Nairobi has a dark, heartbreaking side.
In Kenya 50% of people live below the poverty line. So it’s not surprising that 25% of kids are chronically underweight. But this isn’t the only way kids suffer…
Poverty will drive a desperate parents to send their kids out to beg for food. To search through rubbish dumps. Send them out as child prostitutes. Or abandon them all together.
Abandonment, AIDs and sexual abuse is a part of daily life for many kids growing up in the darkest areas of Nairobi.
One Horizon has found a beautifully simple way to help. Good food.
Their feeding programme provides a regular nutritious meals for over 2,000 of these kids. And the best part is that meals are provided in schools.
When a new school joins the programme the kids aren’t used to it. They will keep coming back for seconds and thirds. Some will vomit from desperation to get enough food.
But over the next 6 weeks with One Horizon an amazing transformation happens. The kid’s skin conditions clear up. They’re full of energy. They start laughing.School attendance goes up to 99%.
The kids are safe, healthier and happier. They can concentrate on learning.
Their weight and height is regularly monitored. If a child’s weight remains dangerously low they will be taken to hospital for a full medical check. And their meds will be supplied, HIV or otherwise.
The issue with so many projects is that you can build the most incredible schools. But sick, hungry children won’t show up. Classrooms don’t save lives, food does.
So, how can you help the food movement in Nairobi?
1. Visit One Horizon in KenyaThis trip is not run by a tour operator, and this community is not a tourist attraction.
This is a charity inviting you to see aspects of life other travelers rarely get to see, in locations inaccessible to others.
And when you visit two amazing things happen….
You will see the programmes in action
In fact, you’ll be getting involved. Serving food. Weighing kids. And encouraging creativity with face painting and art classes. (Sounds silly, but this is a great way to make them feel important, and give the sexually abused children a creative outlet.)
You will be funding the change!
Your visit will fund projects across the charity. Feeding children, providing fresh water, medicines, retraining adults and helping people break the poverty cycle.
And the kids are so grateful…
2. Donate A Pig to One HorizonCan’t travel all the way to Kenya? Don’t worry, you can help from home! Donate a pig, a one-off sum or sponsor a child.
The pig project is a pretty great choice.
A lot of the children have one carer. Their grandma. And each grandma can have up to 20 grandkids and no income, because they’re too frail to continue manual labour.
So One Horizon turns them into Granny Entrepreneurs:
? The grannies build the enclosures, then One Horizon provides vaccinated piglets and feed.
? In 9 months these piglets will have their own litters, of around 10 piglets.
? The grannies sell some piglets to buy feed and vaccinations for the others.
? In another 9 months these piglets will have more piglets, ready to be sold.
At this point the grandmas are fully self sufficient and generating their own income ?
Mary was very ill when One Horizon first met her. She was quiet and visibly in pain. Since joining the programme she’s been on medication, and the pigs have given her hope:
Now when I walk outside each morning, I see gold.
She smiles. She jokes with the One Horizon staff. She’s happy.
And she’s not alone! The project has seen a 85% drop in stomach ulcers and a 90% drop in hospital admissions. Without health and money worries the grannies are free to support their grandchildren.
3. Share to Raise AwarenessIf this trip doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but you know someone who would love to help, let them know!
One Horizon needs more lovely visitors and pigs. Partly because 2,000 mouths consume a lot each day. But also because there are thousands more kids in Nairobi who desperately need support.