Our mission is to empower at-risk children to thrive. We believe every child, no matter their background, deserves a loving family and the opportunity to reach their full potential.
We collaborate with partners to sustainably provide nutritious food, clean water, a safe environment, and access to education.
Here’s Our Journey So Far
A mission kid, Pollyanna Uruena travels with her family to various Christian missionary sites in Latin America. At an early age, she is exposed to the dire conditions in orphanages, which kindles a passion for children in care
Jacqueline Herrera at an early age is drawn to social justice. She begins learning about and volunteering at organizations which help refugees and people in poverty.
A Friendship Begins
Pollyanna and Jacqueline meet while studying at UCLA. As luck would have it, they were placed on a specialty dorm floor, where they quickly discover that they both share a passion for improving the lives of “orphaned” children.
The Seed Is Planted
After the launch of FB, Jacqueline and Pollyanna see the potential of social networking and the opportunity to connect orphanages with people in developing countries who might be able to assist them, especially with their most urgent needs.
Pollyanna and Jacqueline found Kitechild as a global online network to increase the visibility of at-risk children in residential care by connecting children’s centers to donors and supporters. Kitechild.org launches, and soon after, local child care centers from all over the world rush to sign up as Kitechild partners.
Learning & Iterating
Quickly realizing that internet availability was limited and computer literacy not wide-spread, Kitechild begins collating information on behalf of partners as they are not able to easily access or post on the website. Jacqueline and Pollyanna also see that these organizations’ needs are endless so there would always be “gifting” rather than empowering if the orphanages were not more self-sufficient. From this grows the new model of collaborating on projects rather than submitting requests for items that were needed.
Kitechild’s First Project
Kitechild implements its first project, an Electrical Substation for children center working to rescue children of mother working in the red lights district of Tijuana, Mexico. This becomes the first self-sufficiency project from which they start developing Kitechild’s Sustainable Project Model.
Pollyanna and Jacqueline take their first trip to Kenya in 2012. After touring the country and meeting with several residential care center directors, they realize that they wanted to focus Kitechild’s efforts by specializing in one region before scaling up. Kenya had the right mixture of local capacity and alignment of goals and methods.
We hire our Kenyan Project Manager and Liaison Martha Maina, a local Kenyan social worker, to run our new projects in Kenya. Martha’s expertise in partnership building and project implementation allow for stakeholder buy-in and transparency which had previously been a significant challenge.
Visiting Global Projects
Between 2013 and 2015, Jacqueline and Pollyanna visit previous partners in India and Central America. While all initiatives going forward would be based in Kenya, former partners and projects are still supported as originally agreed upon.
First Projects in Kenya
Kitechild implements the first sustainable projects in Kenya — a poultry farm and drinking water filters at Watoto Wema.
Sustainable Projects Model’s Birth
Kitechild develops and adopts its innovative Sustainable Project Model for project design & implementation with the Poultry project at Watoto Wema. This becomes the foundation for all Kitechild Self-Sufficiency Projects.
Cultivating A Supplier
Kitechild develops and adopts its innovative Amiran, Kenya’s largest greenhouse and drip irrigation company, established a corporate relationship with Kitechild to provide supplies for agriculture projects.
Kenyan Government Relationship
Martha recognized the need to connect with Children’s Department officials in order to work more legitimately and in collaboration with the Kenyan government. Martha meets Eunice Njuguna, a local Children’s Officer, in 2016. They quickly find common objectives and begin collaborating officially on behalf of their organizations.
Deauville Film Award Kenyan Government Relationship
Jacqueline and Pollyanna hire local film crews to capture the amazing stories of partners’ successes. This storytelling project is nominated for international recognition. Kitechild wins the silver award at 2017 Deauville Film Festival for the category of Organizations and Social Responsibility for their short film “Kitechild Kenya — Greenhouses for Good.”
Reuniting Children With Families
Kitechild holds its first 3 day Reintegration Training in June for over 20 children’s residential centers. This is a collaboration by Eunice Njuguna as a government official, Kitechild, and several other organizations. Follow-up trainings are held in 2018 and 2019. Participating partners commence transformation from permanent housing to transitional centers providing rehabilitation and rescue assistance for at-risk children.
Good Green Fun
In November, Kitechild hosts its first annual Green Gala, a sustainable fundraiser to support administrative costs and projects. Donors have a chance to support Kitechild and connect in-person in a comedic, fun-filled evening.
Teaming Up With Artemis
Artemis Ag Tech forms a corporate sponsorship with Kitechild. Artemis, the leading enterprise cultivation management platform (CMP), offers its CMP to three Kitechild partners with large farms.