A few positive takeaways from our progress in the field in the first Quarter of 2020

Mother Esther – Agricultural Farm Expansion

Girls at Mother Esther Girls Rescue Center, picking onions from the 3 acres of open air farming.

In Q-1 of 2020, we installed an additional Green-house and an additional 2 acres of drip irrigation systems that included drip lines and two 5,000 liter water tanks to increase the capacity of the project. The farm not only produced enough vegetables to help feed 120 girls and staff in the first quarter, but the farm also produced enough produce to sell to other families in the Masai community.

The income generated from the farm was small, around $1,313 USD, but it was used to pay the farm hand, to purchase other food items for children, like milk and cereals and some firewood for cooking.

Plotting the expansion of the agricultural project and the Masai womens community learning program in Fall of 2019.

The farm expansion garnered the attention of the regional department of agriculture officers, who visited the farm to learn how we were able to convert otherwise arid land into viable agricultural land. The takeaway here is that the project is scaling and creating food security in a region that has historically had a huge issue with lack of food. (The official community pilot training program that was scheduled to begin in Q2 of 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19.)

Tumaini Children Center- Renewable Energy & Renewable Source of Protein

Sometimes its the little thing that count, can you imagine quarantine without electricity?

We installed a small solar panel and converter system at our partner Tumaini Children’s Center. The children and staff now have a source of power to light up their nights. The kids can now do their chores and homework. The panel is small, but it also powers the incubator and lights that will allow us to scale the poultry project to producing more eggs.

Yes! the chickens from the Poultry Project we invested in Q-4 of 2019 started to produce eggs! The farm is producing roughly 300 eggs per week. The children now have a healthy reliable source of protein and they are able to sell around 250 eggs every week to generate some income. This next quarter we plan to carefully scale this project to be able to produce twice the amount of eggs.

Got Milk? We do!

Our Cow projects combined produced over 4,171 liters of Milk! In addition to adding protein to the children’s and staff’s diets, the excess was sold to over 750 needy families at a under half the price of store bought milk. We were also able to purchase 2 milk producing cows for our partner Amazing Grace, to help scale up their current milk farm!

Practice Makes Perfect- Amiran Kenya Training

We were able to host all of our farm hands for another training session hosted by Amiran Kenya on their campus. During these training sessions, our farm hands are able to learn new techniques on how to maximize the yield of their farm, and bring up any issues they are having with growing their crops. We find that doing this on a quarterly or bi-annual basis is invaluable and keeps our farm-hand’s feeling supported and competitive.

Welcome to The Family Boys Rescue Center- Slowly moving loser towards financial independence.

We started off moving into 2020 with the goal of helping our partners achieve financial independence. Although we have yet much room to go, inorder to achieve these goals, we were pleased that this past quarter the reverse osmosis plant that we built in 2016 sold $11,332 USD worth of water. Four years later, the water plant is fully funding the salaries of the staff for Welcome to The Family Boys Rescue Center in Nakuru.

This project has created an impact beyond generating income for our partner, it provides employment to the 3 community members who help run it, and a affordable, clean, fluoride free water security to the surrounding community.

Winning Silver at the Deauville Green Awards for our Sustainable Mission and Message!

slide1website

It’s not enough to have a story to tell, it’s how you tell that story. At Kitechild, we truly believe in creating change, not charity. In helping communities rebuild from the ground up – literally and figuratively with our agricultural based projects, and with our emphasis on supporting at risk children and empowering them with the tools they need to thrive.

 

We were able to share our mission in a beautifully visual, compelling way in the form of our film “Kitechild Kenya – Greenhouses for Good”. This short film takes viewers on a colorful, green, inspiring journey through our various projects in Kenya, the community members who run them, and the children who are at the heart of it all. From a 6 greenhouse farm in Nakuru valley feeding over 250 children, to a 4 greenhouse farm in Migori from which produce sales fund local schoolteachers in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, our projects are highlighted in a visually compelling way that inspires viewers to be a part of a growing movement in development and sustainability.

View it NOW!

 

KitechildKenyaVideoClip

The children remain the heart of it all, as it is for them that we create our projects for. For their schools, for their families, and for the orphanages that they often must live in as they are placed in better living situations including foster care or adoption. Our projects are changing the way that people are able to support orphan children, those living in orphanages or shelters. We are raising the level of transparency in donating to an orphanage, going beyond the sponsor a child model, and really focusing on sustainability and long term change, as our film depicts.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.05.46 PM

To our wonderful surprise and delight, our film was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Deauville Green Awards, held in Deauville, France. We ended up taking home a silver award, out of over 370 entries in the competition. We could not be more proud of our work and are grateful to the film festival for the opportunity to share our important message with the world.

IMG_3684

Credits: The film was shot in June 2016 throughout Kenya, and was produced by Kitechild, InDigital Media, and Christoph Siegert. Executive Producer Jacqueline Herrera Levi, Director Christoph Siegert, Production Crew Tobern Averkorn, Music Composer Jeremie Levi Samson, and our on the ground Kenyan crew Kenneth Mugo and Martha Maina.

Bring Back Our Girls: 2 Years Later

Two years ago, the world witnessed the brutal abduction of 276 schoolgirls from Nigeria, who were simply studying for their classes, when their lives changed forever. While we still don’t know where many of those girls are today, at least 57 have successfully and daringly escaped. There is new hope that at least some of the girls are alive, from a video released by the terrorist group. None of the girls have been rescued and hundreds may still be in danger. The world came together to protest this gross injustice and we have to use that energy to keep moving forward in the fight for human rights.

Here’s a heartfelt video from one of the mothers speaking to her missing daughter. It reminds us that we all love the same way and that we need to make this world a safe place for everyone.

 

We work to care for vulnerable children around the world, who are often living in orphanages. Never has this work been more needed, as we now have so many children displaced from their homes. It’s estimated that 30 million children have been displaced due to war and conflict, which hasn’t happened since the end of World War II. Like the girls kidnapped from Nigeria, many vulnerable children are robbed of their chance to go to school. Our mission is to elevate the quality of life and break the cycle of poverty for children, and an essential part of that is education. Education is the key that opens up a world of possibilities to children and can be the difference between staying or overcoming poverty.

12347983_10153830098873410_3344536916985853471_n

We’re currently fundraising for a project in Kenya, which involves the refurbishing of 4 greenhouses on the property of the St. Catherine’s Children’s Home. Those greenhouses will allow the home to grown fresh produce, which will then be given to the 43 children living there, as well as sold in the markets. The profits gained from selling the vegetables will help pay for the school fees for the older children. Since the home is in Kenya, higher education is not a free service for children. We’ve done similar greenhouse projects to cover educational costs at the Watoto Wema Home and the Fiwagoh Home, both located in Kenya. To help these children receive the education they deserve, please visit our project site.

 

Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/world/africa/nigeria-boko-haram.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gordon-brown/bring-back-our-girls-anniversary-boko-haram_b_9692818.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/14/africa/nigeria-chibok-girls-reaction/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-evon-idahosa/mothers-of-girls-stolen-by-boko-haram_b_9695826.html

http://reliefweb.int/report/world/30-million-children-displaced

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/boko-haram-chibok-schoolgirls-new-video_us_570f965fe4b0ffa5937e4768?utm_hp_ref=world&utm_hp_ref=world

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gordon-brown/bring-back-our-girls-anniversary-boko-haram_b_9692818.html?slideshow=true#gallery/351963/6  

Ending Hunger with an App

fiwagoh-weekend

There’s a new app that is addressing an issue that is prevalent around the world and central to our work: ‪#‎hunger‬. Companies can use the Copia app, and if they had an event, for instance, the leftover food would be picked up and donated to a food pantry or homeless shelter. Our current greenhouse project in Kenya is also attempting to address this problem, by growing fresh produce for the children of St. Catherine’s Home: http://goo.gl/ahdROZ

While we work all over the world, even in America 1 in 6 people live in food insecure homes. Copia has already helped 700,000 people by delivering to them 800,000 pounds of food. Read more about Copia’s tech-forward program: http://goo.gl/d6GxRt

Technology and Human Rights

 

Here’s a cool story about the merging of technology with social justice. Now satellites are being used to expose human rights violations. This is really important because lots of places where these violations are occurring don’t allow outsiders. But, now with this new technology we can have a better idea of what’s happening in the world and how we can help. Read more: goo.gl/x957Fx 

Paid Parental Leave Now a Reality in SF

 

San Francisco is now the first city in the US to mandate paid parental leave. We’re hoping this is a sign of things to come. Parental leave is really important to the quality of life and for giving people agency over their family-planning choices. This new law applies to all families, regardless of gender or whether they are adoptive parents. It’s a big step towards equality that will help parents not have to make the choice between losing their job or having a child. Read more!

Better Data Is Needed on Vulnerable Children

 

As an organization working with vulnerable children around the world, one of the major obstacles we encounter is the lack of reliable data on children in many countries. When dealing with children living in orphanages or outside the home, information is sparse, and yet so vital to making meaningful change. Accurate information is needed to best serve the needs of these vulnerable children, and there is now a movement urging the UN to make sure these children are included in the statistical map. Read the open letter from JK Rowling’s foundation Lumos and support fixing the data gap on vulnerable children: http://goo.gl/OEB5CB

 

Bringing Light to Women: Gloria Steinem

By Jacqueline Monet, Social Media Manager, Kitechild

It’s Gloria Steinem’s birthday today and as part of Women’s History Month, we couldn’t think of a better time to honor this pioneer of equality. At 82 and still going strong, the feminist icon has said that one of the fundamental issues of the women’s liberation movement has still gone unresolved: violence against women. Steinem has worked tirelessly to bring attention to this important and sad reality, which affects women and girls all over the planet. 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence, according to the UN. Most of the time, women who experience violence, do so at the hands of an intimate partner. When children grow up seeing violence against women in the home, it becomes normalized. “Certainly the question of violence against females is deep and urgent, not only for women but for everybody, since it turns out that violence against females is the biggest predictor of all other violence,” says Gloria. A culture of violence against women, also perpetuates the idea of ownership over women, which contributes to sexual trafficking and child marriages. The abuse of women’s bodies in this way also leads to children that they cannot care for, due to unwanted or forced pregnancies. So, this epidemic also adds to the number of vulnerable and orphaned children in the world.

Another important issue that Gloria continues to be at the forefront is the fight for immigration reform. She has spoken out about the economic and gender issues at hand within the immigration debate, as the majority of people crossing into the United States are women and children. “There is no such thing as a border that is proof against poverty, or against the natural migration of workers back and forth. We are simply asking that we have rules that recognize reality so that we do not declare righteous human beings to be criminals,” she said.

Gloria has helped to bring feminism into the mainstream consciousness and along with it, to stop making the word something to be afraid to use. As Gloria says, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”For all her work she’s done over the years, she received the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, who said it was to honor her “fight for equality and social justice for more than four decades.” It was there that she was asked what advice she has to impart onto the next generation of women. She had this to say: Don’t listen to me. Listen to yourself … People often ask me ‘Who am I passing the torch to?’ First of all, I’m not giving up my torch, thank you! I’m using my torch to light other people’s torches. If we each have a torch, there’s a lot more light.”

This kind of empowerment is what is needed to bring equality and change to the world, which is what we strive to do. Following Gloria’s lead, we work to empower women to make the best choices for themselves. Our projects support women and girls through education, nutrition and community, which allows women to make their own family planning choices, which leads to less vulnerable children and happier families. We each do have our own torches and it’s up to us to use them to bring more light into the world. And together, we can.

 

 

References:

http://www.npr.org/2015/10/26/451862822/at-81-feminist-gloria-steinem-finds-herself-free-of-the-demands-of-gender

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/gloria-steinem-quotes-feminism-gender-periods-equality/1/626400.html

http://nbclatino.com/2013/11/19/feminist-gloria-steinem-gives-immigration-activists-a-pep-talk/

http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures

http://fortune.com/2015/12/22/gloria-steinem-feminism-turning-point/

http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/11/20/gloria-steinem-receives-top-national-honor/

http://www.blogher.com/why-gloria-steinem-supports-immigration-reform

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925120/

Look For The Good

 

 

It’s only been a few months since the Paris attacks and we find ourselves once again grieving for the families of loved ones lost in a terrorist attack. Even as the horrors unfolded, people jumped into action to help one another, offering shelter, transportation and aid to complete strangers by tweeting #OpenHouse and #IkWilHelpen. There is more good than bad in this world, and together we can create a world of peace.

Read more about these everyday heroes: http://goo.gl/VCfvc7

 

12 Steps for Gender Equality

 

 

The Guardian recently released a list of 12 steps we can take to achieve gender equality. One of the first things we can do is include women and girls in the discussion of policy-making. Other steps to take is to make education gender-sensitive and to encourage girls in technology and the sciences. Read the rest of the steps: goo.gl/7prlFJ

X