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4 products

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€200 Builds a House

Replace A Rubbish Shack with A Mud House: Transforming the Lives of Families Living in Poverty in the Slums of Kitale, Kenya

Why Build a House?

  • Get families out of homes built of rubbish
  • Improved health and life expectancy
  • Children will come home from the streets
  • People have a door and a window

In 2008 the local Kenyan Good Shepherd Sisters started to work with Kipsongo slum, on the outskirts of Kitale. People lived in “paper houses” so infested with disease that many died young. Their children scavenged or begged by day and at a young age turned to sleeping out on the streets. People were hopeless and had lost all dignity, often drunk and violent towards one another.

Now Kipsongo has been transformed from a slum into a village whose residents are proud of their homes and have hopes for the future. The village women are focused on income generation and their children are now clean, healthy and in school. Due to their success, a NEW SLUM called Jamanoor has recently approached the Good Shepherd Sisters to work with them. Africa Direct are committed to building 100 new houses.

€100 Starts a Woman in Farming

A family can then rent their own land, buy their own seeds and produce enough food to earn an income, provide food and educate their families in Kenya’s Rift Valley

Why start a woman in farming?

  • Earns an income
  • SELF-RELIANT: after one year she can continue without outside help
  • Gaining skills in crop production
  • Food for supplementing family meals
  • Working together for a better future

Most of the residents of Kipsongo came from fleeing very harsh living conditions in the Turkana region where pastoralist communities struggled with increasing droughts and violence. They arrived as individuals struggling in a fight for survival, often fighting against each other rather than working together. The women, now farming maize, have shown incredible resilience and determination in changing their lives by together learning crop farming that was not once part of their culture.

For €100 a plot of land can be rented for a woman with tools, seed and fertiliser. By growing maize she can have a food supply and an income with enough savings to continue farming the plot. Already there are 36 women sharing 11 acres with many more hoping for the opportunity to get started. These projects are essential for creating sustainable development in which communities become self-sufficient.

€50 Start a Woman in Business

Providing the capital for her to set up a shop and purchase stock in Kitale markets so she can earn an income to support herself and her family

There are many micro-businesses which will pay food, medical and education costs for a family, €400 is a good annual income. This small shop was set up by Justacia in Kipsongo. Others buy sacks of rice and resell smaller bags, others buy and sell old clothes. All try to save and use a community system of “Table Banking” to pool their savings for others to borrow and expand their businesses.

While women of Kipsongo are becoming strong and independent the Good Shepherd Sisters are moving their focus to nearby Jamanoor slum where there are many with no income yet.

€20 Supplies Emergency Relief

Fires are a common occurrence in Nairobi, breaking out two or three times in a year. 2011 was a particularly bad year with one fire effecting over 10,000 Mukuru Slum residences.

Fires are a common occurrence in the packed slums of Nairobi. Most cook on charcoal fires and use oil lamps for light. Both start fires which can often spread to 100 or more packed houses with no access for fire engines.. High density housing combined with dry conditions and flammable material cause the flames to spread like wildfire. The only way to stop them is to destroy a line of houses large enough that the fire cannot jump from one to another. However, finding those who are willing to sacrifice their home to stop the fire takes organisation and time, in which the fire spreads faster.

St. Catherine’s primary school is dedicated to the nearby Mukuru slum children. Sr. Barbara, a Mercy Sister, runs a social office to support the poorest families. She keeps emergency supplies for fire victims. They can rebuild their shacks with recovered iron sheets but need mattresses, blankets and clothes. This year a combination of fire and a bad flood depleted the stocks, new supplies are needed.

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NOTE: This donation form uses PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account you CAN still donate: once you hit donate PayPal will offer you (in small writing) the chance to pay by card

Other options for donating are explained below:

Bank Transfer:

You can transfer money at any bank to our bank account:

Allied Irish Bank,
Blackpool Branch
Africa Direct Account No: 30725068
Africa Direct Sort Code: 934054

If you are paying by bank transfer please insure that you send us an EMAIL containing the following details:

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Tax Relief Information:

The Revenue Commissioners allow Africa Direct to reclaim any income tax you have paid on any amount exceeding €250 in a calendar year. To allow us reclaim the tax you fill in the Declaration Form with your PPS number. This form is then held on our files in case of tax inspection of our annual claim. You do not have to make any tax returns.

Meet Sr Margaret: Director of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Kitale (Interview taken in 2011)

Visit our Our Partner’s Page: The Good Shepherd Sisters Kitale to find out more about their work

Meet Sr Barbara, Director of St Catherine School’s Support Office in Nairobi (interview taken in 2011)

Visit our Our Partner’s Page: St Catherine’s School, Sisters of Mercy Support Office to find out more about their work

Plain & Christmas ‘Whip-Around’ Gift Card

After you have donated a thank you email containing a link to get your free gift card will be sent to the email you have provided. If you have difficulty receiving the email please check your spam folder.

 Your personalised gift card has been handmade by children living in the slums of Nairobi. This project was run by Mukuru Arts and Crafts under Mukuru Slum Development Project. Please visit our partner’s page to find out more: MSDP