In late 2005, this newly made friendship allowed a more formal structure to be brought into play. It paved the way for the Kids in Kenya Fund to be recognized as a registered Republic of Kenya Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and began operations as a Community Based Organization (CBO). Kids in Kenya Fund was now on track to turn dreams of helping kids into a reality with long-term goals.
The Kids in Kenya Fund's fiscal and volunteer efforts are supported through the Child Wellness Fund a United States of America nonprofit (Federal ID: 04-3669279). The Child Wellness Fund operates/manages/supports nearly twenty programs that provide services for children and families in the United States and throughout Africa. The Child Wellness Fund allows for individual and organizational supporters to know the funds are being managed and overseen while also providing a recognized not profit in the United States to handle donations for tax purposes. The Child Wellness Fund is operated 100 percent by volunteers with little to no funds being used towards overhead.
In 2004 we supported a small handful of children and by 2006 the student sponsorship steadily grew to an additional seventeen Kenyan boys and girls thanks primarily to individuals, organizations and corporate donors.
Our first large scale Kids in Kenya Summit was held in February 2007 in Narok and throughout rural Kenya where literally hundreds showed up at each of our village meetings. It was an excellent opportunity to confirm that we are doing what is needed in the rural areas of Kenya. We were able to revisit our goals and continue plans for future projects. Basically some of those big dreams had turned now into working ideas.
The number of sponsored students was now more than 45 children all throughout rural Kenya. Yet problems were in the future. As many of you know 2008 was a rough year for all Kenyans. Our programs, the children and villages we serve were certainly not spared due to the post election violence. The lack of tourism that followed, the reality that the country was not as stable as many wished to believe and the added costs of emergency assistance set our funding efforts in a short-term crisis. The balance of 2008 and early part of 2009 was a time for us to bare down on what we could have survive. Hard decisions had to be made on what children would be able to continue with their education and what children would learn the sad news that we simply had no funds for their schooling. What was most troubling was not only was Kenya suffering but it was the beginning of a serous downtown turn in the global economy and we lost nearly 40 percent of the annual support. Many that supported us had to pull back due to losing their own jobs and caring for their own community. We learned a lot during this time and most of all we endured and the commitment from many made the Kids in Kenya Fund even stronger. It allowed us to look at the approach differently and to hopefully be stronger for the next crisis.
By late 2009, we were back on track and once again able to focus on our long- range goals. We currently have 36 sponsored children in our program with our first three high school graduates making plans for college and technical training. We are very proud of everyone that has helped us over the years and certainly hats off to Evan's who is so proud when he speaks of the first three graduates who emerged from his dreams. It really is amazing for us to already be seeing the fruits of the investment where our sponsored students are now going back and becoming the next generation of needed teachers.
Beyond our student sponsorships, today we are developing a plot of land near the Aitong area of the Masai Mara including a health clinic, a mobile medical ambulance, AIDS education, national youth hostile & retreat center and small camp for international volunteers. We are also working throughout rural Kenya to establish community owned tourism campgrounds, support for village entrepreneurs, sustainable safe water supplies, best hygiene practices in regards to latrines, nutritional food operations, supporting public schools with teachers, volunteers, supplies, building of classrooms, school desks, kitchens, food and healthcare as well as fire & life safety education within IDP camps, slums and small centers.
The list is rather overwhelming but what we have learned is we do our best work as a collaborative leader that finds connections with those interested in providing support but needs help on the ground to make the project sustainable and come to life. It has been amazing to see how far a little bit of support, motivation and leadership can go towards helping children in need.
We encourage any individual, organization or business that has interest in our efforts to please contact us. The program has been built upon collaborations and we believe there is room for many more organizations to have ownership in the effort.
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