Omen Feeding Center
The continuing HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa is creating a tremendous economic and social burden in Africa. Kenya is among the 9 hardest hit countries; with an estimated 2.1 million people infected and approximately 550,000 children are orphaned. In Nyando District, Nyanza Province, HIV epidemic continue to take the lives of parents and the number of orphans increase daily and hence there are over 10,000 orphaned children in the District.
Omen Feeding Project is situated in, Ramula Sub-Location. Ombeyi Location, Miwani Division, Muhoroni District in the greater Nyando. This area has an estimated population of 50,000 people. Most people live below the poverty line and are unable to provide children with basic needs. There is high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Low levels of income which has majorly contributed to the factors for poverty in this area. The Omen Feeding Programme is funded and was built by Kenyan Orphans Project in 2007 of which without their support many children would have migrated from their communities and ended up in the streets or entered into forced child labour. Omen feeding Centre feeds approximately 50 Orphaned and Vulnerable children and aims to provide them with a better life through .The feeding centre has a total of eight staffs working full time to ensure the day to day running of the Centre is successful which include:
- 1. Foster homes at the community structures
- 2. Support education ( By paying school fees, buying school requirements like books and uniforms)
- 3. Feeding programme ( Feeding for education for school retention)
- 4. Health care and psychosocial services.
- 5. Hygiene Programme under hand washing project where over 1000 students have been trained on proper hand washing with the support of our GSK Volunteers
- 6. Provision of basic needs ( Support by putting up decent housing to caregivers with very poor housing and donations in kind from other well-wishers)
HIV and AIDS has ravaged economies leading to increased poverty levels particularly in the rural areas. This has in turn lad to a big drop out of school attendance in areas affected, compounded by the fact that orphans are left to look after their siblings. These orphans are already going without food for days, have no access to health and in majority of cases roaming the streets. Within the cohort, there are bright and able students who if given adequate resources and stability can do well and achieve their potential and possibly go on to further education. The assumption that free primary school would lead so many pupils to school was wrong as nutrition soon emerged as a deterrent factor.
To this end OGRA Foundation through the Kenyan Orphan Project-UK is tackling this problem and increase access, retention and completion rates of HIV/AIDS affected children in schools through a ‘School feeding program’ at Kiliti Primary School. The project is working to increase the capacity of the rural communities to provide basic and psychosocial needs of HIV/AIDS affected children and care givers in community surrounding schools collaboratively and in partnership with the local church and community groups.