Be Kids is currently sponsoring 16 students in secondary school. Fourteen of these students attend Our Lady of Fatima secondary school. After the Form One results are assessed, we anticipate this number to grow to 20.
The students are performing impressively apart from two, who scored below-average results and had to be replaced for personal reasons.
Be Kids secured a position for Issa Bukura to study at Our Lady of Fatima, after he had missed school for a month due to tribal conflict in his Nairobi school.
Be Kids arranged for Mahul Shah to guide the students in making the best career choices. He works closely with international universities and especially UWA in linking up Kenyan students with tertiary institutions.
Many students are inclined towards traditional careers in medicine, law and engineering. Unfortunately, they are inclined to overlook opportunities in other fields such as agriculture and mining.
Kioo Café was established as a Women Empowerment Program in Korogocho in February 2012. In partnership with SIFE UWA, the goal was to help women break free of their dependency on small wages obtained from washing clothes.
Initially the idea was to buy a washing machine for the women but after evaluation this idea was found to be unsuitable.
After a period of training and research, Kioo Café was established in the nearby estate of Lucky Summer. The Café has had its fair number of challenges, namely due to the poor business attitudes of the women involved.
After a series of initial setbacks, it was agreed the Café needed to be repainted, cleaned, taps fixed, electricity bills paid and a new menu planned so that a positive start could occur. The Café would be relaunched with new uniforms and business cards.
The doors of Kioo Café reopened on 12 February under new management. The staff have already employed two more women from Korogocho, with the intention of adding two more to the team. The new women possess a strong work ethic and understand the relationship between effort and success.
Be Kids supports an initiative in Korogocho whereby children with a passion for art are trained on how to use art as a tool for creative expression.
Many of the best artworks are exhibited and sold for fundraising. As well as purchasing art materials for the children, Be Kids also collects some of the art pieces and sells them at auction during our annual dinners.
In the past month, the art team has concentrated mainly on watercolours. The tutor has been training them to draw images from their imaginations - images from their daily interactions at family and school.
We hope to open an Art Exhibition in August.
This short video shows the kids learning their craft:
In Kenya, children continue to suffer. The situation is particularly acute in the informal settlements and war prone areas, especially during periods of violence.
According to the United Nations convention on children’s rights, children have the right to participate and make decisions on issues affecting them and this should be provided for.
It has been tested and proven that when children are given the opportunity to participate in development and decision-making, there is a more successful outcome than only consulting adults. It has been shown that participation of children results in longer term community ownership of development.
In May 2009, Be Kids commenced our work in Timor-Leste by conducting a fact-gathering visit. Generous assistance was provided by Friends and Partners of East Timor (FPET), an organisation funded through the Gap Parish in Queensland.
Limanaro is a small village several hours drive from Dili. The community faces a number of issues including health, lack of educational supplies and an absence of amenities and facilities. Villages like Limanaro do not enjoy the largesse of donations from usual charities.
Be Kids would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who supported us in developing this project.
From October 2006 to February 2007, Be Kids volunteers, Tamara and Joe O’Keeffe, worked with the Marimba community to establish a farming program. The project offered self-subsistence to the children at the Marimba orphanage that under construction. It also offered an opportunity for the local community to diversify their cash crops beyond tea.
Tamara, an environmental and soil scientist, and Joe, a carpenter and joiner, previously worked in Kangeta and at Marimba experimenting with cultivation techniques and running a vocational training program for young men. Having previously volunteered in Mozambique, Tamara was experienced working on this type of community project.
The orphanage is now operating and the farm project is being continued. The irrigation system that our volunteers working with the Marimba Community are much appreciated and still in use.
Over Christmas 2011, Be Kids encouraged the children in the Kengele Program to think about “giving back” to their peers - raising money to buy supplies for kids living in famine-ridden West Pokot, up near the Sudanese border.
The children's efforts exceeded everyone's expectations - they ended up raising 25,000 shillings! (over $300 in Australian dollars). Be Kids matched this figure and the proceeds helped feed children affected by hunger in north-western Kenya.
This initiative proved so successful that we thought it would be wonderful if the Kengele children could travel to the actual region. One of our donors sponsored the excursion which enabled children to meet, interact and bond with their new friends!
Upon returning to Korogocho, the children indicated their wish to keep in contact with their new friends and this gave birth to our first Kengele Outreach Program. These young people began reaching out to their peers in remote Kenya and teaching them about leadership, expression through writing, video and photography, as well as children's rights and responsibilities.
Here is a link that I am sure you will find inspirational - children with so little money helping others even less fortunate than themselves:
During the same period, we offered two positions to K-Youth Media graduates to serve as peer-to-peer mentors. They were Nahashon Mutahi and Abdi Wakil, who worked from July to September 2012. These two young adults guided the twelve children on creative expression skills using photographs, recording for radio, writing for the Kengele magazine and artwork.
Here are some videos made by the kids from Chepararia, West Pokot:
Chepareria is a village in West Pokot in Northern Kenya. The actual area of operation is very remote and often inaccessible by road. To compound matters, Chepareria has only stream water and no electricity.
There are several cultural factors affecting the children, including early marriage, the economic pressures of polygamous families, female genital mutilation, and the fact that parents tend not to invest as much effort in educating girls as much as boys.
Be Kids visited two schools where some of the Kengele children study. At Korelach School, some of the young children received dolls and small playing balls from students at Santa Maria College in Perth. The children responded to the exchange of gifts with much joy and happiness.
Under the higher education support program, Be Kids has developed a strategy whereby those who wish to qualify for a scholarship must develop a “giving back” project.
Young adults are encouraged to develop positive outlooks, increase their self-esteem, and become responsible role models in their communities. The projects range from simple interventions such as helping kids with their homework at the study centres, mentoring young ones, and visiting and caring for the aged.As part of this initiative, Be Kids has started sponsoring Nahashon Mutahi who joined the University of Nairobi to study commerce.
In July 2006, Be Kids commenced the Women’s Empowerment Program to address and eliminate, where possible, the economic impediments faced by women in areas like Kangeta, Kenya.
Through this program, co-ordinated by the Good Shepherd Sisters on our behalf, women carers of children can obtain a small interest free loan that can be used as capital to earn income for child care.
If necessary, the money can be used for rent so women can free themselves and their children from dangerous situations such as domestic abuse. Basic adult literacy education is also included and many women are thrilled to be able to write their own names.
The Kangeta Day Care Centre is located in Kangeta, Kenya. Be Kids Australia Inc. has funded this project through donations made under the auspices of Rotary Australia’s World Community Service (RAWCS) program through the Rotary Clubs of Claremont-Cottesloe and the Rotary Club of Karura, Kenya.
The Project commenced costruction on 17 July 2006 and was structurally completed on 29 September 2006.
The Centre is now providing a safe educational environment for children whose poverty and physical handicaps have prevented them from attending school. Children of diverse ages are taken in on a day care basis, provided with food and taught to the extent of their ability. The goal is to enable the children to reach a standard where they can be taken into schools in the area and empower them to protect themselves from abusers and predators.