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Highlights from SVH–Kuria

SOTENI Village of Hope (SVH) Kuria serves one of Kenya's poorest districts. HIV prevalence is about 15% among the population of 200,000, most of whom are members of the Kuria tribal culture.

Because 80% of the people in the Kuria District of Nyanza Province live below the poverty line, many hardships are created:

  • Families cannot effectively care for their children. The suffering is the worst among child-headed households.
  • Many have major health risks due to inadequate food and poor living conditions.
  • There are severe lags in childhood education compared with other areas of Kenya. Primary school registration, attendance, and retention are erratic, especially for girls. Secondary school attendance is minimal.

Led by a locally elected SOTENI-trained volunteer management committee, SVH–Kuria is working with its community to increase opportunities for Kuria's children in four priority areas:

  • Education
  • Farming
  • Healthcare
  • Rescue for girls at risk for female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage

In May 2009, SVH–Kuria, along with Mt. Kenya University (MKU), celebrated the fencing of a 29-acre parcel of land at Nyabasi/Bomerani on which it plans to establish a community center. MKU provided the funding to fence the land. SVH–Kuria has been given funding from the local government to build the center. When completed, the community center could provide day care and food for AIDS orphans, some healthcare, and temporary housing for girls escaping from situations of risk, such as FGM ceremonies. It also will allow space for community seminars and formal education of children. Along with physical safety and care, the community center will provide love, psychosocial encouragement, and guidance to the children. To sustain the center, village leaders plan to generate revenue by selling produce grown on the land.

In early 2012, SOTENI Kenya and Danish partner, FIC, have received funding for a 2 year project in SOTENI Village of Hope-Kuria (funded by The Project Advice and Training Centre, PATC). The project will focus on securing socio-economic independence of women in Kuria. The project is replicated from the women's empowerment project in SVH-Mituntu. The project will train 14 Trainers of Trainers and establish equal rights committees in Kuria. The project will target 50 women's groups (500 women) from both Kuria East and West, who will be trained in business development, advocay in equal rights, gender and effects of HIV/AIDS, FGM and domestic abuse. The project begins on April 1, 2012. The project has three main objectives: social and economic empowerment of women through group training; advocacy and awareness raising on women's rights (HIV/AIDS and FGM); and capacity building for SOTENI Kenya.

SOTENI Village of Hope-Kuria was notified by the Constituency AIDS Control Committee that their proposal "A Time for Change: Reducing Stigma and Discrimination in Kuria Constituency" had been accepted. This will run for 6 months and reach over 10,000 people. The AIDS Barefoot Doctors will be part of the behavior change and communication project. The project will work closely with schools, organized groups and other development partners to efficiently deliver services. SOTENI will: a) develop and disseminate friendly behaviour change messages through multi-media, b) use organized sports' contest to inform and mobilize masses, especially youth.

Sponsoring Orphans: We Need Your Help

The SOTENI International Sponsorship program currently supports five orphans in SVH-Kuria. More sponsors will allow us to expand the program. For more information on how you can help, visit the Sponsorship page. It takes a village to prevent AIDS!