Inflation, unemployment, rising food prices, and extreme weather patterns have raised barriers to overcoming poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As a result, the chronically poor in this region remain vulnerable to preventable, but life-threatening diseases. Many must make the impossible choice between their own treatment or educating their children and putting food on the table. This precarious existence can only be overcome through economic empowerment and independence, and that’s where SOTENI comes in.
Access to Health Care
We work in regions with limited access to health care, particularly in rural communities where hospitals, clinics, and community health workers are scarce and preventable diseases are rampant. People living with HIV/AIDS have the added barrier of stigma, which is detrimental to their mental health and prevents many from seeking treatment.
Clean Water and Sanitation
A significant percentage of Kenya's population lacks access to safe drinking water, relying on unfiltered sources such as ponds, shallow wells, or rivers. This situation is especially dire in rural areas and urban slums, like SOTENI's Villages of Hope, where families are often unable to connect to a piped water infrastructure. Yet studies show that safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene could be the difference between life and death for 297,000 children around the world under the age of five each year.
HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for women in Eswatini, who are consistently excluded from economic participation and forced to rely on transactional sex to make ends meet. Kenya’s rural poor tend to rely on subsistence agriculture, consuming what they grow and selling any surplus in the local market. Loans to start or grow businesses are hard to come by with limited access to educational and financial institutions, leaving no other option but to continue farming for low wages.
Climate change is a threat to us all, but impoverished communities are particularly vulnerable. Extreme weather patterns have intensified food insecurity, which drives risky behavior and increases susceptibility to infectious diseases.