Sh20million funds drive to support children without adequate parental care
By Our Reporter
Kenya’s largest private child welfare organisation, SOS Children’s Villages has launched a Sh 20 Million Fundraising campaign to strengthen the quality of care it is giving to over 15 thousand children and young Kenyans currently under the care of SOS CV Ke programmes in alternative care and family strengthening.
The funds will be directed towards improving shelter and general living conditions of the children in SOS Children’s Villages Kenya’s two oldest facilities in Nairobi (1972) and Mombasa (1979).
SOS Children’s Villages Kenya National Director, Mr. Walter S. Odhiambo said continuous use of the organisation’s facilities in Nairobi and Mombasa counties over the last 46 years has caused structural malfunctions and depreciation, making them costly to maintain and while compromising the provision of quality and safe services to children.
“These facilities have successfully transformed the lives of more than 15,000 Children in both in SOS family care and Family strengthening programs over the 46 years and we will be glad to see more disadvantaged children continue to benefit from these transformative services under the same if not higher quality” said Mr. Odhiambo.
The first SOS Children’s Village in Kenya was built in 1972 in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate and the Mombasa Villages in 1979. At any one given time, the two facilities take care of over 350 children and youth who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.
“These facilities have provided a loving home for many children who would otherwise not have a loving caring home and the child development enrichment programs have played a significant role in shaping these children into responsible citizens,” said Mr. Odhiambo.
Modest estimates suggest that Kenya has over 3 Million orphans, a staggering statistic with sobering implications to the nation.
Because of the continued need for childcare services especially targeting children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care, SOS CV Ke had established additional care facilities in Eldoret, Meru and Kisumu counties to reach out to more children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care by the year 2012.
“In Africa, we have a proverb that says it takes a whole village to raise a child in a safe and healthy environment. It is because of this wisdom that we are now calling on partners, donors and all Kenyans to support this fund drive to help adequately care for our vulnerable children” said Mr. Odhiambo.
The funds raised will go towards rehabilitation of wastewater treatment and incinerator in Nairobi; renovation and equipping of Hermann Gmeiner primary schools in Mombasa and Nairobi; revamping solar water heating systems in Mombasa and Nairobi; painting and renovation of 30 family houses in Nairobi and Mombasa as well as setting up of a music school and e-library in Mombasa CV.
The funds will also be used to rehabilitate four greenhouses in Nairobi program location, with the farm produce used to supplement the dietary needs of the children, youth and other beneficiaries of the programs.
SOS CV Kenya’s Fund Development and Communications Manager, Ms Esther Okoth said the contributions from donors, partners and well-wishers would go a long way in providing the basic needs for the children like education, healthcare and general upkeep for the children.
“We urge all Kenyans of goodwill who wish to make a difference in the lives of children to identify with this noble course that is aimed at giving vulnerable children a loving, caring and safe living environment. Every Kenyan can donate whatever they can afford from as low as Sh 100 through M-PESA; we believe the consolidated contributions from many friends and well-wishers will go a long way and make a difference,” said Ms Esther.
The organisation has lined up several activities to hit the target, including corporate dinner events, an eight-day Mount Kilimanjaro climb challenge and calls for in-kind donations where individuals, organised groups and organisations can send dry foods, scholastic materials, toiletries and different household essentials.