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SOTENI Village of Hope (SVH) Mituntu serves a population of 290,000; most are part of the Meru culture.
The Kenyan government has recognized SVH–Mituntu as an official Community Based Organization. Five volunteer leaders comprise the village's locally elected management committee, whose goal is to counter the effects of AIDS by providing essential services to the community.
Community Resource Center and Demonstration Farm Partnerships
The local community, through the Kenyan government, donated 52 acres for community projects. A Community Resource Center (CRC) has been constructed, thanks to a grant of 1.4 million Kenyan shillings (about $28,000 USD) from Kenya's Constituency Development Fund. The CRC will house a library, computer and Internet training center, and cultural heritage center. A demonstration farm will be created on the remaining acreage. The CRC facilities will be accessible to the public, especially to area schools. Donations of books and computers are being sought for the center and, of course, financial donations are needed as well.
The demonstration farm will teach locals how to plant and care for crops that respond well in a dry climate; Mituntu has suffered a severe drought for several years. Some crops will be sold in an effort to keep the project sustainable. However, the primary goal is to raise food for the most vulnerable people with HIV/AIDS, guardians of vulnerable children, and other local people without food. A borehole is also located on the property to give access to clean water.
Women's Empowerment Project
In October 2007, SOTENI Kenya (SK) was awarded a $105,000 two-year grant from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) to help local women in SVH-Mituntu through a Women's Empowerment Project. SOTENI implemented the project in partnership with the Forum for International Cooperation (FIC) and Community Relief and Concern, a Kenyan organization. In July/August 2008, 24 Kenyans were selected to become "trainers of trainers" and underwent extensive education. Since then, more than 750 women from 60 women's groups have acquired new knowledge and skills in business management, entrepreneurship, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, gender equality and empowerment.
Because of the success of the first phase of the program, in 2010 DANIDA awarded SK a three-year $350,000 for a second phase initiative in SVH-Mituntu. The grant will enable many more women's groups to receive the in-depth training and offer guidance and assistance to individual women and women's groups that have started their own businesses.
AIDS Barefoot Doctors
Six AIDS Barefoot Doctors currently work in SVH–Mituntu. For more information, please see the AIDS Barefoot Doctors page.
In SVH–Mituntu, the SOTENI International Sponsorship program directly supports 17 of the most at-risk children. Generous donors provide funds for tuition, school supplies, and other necessities that enable the children to complete their education. For more information, see the Sponsorship page.