Every now and again it occurs that a very carefully planned, needed, well implemented and locally well received project falls prey to sabotage, political wire-pulling, protection racketing, embezzlement of funds or a combination of the above.
Because we can no longer guarantee neither for the safety and security of our local staff members nor for the beneficiares’ actually accessing MWNAGZA and because of repeated, brutal and costly sabotage from within the community we are forced to close MWANGAZA down per End of August 2016. It hurts to close down a successful project that impacted positively on the lives of 245 children and their families. We are fully aware of the bitter consequences for all of them. But there is no way for us to stay in the hostile, pre-electorally charged environment. To those familiar with the current Kenyan context, this may not come as an utter surprise.With this we pull out of the instable, fragile and notoriously corrupt Homa bay County, Nyanza Province.
Rangwe is a poor, small and rural village in the southern part of Western Kenya close to the border with Tanzania. With a HIV prevalence close to 29% everybody is HIV/Aids infected or affected. In Rangwe people continue to die of Aids – hundreds of children are left behind. Without the protection of their parents, they live in so called child-headed households, together with a feeble grandmother who needs care herself or an HIV-positive widow without support and many children to care for. Their battle for survial is a harsh one – and yet the children long for the opportunity to learn and to go to school. One reliable, decent meal per day is not something they grow up with.
Aids & Child therefore established a a model project at Marienga Primary School consisting of the following programmes:
- Nutrition: 210 carefully selected children are getting one hot meal per day during the nine month of the Kenyan school year.
- Hygiene: We are currently putting up toilets at Marienga and provide sanitary towels for 100 selected girls to keep them in school.
- Water: through rainwater harvesting and in times of severe drought through additional water we provide each orphans household with improved access to water and drinking water. This is of great importance to the Aids orphans asa most of them spend considerable amount of time to search for water. It adds to their general health- particularly so during the dry seasons when cholera and typhus make their regular appearance
- Education: We provide for school uniforms, llevy fees for our primary school pupils and and school fees for selected secondary school students. Our two project-teachers are tasked with regular remedial studying sessions.
- Health: We provide monthly general health checkups with treatment on the school site, do adherence monitoring and counselling, treat or if need be refer all emergencies and guarantee transport as well as professional follow up from our medical team. We test our beneficiaries on HIV- and pregnancy, hold regular informative health talks on selected topics, and engage in preventive actions with regard to malaria, jjiggers, ringworms and deworming among others. An annual MWANGAZA Health day provides general medical services to the whole school population and the
- Household improvement: Our social worker is visiting the households and assesses the situation permanently, does counselling and referrals. As many of our beneficiaires live in very fragile context they may need support and help all of a sudden. Upon assessments the children recieve sweaters, sandals, t-shirts, beddings and blankets as well as solar lamps.
- Talent development: Kenyan schools tend to focus exclusively on their syllabus and neglect sports as well as arts, poetry, drama and music – all of them important in Luo culture. But children learn a lot of soft skills important for their future with these activities. And they definitely need those very much considering their backgrounds. We therefore started our own MWANGAZA teams in netball and football, train them and enable them to parttake in regional competitions. The same is happening int the realms of music, drama, poetry and arts. Once a year, at MWANGAZA Day, the children act and play competitelv in an event that is open to the community to hear and see them.
The HIV/Aids Fund of the Accentus Foundation enabled us to get 19 water tanks for rainwater harvesting to the child headed households in the community, its primary and secondary schools and the clinic. Thanks to their generous donation we were able to pilot the school feeding scheme at Marienga Primary School in 2013/14.