COVID-19  Kenya Project #30316

Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19

by The Rahul Kotak Foundation
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Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Give Hope to Kisumu's Children during COVID-19
Elimu Graduation Ceremony
Elimu Graduation Ceremony

Dear Donor,

Thank YOU so much for your continued support to our project!

Since our last report, a few major events have taken place, of which we want to highlight two key events: students graduating from completing their first full academic year since the pandemic in March of 2020 and how RKF is transitioning back into regular programming and growing from the lessons learnt during the pandemic to support families amidst rising inflation in Kenya.

Graduation Time!

The joyous photograph at the top of this report is from the graduation of the students of PP2 at Elimu De Ark School in March. The day was as cheerful and as colorful as the picture looks. Team RKF was invited to be a part of this wonderful celebration to congratulate these bright students on completing this milestone. And we couldn’t be happier or prouder to watch them graduate and get ready for Primary School. And we wanted to share with you what your donations to our programs helps accomplish: students reaching key milestones in their academic journeys!

Later on the same day as Elimu’s graduation, our team was also able to witness the students of Valley Academy in Nyalenda graduate from PP2 into Primary School. During the graduation, we met with Linda, a parent whose daughter recently graduated from PP2. Team RKF was present during her graduation to cheer her on as she received her certificate. 

In conversation with us about the food relief kits she received throughout the pandemic, Linda shared: "The Meal Kits have helped so much. With 3 school-going children and other rising costs, sometimes even 100 shillings isn't available to buy a packet of unga (flour) but with the meal kits, there's always something to eat. Mafikirio zimeisha kabisa… (my worries have ended)”.

Transitioning from COVID Relief Efforts

As we wrap up our COVID relief efforts and resume our regular programming with schools having re-opened for a new academic year, we wanted to share an important brief on what we have been able to offer in the past few months and summarize the COVID relief efforts we (you and Team RKF) have carried out over the past two years.

In honour of International Women’s Day in March we were able to support 73 at-risk teenage girls with sanitary kits that will last them a full year. This was coupled with training and empowerment for them and their mums/guardians on how best to care for themselves and stay on their academic journeys. This brought the total number of re-usable kits distributed during the pandemic to 480 (equivalent of 96,000 disposable pads).

We have now served over 275,000 meals by making more than 1,476 food packs available to families in different communities in Kisumu County.

RKF’s Education Packs were initially started to support students during the lockdowns to help them continue their studies while schools were closed. However, as schools reopened students faced different sets of challenges like lack of stationery and reading materials for their new classes. And so, we kept going… So far, 4,046 education packs have been provided by RKF to students across different schools in Kisumu!

“Graduating” from the pandemic: what have we learnt and how can we grow?

In the past few months, prices of food items have risen significantly forcing parents to make difficult choices to provide for their family. While talking to several beneficiaries, we learnt that some can only afford one meal in a day. Our school meals program ensures that students receive uji (porridge) for breakfast and rice & beans/green grams for lunch while they are in school. Joyce, a parent whose child is a beneficiary of the school meals shared this:

“It really helps parents like me because in case there is no food at home, I am sure that my child will be eating breakfast and lunch in school.”- Joyce

However, what we realized is that what we offer in school needs to be supplemented at home. As we transition back to our programs, it has become abundantly clear from community feedback, that what we learnt from the pandemic can be carried into our regular programming.

A version of the relief food packs are now being made available to parents in the form of subsidized meal kits. These continue to help parents keep putting meals on the table amid rising food prices in Kenya, while participating in their own growth. This is a solution that many parents have appreciated and continue to actively participate in. One such parent, Rose, shared her story with us:

Rose’s Story

Rose is the sole provider for her family. She earns -Kshs.1,000 (~US$9) per week.

Her 6 children are all school-going and when she gets paid, she pays rent, school fees and other utilities. Rose has been a beneficiary of the food packs for the past 2 years during the pandemic. "I am a part of a Chamma (kitty) where many women come together and contribute a small amount of money on given days. When it’s your turn to receive the money, you get to decide what you want to do with it, I usually cost-share for the meal kits. The program helps me and my children so much."

She added, "Even when I have nothing at all, this (food) pack takes my family through one week. We have chai (tea) in the mornings, I cook rice and green grams for lunch or sometimes substitute it with ugali, chapati and vegetables."

Check out our Climate Action Project Report

From learning how to care for the environment, to exciting garden visits and boat rides by the lake, read about our work in the Climate Action Space in school here.

Valley Graduation: Linda's Story
Valley Graduation: Linda's Story
COVID Relief Update: Final Numbers March 2022
COVID Relief Update: Final Numbers March 2022
School Meals Program
School Meals Program
Rose's Story
Rose's Story
A sneak peak from our Climate Action Project
A sneak peak from our Climate Action Project

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Students of Alendu receiving new education packs
Students of Alendu receiving new education packs

Dear Donor,

Thank you so much for your continued support to our Project!

Since our last update a couple of weeks ago, we wanted to share with you about the work we have started with the community of Alendu Primary School based in Nyando constituency within Kisumu County. We also wanted to share with you about the upcoming Little by Little Matching Campaign from 4th to 8th April 2022.

Alendu Primary School – Education Pack Distribution

With rising inflation countrywide, the beginning of a new academic year can come with a lot of challenges for students and parents alike. As the current academic year comes to an end and students prepare to start a new year in April, access to new educational and learning material can be difficult. This puts students in marginalized communities at a disadvantage.

RKF recently partnered with Bhayani School to support the students of Alendu Primary in Nyando with 700 education packs! Each pack contained a text book relevant to their new academic class, an exercise book and stationery items like an eraser, pencil, sharpener and ruler. Additionally the students from upper primary also received a graph book for their math lessons. The candidate class received some special support, more details of which have been shared below.

The students were all overjoyed and excited with their new school supplies and there was a lot of smiling and peeking into bags the whole day. The students made a promise to look after their new supplies and our team left Nyando with tired legs and happy, hope-filled hearts.

KCPE Exams – Supporting candidates in Marginalized Communities

The candidates of class 8 from the communities we work with received necessary examination material like clear clipboards and clear pouches filled with stationery for their recently ended KCPE exams. We wish them nothing but the best as they wait for their results and we hope this will be an important stepping stone in their long academic journeys.

Little by Little Matching Campaign

As you probably know by now, the Litttle by Little Matching Campaign is our absolute favourite campaign of the year. 

From April 4-8, when you give up to $50 to support communities like Alendu, GlobalGiving will match your generosity at 50% for the LittleByLittle campaign. 

Help us spread the word: share this campaign with your family and friends to let them know that BIG change can come from little acts of kindness!

Cheeky smile as we get into the queue for books
Cheeky smile as we get into the queue for books
Happy faces after receiving new education packs
Happy faces after receiving new education packs
Some more happy faces :)
Some more happy faces :)
Time to show off the new stationery
Time to show off the new stationery
Candidates at Alendu Primary
Candidates at Alendu Primary
Candidates at Central Primary
Candidates at Central Primary
Little by Little Matching Campaign
Little by Little Matching Campaign

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School Meals Program resumes
School Meals Program resumes

Dear Donor, 

Thank you so much for your continued support to our COVID Relief Project!

Since our last update, we have reached even more families through our relief work, this time, addressing the challenges many communtiies are facing as a result of rising food prices all across Kenya. In this report, we also share an update from our Christmas Drive in December 2021, our meals program and a couple of updates from our Girls Empowerment and Climate Action projects.

COVID Relief Update – January

Joshua, a beneficiary of the food packs said, “This program has been empowering those that have been a part of it. Not having food puts many of my community members at a disadvantage because children can’t learn with an empty stomach and we can’t go on about our day without food either.”

Like Joshua and his family, 1,340 families have received food packs that have made a big difference in their day to day lives. Additionally through this program, 407 at-risk teenage girls have each received a sanitary kit and a menstrual health & hygiene talk. 3,346 students have also received an education pack with textbooks relevant to their respective classes, an exercise book and stationery for revision.

With rising inflation and food prices, many families continue to struggle in this time. Your donation can support a family of five people for two weeks. Will you become a monthly donor?

Annual Christmas Drive

Santa made a quick stop at RKF to be a part of our Annual Christmas Drive celebrations and we couldn’t be happier!! Santa came to spread the Christmas cheer with so many children and their families, especially those who have had a rather challenging year.

He brought some gifts and toys and showed off his excellent balloon twisting skills (who knew Santa could make balloon animals?!). There was also music, cake and lots and lots of food… enough to take the families through to the start of 2022!

We asked Japeth, one of the beneficiaries of the Food Packs about how last year’s Christmas was different from 2020’s.

He said, “it was very different because my family wasn’t a part of the COVID Relief program back then. I had also lost my job and making an income became difficult. Sometimes we slept without eating food.”

Japeth started receiving food packs since his child joined one of the schools where the program was introduced. “I am thankful to the Foundation for supporting my family. This Christmas isn’t easy either but it’s better than the last one. I am even taking my children and wife to a park to spend time together. We are happy!”

Continuation of Meals Program

What could be better than a nutritious cup of uji (porridge) to start off the morning and conquer through classes until lunch! With the resumption of our Meals Program, students in some communities are now receiving breakfast (uji) and lunch (rice and green grams/beans) everyday while they are in school.

Every day more than 66 million children go to school hungry. According to the World Bank, school feeding programs are targeted social safety nets that provide both educational and health benefits to the most vulnerable children, thereby increasing enrollment rates, reducing absenteeism, and improving food security at the household level.

RKF’s Meals Program aims to achieve this by ensuring students have access to two on-site school meals daily: a hot cup of porridge for a mid-morning snack and a hot plate of lunch. Our team also works with vulnerable families to provide them with food packs (ration kits) to provide food security at home. 

International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day!!

Team RKF is honouring all the women around the world who have raised their voices for educating our girls to create a sustainable tomorrow. This quote by Michelle Obama says everything we believe:

“Investing in girls' education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.”

All through March 2022, RKF will be working with girls and women in Kisumu County to educate them on the importance of menstrual health and hygiene, body positivity and the importance of continuing on their education journey. We will also be providing girls with Sanitary Kits that will help girls in rural Kisumu stay in school when they are menstruating.

You can support our work by sharing this message or making a donation of KES 5,500 or US$50 to support five girls in the month of March.

Donate online by clicking here: I will support 5 girls this year

Carrot Harvest

3kg of carrots in 90 days.

We are so thrilled to share this update. We had planted carrot seeds in a small part of our vegetable patch in late September 2021. Recently, we were able to harvest 3kg of this beautiful vegetable. Why are we sharing this?

If we can achieve this in such a small space, imagine what we can achieve when we convert unused school land into beautiful shambas and community gardens. Would you like to support this project? Find out more about our Climate Action Project here: Environment in Education: Planting 100,000 trees

GlobalGiving Badges

Team RKF has been recognized by GlobalGiving yet again and we have received all six badges for 2022. We are grateful for your continued support and we hope to continue doing this work as long as it is needed.

COVID Relief Update: January 2022
COVID Relief Update: January 2022
From Annual Christmas Drive 2022
From Annual Christmas Drive 2022
Santa showing off his balloon twisting skills ;)
Santa showing off his balloon twisting skills ;)
From lunch service at Nang'a
From lunch service at Nang'a
IWD 2022
IWD 2022
Carrot Harvest: Climate Action Project
Carrot Harvest: Climate Action Project
GG Badges 2022 awarded to RKF
GG Badges 2022 awarded to RKF
Everyone is happy after having a cup of uji!
Everyone is happy after having a cup of uji!

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Serfina: A Mom's Story
Serfina: A Mom's Story

COVID Relief Update - October

We are getting close to 200,000 MEALS from our COVID Relief efforts. This is on top of the 260,000 meals we had already served as a part of the School Meals Program before the pandemic. And even as we reflect on what getting closer to the milestone of half a million meals means, we can’t help but feel a deep sense of AWE at the support you have offered us since we started this work in 2016.

In the month of October, an additional 16,430 meals were served through 85 new food packs to families in different communities within Kisumu County. In total, 4,537 families (12,360 beneficiaries) have so far received 192,369 meals since the start of our relief program! As the new cases of COVID-19 in Kenya are lower than the 2% positivity rate and with the easing of restrictions, our team has now started re-introducing on-site school meals. We hope to share an update on this in the coming months.

3,343 students have benefited from education packs and 351 Sanitary kits (1,820 reusable pads) have been distributed to at-risk teenage girls.

ImpactStory

Serfina is a parent who has been a continuous recipient of the COVID Relief Food Packs.  

She is a single mother who like many other people lost her job due to the pandemic. She says, "Now I do things (small jobs) here and there to get a wage. This program has been supporting me and my family. My children now don't have to compromise, it gives me satisfaction to know that they are eating well."

The savings Serfina makes from the packs helps her buy extra vegetables to add in the food and sometimes even pay rent 2 months in advance."

(Translated from Kiswahili)

An Update from Our Environment Project

"If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.“ – David Sobel

With our first official environment workshop, we tried to do just that! During the 3 hours that the students were in the mini botanical garden, we had a discussion where everyone was a part of the conversation about our earth and different ways in which we can show it some love. Many young students chimed in with: “plant trees”, “throw garbage in the dustbin”, “don’t pollute the water” among other suggestions.

Read more about this project here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/environment-in-education-planting-100-000-trees/reports/?subid=179776

Giving Tuesday 2021

#GivingTuesday is only 19 days away! This year, GivingTuesday will be on 30th November 2021.

We need your help to reach our goal of raising $10,000 in support of the various communities we serve in Kisumu County—and with GlobalGiving’s incentive fund, the more you give, the larger share The Rahul Kotak Foundation (RKF) receives out of the $1 million USD in bonus funds available! 

If we reach our goal this year, RKF will be able to reach nearly 4,000 students with a daily school meals program and build 2 brand new libraries... but we can’t do it without you. 

Mark your calendars to #MoveAMillion: it’s almost time to help RKF!

COVID Relief Update: October 2021
COVID Relief Update: October 2021
An Update from our Environment Project!
An Update from our Environment Project!
Learning about Plants!
Learning about Plants!
GivingTuesday is on 30th November 2021! Get Ready!
GivingTuesday is on 30th November 2021! Get Ready!

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Mary shares her story with us!
Mary shares her story with us!

COVID Relief Update

Since our last update, our team has continued to engage with different communities to keep supporting them throughout the pandemic. Kisumu County saw a massive surge in COVID cases in June and July 2021, coinciding with the end of the previous academic year. During these difficult times, your donations to RKF made it possible to continue providing food packs to vulnerable families, education packs to students about to begin a new academic year and sanitary kits to at-risk teenage girls.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have now been able to serve over 175,000 meals to students and their families. We have also been able to support 3,343 students with education packs that contain text books, exercise books and stationery; this has been particularly important in the midst of the pandemic, when many parents have lost their jobs. This has resulted in increasing financial hardship on their families. When families struggle to meet their basic needs, their focus on continuing to educate their children becomes secondary. Increasingly, there is a lack of educational material necessary for the development of school-going children. According to a report by UNICEF, over 17 million children in Kenya are recovering from up to 9 months of lost learning due to COVID-19.

Our goal during this pandemic has been to ease the adverse effects of it on young students, particularly those living in marginalized communities. One such story comes from Mary, a parent who has benefited from the food packs we have been able to provide:

A story of uncertainty and savings…

“The pandemic affected my business. Many people lost their jobs as businesses lost their clients. The overall standard of living was dropping.”

Mary’s business was one of many that made unforeseeable losses when the pandemic first hit. With unemployment on the rise, communities began to lose their stability.

“Cost-sharing for food packs has enabled me to make savings. These savings gave me relief as I was able to add them into my small business. Spending some of these savings on my children also gave me great joy.”

As Mary shares the impact that the Covid-19 Relief program has had on her, she remains hopeful that the program will continue to provide relief to herself as well as other parents of her community.

You can continue to support our work by making a recurring donation here

Our Team of Volunteers

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in.” - Marjorie Moore

In July and August, six young volunteers joined our team to help us continue the relief work we have been doing. We wanted to share the impact of this ultimate exercise of democracy by our awesome volunteers during that period:

  • collectively they did over 200 hours of work
  • made and distributed 2,949 education packs
  • participated in 3 menstrual hygiene workshops
  • packed 116 food packs that served over 23,900 meals
  • labelled the entire mini botanical garden

From left to right: Ramya, Ruth, Muskan, Aryan, Maxwell, Agnes, Caroline and Amee.

An Update from September’s Little by Little Matching Campaign

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only things that ever has." – Margaret Mead

This quote was re-enforced after the Little Matching Campaign in September last month! We received support from near and afar that helped us raise a total of US$3,272.86

Our team is already working hard to support students and their families over the coming months and we're so excited to share updates!

ASANTE SANA!! THANK YOU!!

Giving Tuesday 2021: Move a Million

Mark your calendars! Just about a month until #GivingTuesday on 30th November 2021!

With $1 million USD in funding available from GlobalGiving, there’s never been a better time to give. Share this message with your family and friends: together, we can make a difference for students living in marginalized communities in Kisumu County.

The Impact of your donations
The Impact of your donations
Secondary school recipients of education packs
Secondary school recipients of education packs
The excitement of a new book... priceless!
The excitement of a new book... priceless!
Primary school recipient of an education pack
Primary school recipient of an education pack
Our team of Volunteers for 2021
Our team of Volunteers for 2021
Volunteer Impact
Volunteer Impact
Asante Sana!
Asante Sana!
Let's Move a Million!
Let's Move a Million!

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Organization Information

The Rahul Kotak Foundation

Location: Kisumu, Kisumu County - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheRKFoundation
Project Leader:
Mansi Kotak
Kisumu, Kisumu County Kenya
$54,385 raised of $100,000 goal
 
714 donations
$45,615 to go
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