at thr end of this year.
We could never do these wonderful things without the generosity of our donors. Indeed, we are bringing peace to the world...one goat, one chicken, one beehive...at a time. HARAMBEE!