Kenya – Community and Capacity Building

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Kenya – Community and capacity building

‘Building capacity dissolves differences. It irons out inequalities.’

  • Consulting local communities in Germany and Kenya in building cooperative and empowered partnerships
  • Focus on building three pillars of community – Education, Environment and Economy
  • Current projects run by local groups that we support: partnership with schools, support of special needs school, sponsorship programs, tree nurseries, micro-loan initiatives, fish farm

The projects we have helped to implement in Kenya and specifically on Rusinga have very much evolved over the years. Initially we had a very strong focus on education but since it is our belief that community stands on three pillars which also include environment and economy, we have in the past years supported more and more projects that address at least one and if possible all three of these aspects.

We started with student sponsorships and eventually built a library to give more and better access for all students on the island to school books and the internet, mainly in preparation for their exams. We also focused on health talks aiming to address teenage pregnancies and sexual health which had been an increasing issue on the island and especially in the fishing communities. In addition to that we are working closely with a special needs school and have shifted from supporting higher education, which is now more easily available, to vocational training.

But instead of just providing financial support to improve education on the island we wanted to create more resources that would allow the community and especially the most vulnerable members of the community to improve their own financial circumstances and become independent of funding from donors. For that we support initiatives like micro-loans to mostly vulnerable women through which they can start their own poultry and vegetable farming. Which not only helps them to raise an income but also works towards more food security. Focusing on food production more locally also means that they are less dependent on outside food resources and more resilient against price increases, as experienced during the pandemic.

Another project that is addressing food security and also supports the local economy is the fish farm. Lake Victoria struggles more and more with overfishing and pollution, and with better infrastructure connecting to the lake, big corporations are coming in to take large quantities of fish to the national and international markets, which leaves the local communities without access to one of their main food sources.

Creating more opportunities on the island for food production means that we also need to focus on the environment. An increase in population over the years resulted in heavy deforestation for farming and the consumption of firewood. With that the island now experiences extreme erosion issues and problems with water management. So some of the projects are now fully focused on environment and how to improve the circumstances. At the moment mainly through tree planting, which is being achieved through their own tree nurseries that they have started and their close cooperation with schools in raising awareness and planting trees, as well as regenerative farming.