ABOUT OUR AFFILIATE – KENYA POVERTY ELIMINATION NETWORK
Friends of Africa International NGO welcomed Kenya Poverty Elimination Network (KPEN) as an affiliate in 2016 as part of our commitment to help turn poverty into prosperity in rural, underserved communities. In this capacity, Friends of Africa will serve as the U.S. fiscal sponsor in order to receive donations made to KPEN by its donors in the U.S. All KPEN donations collected will be deposited into an affiliate trust account and dispersed to KPEN projects as needed and as directed by KPEN’s Board via the Friends of Africa International Trust account in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenya Poverty Elimination Network is a no-profit making and Non governmental Organization without religious or political affiliation registered in the year 2000 under the NGO board. KPEN modus operandi is based on improving the socio-economic status of the rural poor especially women and girls.
Founded by Dolly Rajuai, KPEN is run by a board of directors under whom the day to day running of its affairs is a small management team of the Programme director, an accountant, a project officer, field assistant, and volunteer counsellors. The project will be located in Kanyadoto Location of Nyarongi Division in Homa Bay County.
“This is an area I am very attached to because I was born here. It is an area very much impacted by HIV/AIDS, and in fact it has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in Kenya.”
— Dolly Rajuai, KPEN Founder
The Division has approximate population of 65,000 according to the Kenyan 2011 official population projections.
KPEN MISSION STATEMENT
The Kenya poverty elimination Network (KPEN) is a non governmental organization that strives to empower the under-served, disadvantaged and marginalized members of the society to enable them identify and utilize their potentials to eliminate poverty and fight HIV/AIDS.
KPEN PRIMARY OBJECTIVES
- To advocate for gender equity and equality in all areas of socio-economic life.
- To alleviate poverty through promotion of household-based incomes and initiation of income generating projects.
- To effectively mainstream the fight against HIV/AIDS, reducing prevalence and improve quality of lives for those infected and affected within the target catchment’s areas of KPEN.
- Build its own organizational capacity to effectively support furtherance of these objectives.
The lives of Nyarongi community have been threatened by high death rate due to HIV/AIDS related diseases. This has created a lot of vulnerable people especially orphans, widows, and grandmothers who look after the orphans. This lot has special material, monetary, and psychological needs which may not be met adequately by the community, which is already burden by oppression, poverty, diseases and hunger.
KPEN strives to meet the needs of the poorest of the poor and the most marginalized in communities, Hence the interest in reaching out to the HIV/AIDS infected/affected and planning interventions that will improve their quality of life. The project is targeting 250 orphans, 200 grandmothers and 200 PLWHAs.
- BEEKEEPING FOR GRANDMOTHERS
KPEN recognizes and has confirmed that beekeeping is one of the easiest income generating activities that the grandmothers and HIV infected mothers can carry out due to its light labor requirement. Once beehives have been placed, it does not require a lot of work apart from clearing bushes around the hives once in a month. This plus the inspections and harvesting of honey are done by trained male youths (orphans) in the K-PEN program under vocational training.
This activity enables a grandmother to get 8 kgs of honey per hive per harvest (every three months) which is sold for US$5.00 per kg which translates to US$40 x 4 harvests per year is US$ 200.00. If a grandmother is enabled to own at least 3 hives which costs US$85.00 per, and a hive lasts 10-15 years once hoisted, this will allow the grandmothers to feed, clothe, and take the orphans to school.
- TAILORING AND HAIRDRESSING FOR GIRLS:
KPEN has been providing training in the above areas to young girls who have dropped out of school either due to lack of school fees, early pregnancy, or HIV/AIDS related sicknesses. However due to limited funds, we have not been able to provide kits or funds to enable them start their own businesses.
Currently we have trained 30 girls on the above skills and we continue training more each year with funds from another donor. If these young girls could be provided with sewing machines at a cost of US$250 per machine, it would really help the girls start their own businesses. For the training to be more cost effective harmony in the quality of training provided, we have proposed to put up a vocational training centre where all the various skills can be impacted by k-pen sourced staff.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT FOR ALL
Psychological therapy has been the main flagship of our intervention with our members. Most of these people had no hope or a reason to live after losing their either children (and being left with grandchildren to look after), spouses, and or being too sick to HIV/AIDS related sicknesses. So training of volunteer counselors was our first priority, and after several sessions of group therapies, the members came out of their cocoons and were able to share their concerns and fears. It was then that they learnt how crosscutting these concerns and fears were, and this really helped us in breaking through their inner strengths so as to start all the other income generating activities.
Emotion is a very elusive thing which can be there now and gone the next day, and therefore requires constant awakening. It is with this in mind that we train all the members on basic counseling skills to help themselves and others, but more specifically training some volunteer counselors to be properly equipped with counseling knowledge and skills to carry out one on one therapy sessions to the members and during home based care visits.
- VOCATIONAL TRAINING.
Some of the orphans the grandmothers look after have grown up to be young adults who need to contribute to family income, and it’s these young boys who help their grandmothers in the management of the beekeeping project. KPEN recognizes the role that the youth can play to improve the living standard of the household while at the same time avoid the danger they could be exposed to if they are not engaged in meaningful and productive work. In these pursuits, KPEN has been training these young boys on various skills like metal fabrication, woodwork, and masonry. This approach will impart skills to the youth and will expose them to compete for skilled work and minimize the exodus of young people from the villages to urban and cities in search of white collar jobs.
- MICRO-CREDIT SCHEME
KPEN is proposing that the group members themselves will select 200 members to participate in this project. This requires that about Kshs. 1,000,000.00 (USD 10,000.00) be made available for members to borrow for business. The scheme will be managed by a credit officer who will vet the member’s proposals and the ability and viability of the business to repay the loan. The first 50 applicants will borrow a maximum of Kshs 5,500.00 (US$55.00) repayable within six months at an interest of 3%. From there on, after every three months, the applications for the next 50 members will be processed so that there is continuity in loaning and repayments.
The women will form themselves into smaller groups of five depending on how well they know and trust each other. These five members will act as co-guarantors for each other whenever any one of them is borrowing money. This method is based on the Grameen Bank (in Bangladesh) model of micro finance lending where members support and pressure within the group encourages others to borrow and repay their loans.
The 200 members of the project will be divided into two groups of 100 each and taken through a 3 days training on credit scheme management and record keeping. This will enable the members with the assistance of the credit officer to be able to carry out a small business analysis to know whether a business is viable to venture into it and be able to repay the loan.
- K-PEN VOCATIONAL TRAINING AND RESOURCE CENTRE.
Currently KPEN places the young trainees in various trading centers to acquire the different skills, and this has brought about some challenges since we are not able to monitor the quality of training skills provided by the various artisans. The uniformity of the trainings provided cannot also be guaranteed since most of the training providers are themselves not very well trained.
This activity will be pursued by achieving the following 3 key specific objectives:
- To establish a community vocational, life skills and resource centre for youth and the general community for sustainable capacity strengthening.
- To improve capacity of at least 100 youth each year in skills of managing small business enterprises for the sole purpose of improving per capita incomes and so eliminate poverty from among households targeted in Ndhiwa and Uriri Districts in Migori County.
- To provide opportunities for community access to life skills information through internet and library services.
Project implementation methodology
The thrust of the project will be the construction of the community centre to provide vocational training courses and also act as a community information centre (resource centre) for youth and other people seeking information on key issues affecting their lives such as disease control and livelihoods tips.
The resource centre will provide for the following services:
- Training room for Metal work, to accommodate 15 trainees
- Training room for dressmaking, to accommodate 30 trainees
- Training room for hairdressing, to accommodate 15 trainees.
- Training room for carpentry/woodwork, to accommodate 15 trainees
- Training room for computer technology, to accommodate 15 trainees.
- KPEN Administration and Office block (3 rooms)
- A library room, to accommodate 50 people
- A community information technology (IT Hub) room providing youth and other members of the community with internet, computer, printing, photocopy, lamination and binding services).
Once the centre is constructed and equipped, KPEN will use its community networks to identify youth for the various courses that will be offered. It will also liaise with the Ministry of Technical trainings and applied technology, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Industrialization, to identify tutors who will teach the courses offered.
KPEN will also liaise with Kenya National library (through Ministry of Culture and Social services) to equip the library with books and other publications.
The successful execution of this project will lead to the following results:
- Strategic positioning of the youth from poor backgrounds trained in vocational trainings skills and enabled to start their own enterprises. This outcome will be achieved by placing 100 youth each year and training them on skills of managing their own enterprises.
- Improvement in quality of lives for the youth and their families as a result of vocational and life-skills trainings, better opportunities to start their own self employment and to be employed in the artisans industry after their training courses.
- Better computer skills for youth who are not able to afford computer and IT training courses in other commercial institutions.
- Improved access and utilization of IT services for the community members living within the catchment areas of the centre, making it possible for youth and other people to access computer services, internet and other services to improve their lives.
KPEN will be the sole manager of the centre. A Technical Manager will be appointed by KPEN Board of Directors to provide day to day management responsibilities for the centre. The Technical manager will report to the Program Director on the centre’s work. Above all, KPEN Program Director will constitute a local committee composed of the Technical Manager, 2 community representatives, 1 representative from the teaching staff and 2 members of the local Government line Ministries responsible for Vocational training and youth affairs. This committee will report to the programme director and shall provide oversight role to the proper running of the institution.