Projects

Since the idea that became Friends of Kenya (FOK) first emerged at the 25th anniversary Peace Corps conference in 1986, support for human welfare and nature conservation projects has been among FOK's guiding objectives. Our first allocations in mid-1988--$300 to a Kenya YWCA rural women's training program and $300 to a semi-arid land use rehabilitation program—have multiplied, and today, our project contributions total more than $60,000.

Your dues and contributions have helped to build school classrooms; supply equipment for laboratories, workshops, and the battle against elephant poachers; purchase a water drilling rig; teach agricultural and micro-enterprise skills, family health and nutrition, and rhino conservation; train Kenyan scientists and researchers; provide start-up monies for small businesses; support conservation field research; assist refugees, street children, orphans and students with development disabilities.

 

In selecting grantees, the FOK Board has aimed for a mix of people-oriented and conservation-centered projects. This reflects the diverse interests and concerns of our members, and the Board's position that both nature conservation and more direct human-welfare projects ultimately benefit Kenyans and Kenya as a whole.


Note: Currently Friends of Kenya is not funding any projects. Should we again have funds, we will post it on this website and will then accept requests for projects.


Looking at Funded Projects

FOK helps current Kenya Volunteers

Friends of Kenya has started reaching out to Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in Kenya with small grants for their projects. The purpose of this grants program, which began in October 2003, is twofold: first, to provide a funding source to which Volunteers can have ready access; and second, to inform Volunteers about FOK and encourage them to join and assume leadership roles in the organization when they return to the States.

Volunteers learn about the grants by word of mouth or from the FOK website. They submit an application by email and include the name of a Kenyan who will be affiliated with the project after the Volunteer leaves. When possible, the actual grantee is the community group that is sponsoring the project, not the Peace Corps Volunteer. The maximum grant is $500.

Tree-free Charcoal

The first Volunteer to request FOK assistance was Robin Rae Franko, who received $400 to facilitate production of tree-free charcoal in Makueni District, Eastern Province. Harvested to produce charcoal, trees are fast disappearing in this area. The grantee, the Nunguni Handcraft Women’s Group, learned to produce tree-free charcoal from water, dried leaves, newspapers, and shavings from woodworking shops, according to Franko. The women pound and mix the materials to form a mud-like substance; then they compress the material in a wood vice-like device, creating round bricks. After drying for four days, the bricks are used as fuel for cooking fires, replacing regular charcoal. Each brick burns for about 25 minutes; six bricks cook enough ugali for a family of six.

Franko said that the tree-free charcoal may eventually replace enough traditional charcoal to mitigate the effects of deforestation. The FOK grant will enable the women to build several machines and travel to other communities to promote the product and to train others to produce it.

Franko told Volunteers in the area about the FOK funding, which led Scott Bussell to ask for $500 to purchase a microscope for a new health clinic. “A microscope by itself is a small thing; but giving people the ability to know with confidence their health status is a great feat,” Bussell wrote after receiving the money. “Every time I visit the Timboni community I see children strapped to the back of bicycles on their way to the nearest health center, which is the only place in 12 km that they can have a blood test for malaria. Now the distance that people travel for treatment will be greatly reduced,” he said.

The third Volunteer to receive FOK funding was Jennifer Morris, who used a $500 grant to purchase teacher resource materials to enhance lessons for six teachers and 30 deaf students at the School for the Deaf Resource Center, also in Ogongo, Nyanza Province.

Morris spread the word in her area, which prompted Mike Kota, a public health extension volunteer in Ogongo, Nyanza Province, to request $213 to purchase heavy-duty bicycles. Kota said the bikes will enable a theater troupe trained by CARE Kenya to travel into rural areas to present performances disseminating HIV/AIDS prevention information.

Volunteer Aimee Schattner used a $500 FOK grant to purchase a more efficient and environmentally friendly pasteurizer for the Kaptumo Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society in Kaptumo Division, Nandi South District, Nyanza Province. The pasteurizer gives milk a shelf life of about two weeks, without the need for refrigeration, in case it can’t be sold immediately.

Project List

Below is a list of some of the most recent projects that Friends of Kenya has funded.

Project

Description

Beekeeping at Kuri Kuri Group Ranch

Samburu. Sponsored by African Wildlife Association. FOK gave $1,500.

Project Baobab: Entrepreneurship Training for Form IV Students

Kisumu. FOK gave $1,000.

Top Ride School and Beads for Education

Maasailand. FOK gave $1,000.

Female Genital Mutilation, Analysis and Dialogue for Change

Kisii. FOK gave $1,000.

Projects Supported by Friends of Kenya

Since its inception in 1986, Friends of Kenya has provided a total of approximately $60,000 in assistance to the human welfare and environmental projects listed below. The most recent projects are listed first.

 

Project

Description

Project Baobab
($1,000 in 2003 and $1,000 in 2004)

This nonprofit, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in Kenyan youth, especially women. The project trains teachers at five secondary schools to teach entrepreneurial skills to Form IV students. Each student produces a plan for a micro enterprise; micro-grants of $100 each are awarded to students with the best plans. Each of the FOK grants provided micro-grants for 10 high school students.

Beads for Education ($1,000 in 2003 and $1,000 in 2004

This nonprofit finds sponsors to pay school tuition for Maasai girls at the Top Ride School in Kajiado District. To prepare girls to serve as community leaders and role models, the school runs workshops in career training, environmental education, AIDS prevention and community service. The International Democracy Center in Washington, DC sponsors Beads.

Itongo Women’s Group ($1,000 in 2004)

This group is educating the community about the effects of Female Genital Mutilation on the health and status of Kisii women. Seventy percent of young women drop out of school after undergoing the rite of passage. Dialogue sessions involving community men and women and retraining of the older women who perform FGM are two of the group’s activities. FOK Treasurer Carolyn Kari visited this project on a trip to Kenya in 2004.

Kuri Kuri Group Ranch
($1,500 in 2004)

This beekeeping project in Samburu District is part of an African Wildlife Foundation conservation program. A beekeeping cooperative brings together several beekeeping groups from different area surrounding the ranch. Each farmer pays 500 shillings to join; proceeds from the honey are redistributed equally among the members. AWF hopes to replicate this project elsewhere in Kenya and Africa.

Nunguni Handcraft Women’s Group,
PCV Robin Rae Franko ($400 in 2004)

The first volunteer to request FOK assistance, Robin Franko used the grant to facilitate production of tree-free charcoal in Makueni District, Easter Province. Harvested to produce charcoal, trees are fast disappearing in this area. Franko worked with the Nunguni Handcraft Women’s Group, which learned to produce tree-free charcoal from water, dried leaves, newspapers and shavings from woodworking shops. The women pound and mix the materials to form a mud-like substance; then they compress the material in a wood vice-like device, creating round bricks. After drying for four days, the bricks are used as fuel for cooking. Each brick burns for about 25 minutes; six bricks cook enough ugali for a family of six. The FOK grant enabled the women to  build several machines and travel to other communities to promote the product and train others to produce it.

The Timboni Health Clinic,
PCV Scott Bussell ($500 in 2004)

Volunteer Bussell said that the grant went to purchase a new microscope that gave people of the Timboni community information about their health status and is helping in the detection of malaria among children.

School for the Deaf Resource Center,
PCV Jennifer Morris ($500 in 2004)

Volunteer Morris used the grant to purchase teacher resource materials to enhance lessons for six teachers and 30 deaf students at the center in Ogongo, Nyanza Province.

AIDS Theater Group, PCV Mike Kota ($213 in 2004)

Volunteer Kota, a public health extension volunteer in Ogongo, Nyanza Province used the FOK grant to purchase heavy duty bicycles to enable a theater troupe, trained by CARE Kenya, to travel into rural areas to present performances disseminating HIV/AIDS prevention information.

Kaptumo Multi-Purpose Co-operative, PCV Aimee Schattner ($500 in 2004)

Volunteer Schattner used the FOK grant to purchase a more efficient and environmentally friendly pasteurizer for the co-operative society in Kaptumo Division, Nandi South District, Nyanza Province. The pasteurizer gives milk a shelf life of about two weeks without the need for refrigeration in case it can’t be sold immediately.

Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School, Nairobi

Located in the Mukuru kwa Njenga slum area of Nairobi, the school requested our help in funding a new three-door toilet block. They have received a quotation of US$3,325 for the construction of the structure. They have private donors in the U.S. who will help with a small portion of this project, but are requesting the majority of the funds from FOK.

Nyumbani Orphanage, Nairobi

The orphanage has begun a program of home-based care for HIV+ children under the direction of Caroline Matsalia, a certified social worker. Orphans are placed with extended families who are given a medical kit and receive training to help them provide appropriate care for the HIV+ child. At least once a month a mobile team, consisting of a social worker, a nurse, a volunteer, and a driver, visits the family. At times a stipend (up to a maximum of 2,000 shillings) is given to the caregiver to help meet the needs of the child. Surplus clothing or similar items are also given to supplement the income of the caregiver and to promote self-reliant, income generating, sustainable projects.

Oasis Crisis Centre, Nairobi

The Centre continues to struggle to meet the psychological needs of the children who have been affected by the U.S. Embassy blast. Many victims face a difficult road to physical and mental recovery.

Our Lady of Nazareth ($1,300)

Toward the construction of a latrine in the Mukuru kwa Njenga slum area of Nairobi

African Wildlife Foundation ($700)

Toward on-going efforts for the conservation of elephants in Amboseli National Park.

Oasis Crisis Centre ($600)

For use in the treatment of victims of the Embassy bombing. Directed donation from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin.

Munjeune Women's Group Chicken Raising Project ($500)

For purchase of chicken and feed to provide a cash income source for members of the Women's Group. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins sans Frontieres ($1,000)

For treatment and prevention of malaria.

Oasis Crisis Centre ($1,500)

For printing books that are being used to help children understand and cope with the Embassy bombing.

Kenya Society for the Blind ($5,310)

For rehabilitation of Kenyans who suffered eye injuries as a result of the Embassy bombing.

Salvation Army ($2,800)

For prosthetic limbs for Kenyans who lost limbs as a result of the Embassy bombing.

Sochoi Primary School ($420)

For projects and school supplies for students. Directed donation from FOK member.

Kavutiri Secondary School ($500)

For construction of school library. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

Kaathi Harambee Dam Construction ($250)

To construct six sub-surface dams along the Syuuni River to tap and store excess rainfall for livestock and irrigation of agriculture. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

Rural Training Center, Isiolo ($750)

For construction of pit latrines.

Doctors Without Borders / Medecins sans Frontieres ($500)

For purchase of cholera kits for use in refugee camps in Northeast Kenya.

Trees for the Future ($500)

For planting permanent, fast growing trees on Rusinga Island in The John Denver Memorial Forest.

Childlife Trust, Nairobi ($1,000)

For purchase of latex gloves for health care workers in the slums of Nairobi.

Nalepo Dairy Cattle Improvement Project ($1,300)

For construction of cattle dips and planting of napier grass. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

Maria House Women's Center (IMANI), Nairobi ($196)

For purchasing a nursery for children of women attending training.

Nyumbani Orphanage, Nairobi ($128)

For care of children who are HIV+.

Katrina Memorial Community Library ($116.23)

For shipment of books to library.

Thika Boys' Center ($500)

Provide shelter, nutrition, medical services, vocational training, and integration into formal education for street children and orphans. Operated by the Salvation Army.

Global Education Partnership ($1,173)

Match funds raised by Kenyan parents for building a classroom for the Mwarambo Primary School in Wundanyi Division and Taita-Taveta District.

Kihoto Women's Group ($500)

For construction of group water tank. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

Media for Development International Inc. ($860.25)

Provide AMREF (Africa Medical Relief) with 23 health and social message videos for their lending libraries.

Centers for Disease Control ($1,000)

Provide funds for a polio eradication project in Kenya. Through the Atlanta Area RPCV group.

Rural Training Center, Isiolo ($700)

Provide funds for a television for the center's education program. Teaches agricultural skills, community and family health and nutrition, and income generation projects.

Isiolo Area Craft Supplier ($250)

Support of a children's orphanage.

Mirichu Secondary School ($800)

For chemistry equipment.

Greenbelt Movement ($300)

For food security project involving traditional crops.

Media for Development International Inc. ($800)

Provide MAP/Kenya (Medical Assistance Program) with a collection of AIDS related videos for their lending library.

Trees for the Future ($400)

For Global Youth Forest Project, which plants trees to help address serious local ecological problems.

Mukuru Primary School ($300)

For the purchase of mattresses for a girls' dormitory.

Solar Cookers International ($450)

For solar cookers, and to teach refugees to use solar technology for cooking, purifying water, and for drying/preserving food for periods of drought. Through Alternative Gift Markets, Inc.

Maria House Women's Center, Nairobi ($300)

For purchase of unimix food supplement for children.

Undugu Society, Nairobi ($700)

Toward community health outreach, counseling for street children and people living in slums who can't afford medical services, and AIDS information resource center.

Undugu Society, Nairobi

Toward programs to assist "parking boys" and other street children.

Kenya AIDS Society, Nairobi ($350)

Toward advocacy and awareness seminars and media awareness workshops. Formerly the Know AIDS Society; the only major AIDS organization in Kenya run by people with AIDS.

Nyumbani Children of God, Nairobi ($300)

Toward medical treatment for HIV positive infants and AIDS orphans.

Habitat for Humanity, Kimilili and Nairobi ($2,250, in multiple donations)

For establishment of Kenyan National Office for Habitat for Humanity, providing housing in local area, and expanded national program, for ongoing work.

Rural Training Center, Isiolo ($1,250, in multiple donations)

Towards facilities and equipment. Teaches agricultural skills, community and family health and nutrition, and income generation projects.

COBRA (Conservation of Biodiverse Resource Areas) ($300)

For on-going work. COBRA is a long-term project helping to establish, implement, and coordinate community-based programs in Amboseli/Tsavo areas, includes training local Maasai to collect survey data. In conjunction with African Wildlife Foundation.

Amboseli Elephant Research Project ($300)

Toward field research equipment, paper, photographic equipment, and binoculars. The Elephant Research Project is a long-term research study collecting baseline data on social and reproductive patterns of 50 elephant families in and around Amboseli, where age structure has not been dramatically skewed from poaching (until the December 1994 killing of three old bulls just across the border in Tanzania).

Gisambi Secondary School ($200)

Toward completion of classroom construction.

TEIRP (Tsavo Ecosystem Integrated Research Project) ($250)

For research on land use, costs and benefits of maintaining protected area, ecological processes affecting park ecosystem, conducted by undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students from Kenya and other African countries.

Foundation for Sustainable Development in Africa, Nairobi ($150)

For grant subscriptions to their publications on organic agriculture and appropriate technologies.

Mpala Wildlife Research Trust, Laikipia ($250)

Toward training of Kenyan scientists and researchers. Mpala is a major scientific research facility to study wildlife, global change, and biodiversity.

Trickle-Up ($1,725, in multiple donations)

For food production projects, tree seedling project, and a variety of other small business projects in Kenya. Trickle-Up is a non-profit organization providing small start-up grants

Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, Tsavo National Park ($500)

Toward public education program on rhino conservation. The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is devoted to protecting endangered black rhinos. In conjunction with African Wildlife Foundation.

Doctors Without Borders / Medicins sans Frontieres ($1,000)

For purchase of cholera kits for use in refugee camps in Northeast Kenya. Toward relief efforts in Kenya on behalf of Somali and other refugees, and Kenyan nationals.

Grant to Martin Anyoli and Eileen Omosa ($250)

Toward expenses of Kenyan participants in program of environmental restoration, cross-cultural communication, and youth leadership training. Grant through Cascadia Quest in Seattle.

Maranda School for the Mentally Handicapped, Siaya District, Nyamza Province ($250)

Toward facilities and equipment. Matching Funds Project.

Elephant Study, Shimba Hills ($250)

Toward support of researcher doing field study. In conjunction with Kenya Wildlife Service.

Water Drilling Rig ($3,500)

For purchase of water drilling rig to be used to drill a well a week in villages in specific area. In conjunction with African Team Ministries and Lifewater International.

Rhino Walk ($100)

Toward efforts of Michael Werikhe, the "Rhino Man", an auto company worker from Mombasa, who walked thousands of miles on three continents to call attention to the plight of the black rhino, and to raise money to help save it from extinction.

Grant to Obiero Onganga ($250)

Toward emergency expenses of Kenyan researcher presenting paper on African forestry to international forestry conference. Through the American Forestry Association.

Elephant Conservation and Management Project ($1,500)

Toward purchase of computer for use by researcher Kadzo Kangwana in her study on elephant movement and distribution, poaching and local land use, and potential community conservation solutions in Amboseli National Park and environs.

Access Africa International ($200)

For development of non-profit organizations started by African in the United States to promote the image, culture, and development of Africa.

Friends of Iran Earthquake Relief Fund ($50)

After devastating earthquake in Iran.

Habitat for Humanity, United States ($200)

For construction of housing in Kenya.

Radios for Rangers ($4,455, includes $355 of donated expenses)

To ship sophisticated radio equipment for Park Rangers in Tsavo National Park in their fight against elephant poachers. In conjunction with African Wildlife Foundation.

DC/Kenya Exchange ($100)

For exchange trips between Washington D.C. and Kenyan elementary school students.

Dana Danker Memorial Book Fund ($100)

To help fund book purchases by instructors. Established by Kenya PCVs and named for PCV who died while in service.

Kiranga Secondary School Workshop, Thika ($600)

For purchase for equipment for home-science workshop at a Harambee school.

Two Secondary School Science Laboratories, Werugha and Mgangedawida ($200)

Seed money. Through Peace Corps Partnership.

St. Stephan's Lwanya Secondary School, Busia ($100)

Seed money for boy's dormitory.

African Wildlife Foundation ($150)

Toward critical, on-going efforts toward the conservation of elephants, particularly in the Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks.

Ele-Fund ($150)

For critical, on-going efforts toward the conservation of elephants, particularly in the Mount Elgon area.

Semi-arid Land Use Rehabilitation Program, Kitui District ($300)

Small-scale water conservation projects, land contouring, and grasses/tree planting. In conjunction with Lasting Links.

Rural Women's Groups Training Program ($300)

To enable YWCA of Kenya to provide a revolving fund for start up money for income generating projects. In conjunction with Lasting Links.

 Donating to Projects

Currently, we no longer have funds to support projects. Your support is most welcome! 100 percent of your donation goes to fund projects in Kenya. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

 

To contribute money towards FOK projects, send your check or money order, payable to Friends of Kenya, with Projects in the memo line, to:

Projects, Friends of Kenya
43968 Championship Place
Ashburne, VA 20147

Or, if you want your donation to go to a specific project or area, print out and complete the Project Donation Form attached below.

Asante Sana

 

 

 

 

 

Ċ
Sandy Seppala,
Sep 1, 2010, 1:40 PM
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