The new HealthStart initiative
Kenyan Orphan Project's new programmeHealthStart is an innovative programme from KOP designed to improve the health and education of children in Kenyan primary schools.
Initially starting in 3 schools, Health-Start will provide clean water and sanitation, improve nutrition, promote health education and prevent infectious diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS.
By delivering these simple but important interventions together, KOP hopes to demonstrate that real progress in improving the health and educational performance of some of the world's most vulnerable children can be made.
KOP funds HOVIC; a day centre and night shelter for children living on the streets of Kisumu.
This project ensures that orphaned and vulnerable children who are struggling to survive on the streets can receive nutritious meals, educational development, help, support, advice and medical care from staff at the centre. KOP also provides funding support for a number of street children through their primary education, secondary education and those in vocational training.
HOVIC is a fantastic support to children who are particularly vulnerable. It helps them to leave the squalor of the streets and be integrated back into their communities and wherever possible, into school.
KOCHOGO FEEDING CENTRE
The feeding centre at Kochogo is a rural settlement near Kisumu in an area of particularly high rates of HIV/Aids. The centre was built by the work and fundraising effort of KOP student groups in 2005. Since that date KOP funding has maintained the supply of meals to 180 children who otherwise may not have any other source of regular food. KOP has also installed a bore hole to supply clean, fresh water to the facility and the local community and helped with income generating activities for the centre.
OMBEYI FEEDING CENTRE
Omen Feeding Centre in Ombeyi, is another rural feeding centre very similar to Kochogo, in an area that also suffers from high levels of HIV/Aids in the community. This centre was built by KOP funding and volunteers in 2007. KOP funds a daily feeding programme for children and provides a fresh water bore hole and a water management system on the site for the whole community. Without the centre many children would go without the most basic of meals so this feeding centre makes a real and positive difference to their lives.
In June 2011 KOP funded a new polytunnel at the feeding centre. This exciting new project was launched as an income generating business and also used to help supplement the meals at the feeding centre. Cultivating over 260 tomato plants, 160 kale plants and 1000 onion plants also equipped staff from the community with new skills. The first harvest was a big success and this looks set to continue as a really positive initiative at the centre.
KUNYA PRIMARY SCHOOL
Kunya Primary School is a rural school on the outskirts of Kisumu and in 2006/7 KOP initiated a feeding programme providing over 600 children with two meals a day. By providing nutritious food in school, children are able to focus on their learning instead of being distracted with a search for food or an empty stomach. The number of children at the school has increased since KOP started the feeding programme and KOP have also improved water management at the school.
VIMA is a non-government organisation (NGO) based in Kondele; an extremely deprived area near Kisumu. VIMA offers support for orphaned and vulnerable children in the area through a number of foster homes and carers; thereby offering personal care in a safe, family environment and concentrates on the educational and material support to allow these children to live as normal a life as possible. KOP continues to fund food and household supplies through VIMA to specific foster homes and also additional support to educational programmes for these most vulnerable children.
OASIS OF HOPE SCHOOL
The Oasis of Hope Secondary School is an inspirational school that offers low cost secondary education to children from the neighbouring slums that would not otherwise have access to secondary education. Located on the outskirts of Nyalenda slum, the school was founded in 2006 and is already in the top 20 highest-achieving schools in the district. KOP have supported the building of new classrooms at the school so that these bright and dedicated students have a positive environment to learn in.
ALENDU PRIMARY SCHOOL
Alendu is a rural primary school that is attended by hundreds of children from the nearby communities. A high proportion are orphaned and vulnerable children. The area is very poor and the school was extremely run down and in desperate need of re-development. Alendu was a new project for KOP in 2009 and they have now helped with the building of new classrooms and a new admin block. KOP has also funded the installation of a new fresh water bore hole and an ongoing water management system and planted lots of fruit trees around the school.
In their 10th anniversary year, KOP will launch their ground breaking HealthStart project. HealthStart will help nearly 2000 of the most vulnerable primary school children improve their chances of doing well at school. By supporting schools and their communities to establish and run school feeding programmes at the same time as providing clean water and sanitation, promoting health education and preventing infectious diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and HIV/AIDS children will be in the best position to learn and stay in school.