About Us And What Propelled Us To Action
We are a registered Community based support Group with a membership base of about 20 active widows and 30 orphaned kids. We reside in an area which has over the years been faced with a lot of challenges. Key among which are;
- Very high levels of Poverty (The poverty index in Homa Bay County the highest). This has resulted in to persistent hunger and starvation- particularly amongst the vulnerable members (Women, Children and the Elderly) of our society
- Diseases (Especially HIV Aids)- The HIV prevalence rate of Homa bay county is 27% -The Highest in the country –National Aids Control Council- NASCOP)
This has resulted in a lot of children being orphaned some at very young ages. We have a lot of homes being headed by children as young as ten years. Further, Parents affected by the scourge but are still living is too weak to care for their children.
Arising from the above,
- Sending and keeping children (who are of school going age) to/in school is hard as most of them lack writing materials, food and clothing items.
- For the children who are total orphans, there are instances of lack of proper shelter( The Child headed families)-that is in cases where relatives are unwilling/unavailable to act as care givers
- Lack of proper food, shelter and clothing also affect the other vulnerable members (The elderly, the sick) of our society.
It is the burden of the above challenges in our society that propelled us into starting a Community Based initiative/forum where members would participate in getting practical solutions to lessen the above two key problems facing our people.
Our programs are broadly geared towards coming up with interventions that are particularly meant to address the critical problems of poverty and diseases (Especially HIV Aids) through;
1. Starting and/or promoting programs that enhances food security where the focus is on Food production (to enhance food sufficiency for the benefit of the community members who are faced with hunger and starvation and to meet the nutritional needs of the sick)
2. Starting and/or promoting programs that;
- Help in reducing the spread of HIV Aids
- Address the needs of those affected/Infected by HIV Aids such as;
- Access to treatment
- Access to Drugs
- Access to Food/Nutrition
- Counseling and Testing
- Peer Education
About Where We Operate
Central Karachuonyo ward of Rachuonyo North Sub County, Homa Bay County where the CBO operates lies in a low area next to Lake Victoria. It enjoys tropical climate with one rainy season (March to June) and one short rainy season (September to October). The Seasons are short and the rain mostly unreliable. The area has black cotton soil and mainly maize and sorghum are grown under peasant farming methods. The fact that rain is not always reliable means that food production is not always enough to feed people from one season to another.
Diseases (Hiv/Aids) Situation
The interaction between the many fishermen (HIV is more rampant amongst the fisher folk Community) and the local community has fueled the spread of HIV aids because of the risky sexual behavior of the fisher folk community. The Food scarcity problem means nutrition becomes a major problem for most community members particularly the sick and the elderly. Access to essential drugs and/or treatment is yet another problem owing to lack of economic empowerment.
The main challenge facing the Community Based Organization is lack of adequate resourses to undertake its interventions. But through member’s efforts, the group has managed to acquire basic farm implements. They (Group members) use these to communally work on peoples farms (planting, weeding, harvesting) for income.
They use the meager income they get to;
- Buy used clothes/school uniform for school going needy children.
- Buy used text/exercise books pens, erasers for school going needy children.
- Buy food items for those who cannot afford food.
Space is another challenge facing the Community Based Organization (CBO), as it is currently operating from a room within the dwelling of Mr. Joash O. Were (a CBO member who also happened to be the brain behind this organization). This serves as the CBOs Store cum office.
To achieve our objectives, the CBO plans;
1. Commodities “Bank”
This shall be a repository for receiving commodities (Food Stuffs, Seeds, Books, Drugs, Clothes, Blankets, Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN), Toys, et cetera) donated by the individual CBO members or Solicited from well wishers. These (commodities) shall in turn be distributed to the identified needy cases. Every effort shall be made to ensure that the resources ONLY benefit the identified needy case with a proper inventory kept for every commodity received.
For this we shall need:
- To construct a small store cum office (see the budget section for a modest budget)
- A Water pump to enhance food production from the members’ farms (this will enable us engage in an all round farming activities using waters from a nearby river/canal system which has been established in the area)
We intend to make farming an income generating activity (IGA) as part of the farm produce shall be sold and the proceeds used to meet other essential needs of the affected/infected community members…for example treatment/drugs for the sick while the other part shall be part of the commodities “Bank” which in turn shall get distributed to those in need.
We plan the Farming Activity component to have;
- Food Production (Vegetables, Fruits, Cereals et cetera)
- Tree Nursery
- Bee Keeping
2. To Conduct Activities that Help Slow the Spread of HIV Aids
The CBO plans to conduct community education on behavior change through;
- Theatre /Drama activities
- Peer Education
- Voluntary Counseling and Testing
- Home Based Care (For the very sick)
A key component of this education shall endeavor to effectively address the issue of stigmatization of the people infected with HIV Aids as this is still a problematic area.
A typical budget requirement for this activity (See budget section) shall be
- Hire of Resource persons (Example Peer Educators, Trained Counselors)
- Hire of Hall
- Transport (of Materials and Facilitators)
An independent committee shall be drawn from the CBO membership to ensure that project/activities are undertaken and completed efficiently and transparently.
Monitoring And Evaluation
A monitoring and evaluation committee shall also be drawn from the CBOs membership for the purposes of projects/activities monitoring and evaluation. The project’s impact shall be assessed upon sound parameters and factual statistics which shall be subjected to verification by partners/collaborators if so desired.
In a bid to effectively achieve its desired objectives, the CBO shall strive to collaborate with key players and stakeholders in the affected areas-such as
- Schools- Through the Ministry of Education
- County and Sub County Health Service providers
- County and Sub County Agriculture Offices
- Donors and Well wishers
Financial and other resources received by the CBO shall properly be accounted for through;
- Proper maintenance of accounting records which shall be available on demand
- Necessary expenditure supported by authentic documentation
- A properly maintained data base of all persons receiving benefit from the CBO.
Komollo Widows and Orphans Support Group
P.O. Box 294 Kendu Bay.
Location: Karachuonyo C.Ward,
Sub- Country. Rachuonyo North,
Homa Bay Country
Tel. +254 2 2163801
Mob. +254 718852165