Guardian Involvement Archives

Posted by Regina on May 28, 2014 1:20 PM

Fruit Trees for Outreach Guardians

The guardians from Miale Outreach in Kandara are busy taking care of their new fruit trees which were purchased as a result of fundraising efforts from schools in Scotland.

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The children aren't left behind either. They are involved during every stage of the planting and growing process to ensure that they learn the knowledge and skills to use in the future. It's amazing to see how keen the children are to learn and help take care of the fruit trees and the rest of their crops. They already can’t wait for the trees to grow so they can eat the fruit!

Esther Mugure, one of the guardians said,
“I am so happy to have these fruit trees. I will make sure to take good care of them so myself and my family can enjoy the fruit. Thank you Johari!”

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Posted by Regina on April 29, 2014 1:43 PM

Learning Time For Outreach Kids

The children from our Miale Outreach in Kandara have recently been learning farming skills from their guardians who have been trained through the Guardian Empowerment Project. The guardians are excited to be in a position to share their new found knowledge and skills with their kids.

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Working with their guardians, what a lovely way to learn!


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Getting involved in weeding!

Posted by Regina on April 25, 2014 11:15 AM

Guardian Empowerment Project in Kandara Grows and Grows!

The guardians in Kandara have made some fantastic progress recently. There have been more animal offspring born and fruit trees have been planted and are thriving. Disposable assets in their households have also increased and it's all been down to their hard work and effort!

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The Mwana Mwireri Group bought a calf, they are now in the process of buying a calf for every member of the Social Group

The guardians training in working with drought tolerant crops have made their lives easier when the rains fail them.

"I would encourage all of you to plant drought tolerant crops; they are doing better with this unpredictable rain”. One of the guardians said during a recent social group meeting.

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"The sale of my sweet potatoes and cassavas have enabled me purchase some items in my house”, another guardian said in the meeting.

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Sweet Potatoes

Posted by Regina on September 9, 2013 2:09 PM

Kitchen Gardening

Kitchen Gardening is just one of the many practices our guardians in Kandara have embraced. The guardians can now grow enough crops to feed their families and also sell excess crops to generate a small amount of income. Kale, spinach, arrow roots and amaranth are some examples of crops they are growing.

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One of the guardians said; "I’m happy that I can now grow enough vegetables to feed my family and have some left over to sell to my neighbours."

Another guardian said; “I’m so happy I can feed my children a healthy, balanced diet thanks to the skills I have learnt through the Guardian Empowerment Programme."

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Posted by Regina on April 24, 2013 11:05 AM

Social groups at their Best!

The Social Groups in Kandara are contributing significantly towards the achievements we have seen so far in the Guardian Empowerment Programme. They bring together all the guardians in their respective social groups. They engage with the following activities during their meetings:

• Planning
• Division of labour/roles
• Renewal of commitment and development of accepted sanctions
• Designing of accepted norms and values that will guide the group towards achieving the goals set by the programme.

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The groups have continued to assist each other through the little financial contributions which they contribute on monthly basis. Part of the funds is meant to be a revolving fund where members are allowed to borrow at a low interest of 5% within a period of two weeks. A larger part of the contribution is set aside and so far it has been has been spent to purchase goats, pigs and chickens.

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It’s a time to smile as most of the animals have produced offspring hence increasing disposable assets within households. Chickens on the other hand are laying plenty of eggs and guardians are happy to sell some of them. Plans are underway to introduce new ideas in the four respective social groups.

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Posted by Regina on April 24, 2013 10:26 AM

Guardians Outreach programme continues to thrive!

The Guardian Empowerment Programme in Kandara continues to thrive. It’s so exciting to see the programme developing at such a fast rate and see the enthusiasm from the guardians who work so hard to make sure it succeeds.

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The programme has created an ideal environment for all the guardians who wish to develop their farming abilities and do the best they can to better their lives economically and socially.

Our overall goal of improving food security in their respective households, sustain the livelihoods as well as reduce poverty and dependency seems to be getting closer. It is clear that all the guardians have understood the importance of the programme, its objectives, their responsibilities and the programmes expected outcomes.

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Food security I believe is “When all people, at all times, have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet the dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.” Three main components of food security are availability, access and utilization. The social team in Kandara have continued to address the food insecurity problems faced by our guardians by promotion of improved drought tolerant seeds and post harvest management. Sustainable natural resource management as a main streaming issue are also being practiced.

The diverse basket of commodities being grown by the guardians has resolved some issues of food availability, access and utilization. Through the continuous training on environmental conservation, better methods of farming and livestock production, food availability has increased. The pieces of land look green and we hope to harvest more food this year if rains prevail. It will all be jubilation when our guardians will be in a position to feed themselves and their households.

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Posted by Foundation on October 29, 2012 10:38 AM

A Step Towards Sustainability

The guardians from our Guardian Empowerment Programme are celebrating as their goats have given birth! Last year they purchased goats, pigs and chickens and it's great to see the second generations coming into the world!

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Many of the guardians are very old and have been supporting their grandchildren who have been orphaned, this is very often the case in most parts of Africa. It has seen Grannies turning into Mothers. The Guardian Empowerment Programme has seen made it easy for the guardians to meet up and discuss new ways of becoming self sufficient.

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Posted by Foundation on July 16, 2012 8:26 AM

Guardians Gain New Crop Knowledge

Unpredictable weather in Kenya can often make it difficult for the guardians on the Empowerment Programme to continually grow certain crops. As part of their training the guardians have learnt that crops such as Cassava and Arrow Root can withstand difficult and harsh weather conditions such as drought.

This new found knowledge allows the guardians to continue to harvest their crops and provide for their families even through tough and unpredictable climates.
Here is one of our guardians in her diversified garden, waiting patiently for a bumper harvest!
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Posted by Foundation on June 11, 2012 1:12 PM

New arrivals for the Guardians

The social groups in Kandara have pulled together their limited resources and purchased a goat and a sheep. A rota has been established so that all of the guardians will get the opportunity to look after the animals and gain experience of animal husbandry.

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Through the Guardian Empowerment Programme, the Guardians have been developing lots of new skills. The animals are a great addition in helping to assist the Guardians with composting. The fertitility of the land will be greatly improved and help solve the issue of food insecurity amongst the community.

Teresia who is a guardian on the programme said "I am very happy and delighted to own a goat"
The Empowerment Programme is improving the living standards of the guardians.
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Posted by Foundation on May 28, 2012 1:11 PM

Guardians practicing mixed cropping

The weather plays a pivotal role in the success of growing crops and unpredictable weather can cause real damage. Taking this into account the guardians are now attempting to get the most out of the growing season and have started to practice mixed cropping. In addition to his they are also growing indigenous crops which are tolerant to harsh conditions such as cassava, bananas and arrowroot. These practices will hopefully mean that even during harsh weather conditions the farmers will be able to harvest some of the hardier crops.

Below is an illustration of Miale outreach guardians having a training session on mixed cropping with the hopeful outcome of sufficient food during all seasons.
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Posted by Foundation on May 21, 2012 11:02 AM

Guardians use 'Tilling Technique' to improve soil

Plants rely on the soil being rich and full of organic matter to help nurture them. During the growing season the plants absorb all the goodness in the soil and it's really important that compost is added to make sure there is enough fertility to aid further growth. One way of doing this is to prepare the land in advance using a tilling technique called 'fertility trenches', where a trench of 2ft wide and 2ft deep is dug and organic matter added to the trench. Top soil mixed with compost is then added to the trench and then the plants can be planted. This ensues the plants have compost during the germination period and as they grow the organic matter is decomposing which continues to feed the growing plants.

This is a great learning process for the Guardians as they learn new techniques every day. The success of future harvest will be down to the advance preparation of the soil.

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Posted by Foundation on May 7, 2012 11:07 AM

Guardians united for a purpose

Following the saying that says united we stand and divided we fall; the guardians in Muranga (central Kenya) came up with a system of uniting together in a social group where they meet and share their challenges and success. In addition to this they also came up with an idea of contributing some small of money and started as a merry go round where they all contribute ksh 50 and after contributing one of the guardians goes with the money and does development project like buying and rearing chicken. Apparently they have decided to start a revolving fund system where they contribute the same amount of money but lend it among themselves and they return after a month with some interest and this seems to work very well. Their goal is to buy goats, pigs and others animals and they believe that they will achieve their goals.Below are pictures of the guardians in a meeting.
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Posted by Foundation on April 30, 2012 10:19 AM

Weeding to improve yields

Growing plants from seeds is an economical way to cultivate. It's a fantastic sight too when the seedlings germinate and tiny green shoots push their head above the earth. However, weeds enjoy the same conditions that seedlings enjoy. It's therefore vital that for the crop to be a success that early intervention in removing weeds is applied.
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Images of guardians in their garden happily removing weeds to make sure that their crops have room to grow. They are hoping the rain will continue to fall so that they can have a good harvest and are able to provide food for the family.

Posted by Regina on March 30, 2012 12:59 PM

INCOME GENERATING PROJECT - Soap Making

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Sustainability and self reliance is an important aspect to our Miale programs. Johari endeavors to empower all the guardians in Miale outreach program with simple income generating activities.

Currently, the guardians have gone through series of training on how to make liquid soap. This training is aimed at equipping the guardian with knowledge and skills on how to become reliant and eventually reduce dependency syndrome.

The training is part of income generating activities. The beauty of this activity is that guardians have initiated it themselves through the social groups. Our work as Johari is to equip them with the skills. These guardians have been organized into 4 small social groups of 15 members and this has made it easy to impact the skills to them.

The Liquid soap will be used at home and the surplus sold to the local community members for purposes of increasing income in their house holds to cater for their needs. It has been a very exciting venture for both the guardians as well as Miale staff.

This soap looks better than the one we always buy from other suppliers” one guardian commented. “And the process of making the soap is very easy, I have been thinking it’s magic” another guardian made fun.

Johari Foundation will strive to empower the guardians holistically for the purpose promoting the rights and welfare of the children and their households.

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Posted by Regina on November 23, 2011 11:47 AM

ARROWROOTS IN A KITCHEN GARDEN

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Kitchen gardening is a great idea where our guardians utilise the locally available materials. It has proved to be greatly rewarding. People always think that arrow roots can only be grown in a wetland where there is water but our guardians’ kitchen gardens have proved otherwise. Use of correct readily available materials has made it possible to grow arrow roots during this short season.

This involves digging a hole in a rectangular shape of about two feet deep and wide as desired and then spreading a nylon sheet at the base of the hole to hold water after irrigation. The top soil that was dug from the hole is then mixed with compost and returned to the same hole where arrow roots are planted.

Mulching is done to conserve the little available water found and the guardian is required to irrigate the arrow roots with the domestic used water in the house. The water is traditionally treated using wood ash. The treatment is very simple and every guardian does it on her /his own. This is amazing for the guardians and for all of us. Looks great!

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Posted by Regina on November 4, 2011 7:08 AM

IMPACT OF THE EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM

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Guardian’s empowerment program continues to flourish with most guardians now happy about their good work. “I have learnt that farming is not about going to the garden, it’s about application of skills and knowledge on proper farming methods for better yields.” Mary, one of the guardians commented during one of the trainings. Very encouraging!

Rains are here with us and guardians are very busy weeding and off course using the new techniques they have acquired. Things will be different this time! High yields are expected hence bridging the dependency gap. What makes the program unique is the use of locally available materials and the introduction of indigenous drought resistant crop which have been long forgotten such as cassava, yams and millet.


Our road map towards achieving our main goal has been emphasized on the following:-

 Have continuous trainings on the better methods of farming including:-

• Matters of land preparation with better tillage techniques
• Early land preparations
• Proper planting methods
• Better choosing of seeds which fits specific areas
• Proper use of compost and ensuring that every farmer uses compost

• Have continuous follow ups for the farmers to ensure that they have better methods of
farming as well as advising them.


• Have one to one touch with each and every farmer to ensure that cases are solved
according to the individual problems.

• Acquire more information from the ministry of agriculture to make sure that the farmers
are fully helped.

• Continue putting more emphasis on the drought resistant crops and kitchen gardening

With this in mind we believe that very soon all our guardians will be in a position to feed themselves and their own households.

Posted by Regina on October 5, 2011 11:05 AM

TRADITIONAL VEGETABLES!

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Growing of indigenous vegetable is the current trend in Kenya in most rural areas. Our guardians are not left out either. Interesting to note that most of them are drought resistant and require very little water to grow.

Indigenous vegetables have several advantages over the exotic /imported ones as they adapt to the local environment and are drought resistant, pest and disease resistant. Seeds are locally available and the vegetables are economical to grow and require minimal attention and care compared to the exotic ones.
They are highly nutritious and grow anywhere like wild fruits as long as they have been planted. Our guardians are now growing many types of these vegetables and depending on them a source of nutrients.
The indigenous vegetables can be cooked just by boiling without necessarily frying. That means that the guardians will cost save on cooking fat and have increased nutrients contents in their food. This is quite encouraging as it minimizes cost for all the guardians.

Posted by Regina on September 2, 2011 11:29 AM

GUARDIAN’S ENGAGEMENT - OVERVIEW

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Kenya is a low-income food deficit country with certain areas, in Central Kenya that has been experiencing environmental degradation and as a result chronic food insecurity. The high national rate of chronic malnutrition of reflects Kenya’s poor food security status. This continues to threaten livelihood of many citizens.

In Kandara where the project targets, cyclical droughts exacerbate the vulnerability of households resulting in the highest rates of chronic malnutrition . The situation is exacerbated by negative coping strategies employed by some of the most vulnerable, (reducing the number of meals eaten, selling assets, male members of the family migrating in search of labor), and more worse situation especially to the HIV/AIDS infected and affected households.

It’s is therefore important to seek ways of assisting our guardians through:

Promotion of high value drought tolerant crop species and varieties through crop production and post harvest management to maximize their production of food for their own consumption and the children and even sell the surplus to get some income to meet other needs.

Training guardians to fully utilize the small pieces of land they own using the available materials in the farm for manure to enhance production.

Enhancement of natural resource management through soil and water conservation by construction of soil structures using catchments approach.

•Empower PLWAs (people living with Aids) and OVCs to start small kitchen gardens for their nutritional needs; this is a key area especially to the guardians who have very small pieces of land.

•Enhance them to acknowledge and understand their potential as guardians and accept their responsibility in raising their children, hence the more reason they should ensure they feed them with ease.

Ensuring that our guardians have strengthened their collective resilience to external shocks affecting food security hence will increase their chances of survival and of their children.Can you help us in this noble project? Will appeciate you funding us.

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Posted by Regina on August 17, 2011 1:40 PM

MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF SOIL

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Management and conservation of soil fertility in crop production is an important aspect in ensuring sustainable food production. The quantity and the quality of farm produce is highly determined by the level of the soil fertility provided other factors are held constant.

For sustainable soil fertility management Johari Foundation has embarked on a number of tillage techniques, which has facilitated in soil conservation as well as reduction in cost and time in land management.

The tillage techniques include:-

• Minimum tillage
• Conservation tillage
• Growing of cover crops
• Basket composting
• Trench composting
• Agro forestry

The above methods are found to be significant in improving soil fertility by comparing yields with plots under other management practices. Though the amount of work that is involved is much, we encourage our guardians to practice them for better results.

It’s very encouraging to see our guardians making effort in every step to ensure that they are sustainable.


Posted by Regina on August 1, 2011 1:41 PM

Mitigating drought and famine in Kandara

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Growing of the tradition food crops, intercropped with maize and regumes will be a solution to the current food crisis in Kandara area. Johari is on a pilot project training the guardians on the importance of indigenous crops, which are adaptive to and /or hardy to drought conditions.

Looking forward to a successful project, the guardians will be able to suppress demand and supplement other sources of food stuff from farm and/or the market. This will increase the rate of survival for the households even when the rains are not sufficient hence reducing the level of dependency.

Common indigenous crop in the programme include yams, cassava, local banana and sweet potatoes which take a short while to grow and require less rains. When these indigenous crops are intercropped with other crops like maize and beans, the farmer is assured of a harvest even if one crop fails.

Food security being our core objective we are venturing into the best but simple ways of realizing this dream. You could please help us achieve this dream too?

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Posted by Foundation on July 6, 2011 11:17 AM

Portable Gardens in Guardian Empowerment Program

For daily consumption everyone needs to take a balanced diet for normal and healthy growth mostly advisable for a growing child and this has become very difficult to meet with the demand especially with green vegetables due to the fact that in Kenya there are only two rainy seasons and when there are no rains the plants cannot survive the sunny conditions. Due to this reason there arose a need to show the guardians a way of growing vegetables by the use of a technique called portable gardens which is a technique that involves the use of waste water at home which would otherwise be wasted. The water is first treated by adding wood ash and there after irrigated to the plants which are planted on portable gardens like old sacks, old tires, and even on old tins. This ensures that the guardians have vegetables on their homes throughout the year and therefore promoting a healthy growth.
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Posted by Foundation on June 27, 2011 11:40 AM

Basket Seed Holes in Organic Farming

To have sustainable food production that will keep up year after year and retain soil fertility, we need to farm organically. The guardians have small pieces of land and therefore there is need to teach them on a tillage technique that can hold more seeds in one hole and have high yields. This technique is called Basket Seed Holes, which is a method of basket composting where a hole is dug of 60centimeters circumference and 2feet deep, dry and green matters are added on that hole and topsoil is mixed with compost and returned in to the hole. 9 maize seeds are planted on that hole. This technique transpires to quality and quantity production in a small piece of land hence increase in food harvest for the guardians.
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Posted by Foundation on June 21, 2011 8:31 AM

Better Soil Tillage Techniques Leading to Better Yields

Soil is the mother to the plants and therefore it should be fed so that it feeds the plants, if soil is under fed the plant does not get enough nutrients for growth.
One of the better soil tillage techniques which we have been using to increase yields is double dug beds. These are made by measuring a 4 feet wide bed and the length depends on the size of the land. The bed is made by first digging and removing the top soil and then digging again and removing the sub soil, add green matter and then dry matter, mix the top soil with compost and return it to the bed, level it and mulch. This technique helps in keeping the environment clean by the usage of green and dry matter and at the same time keeps the land fertile for the plants to grow.
Benefits
• This technique is very good in enriching the soil with nutrients so that the soil can feed the plants.
• It also helps in water retention therefore the plant can survive even when there is no enough rain.
• It keeps this fertility for 3-4 seasons and therefore work is done only for the first season and for the other seasons is just renewing.
In the guardian’s empowerment program, the guardians have been taught on how to make these beds and every guardian has made few of them therefore we are expecting a better harvest this season comparing it to the last season.
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Posted by Regina on May 24, 2011 1:27 PM

A STEP FORWARD!

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'Great to see the cultivated land looks green'. 'It’s very encouraging'. ‘We are very happy with the project and wish we had had the knowledge years ago’. “'Johari is a blessing to us and we are very happy' ……….they say. These are just some of the comments from the Guardians involved in the Guardian Empowerment Programme.

Johari Foundation's main focus for this project is to ensure that guardians feel empowered and that they understand the need for sustainability and increased productivity in their capacity as guardian to the children. First and foremost there is the need to provide sufficient food for each house-hold and to ensure that children are healthy and happy. Great progress has been made towards achieving this goal. Identification of skills and areas where improvement is required has been carried out making engagement with guardians easier. Based on our recent visit to the areas of land being cultivated…it is evident that great positive impact is being achieved and the rains are helping. Even the elderly guardians are coping well.

Social groups are working well with all the guardians sharing skills, ideas and knowledge. They are pulling togethere and helping each other. It is our goal to see that every household is self sufficient, healthy, and happy and able to meet their needs with little assistance.


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Posted by Regina on April 26, 2011 11:07 AM

GUARDIANS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME

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The empowerment programme, which was established to help guardians who have responsibility of taking care of the orphaned children in their households, is now six months old. The programme is based in Kandara, central Kenya. The overall goal of the project is to provide food security among orphaned and vulnerable children and their guardians in order to sustain their livelihoods and thereby reduce poverty and dependency.

It’s through this programme that we have engaged the guardians in the process of increasing the capabilities as individuals and groups to make purposeful choices, and to transform these choices into desired actions and outcomes. Empowered people will have freedom of choice and action. This in return will improve the lives of the orphaned children in the Miale programmes.

For us to achieve our main objective, we are in the process of ensuring that our guardians have:-
• Access to information
• Inclusion and participation
• Strengthened social structures and accountability

Guardians have learnt how to compost manure using the locally available materials, how to cultivate their land and also how to conserve the soil. Rains are here with us and we are expecting an increase in yields.

This programme requires funding to make it a reality. It could be you who will assist these guardians and change their lives as well as those of their children.
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Posted by Foundation on September 30, 2010 7:51 AM

POVERTY LEVEL IS VERY RAMPANT AT MURANGA

As I visit homes and schools in the central part of Kenya (muranga district), I realize that most of the guardians who the organization support are living below the poverty line. Many guardians are very old and they take care of their grandchildren whom their mother died because of either HIV/Aids or other related diseases. Cases of Grandmothers becoming mothers at their old age are on the rise and it is not that they bear children but their children bear children and then they either are not able to sustain them and in many cases most die due to diseases like HIV.
Most of the family lives in very dilapidated shanty houses which are either built by mud, old timber or very old iron sheet. The rooms are either 1 or 2 which houses a family of about 4-10 members. Sleeping is a major problem for the children, Thanks to Johari foundation who have been providing mattresses to the children. Food is very scarce especially in the dry seasons and Children are forced to adapt a system of one meal per day.
Johari foundation has been filling the gap by provision of food to the children; this has helped the children not to miss school due to hunger. As you move toward the interior, most of the families are unable to get toiletries & hence poor hygiene is observed, as a result of these, the children suffer from diseases related to poor or very low hygiene standards.
There are many children who are infected by jiggers due to dirt. Water is also a bigger problem and most of the families are forced to walk very long distance in search of water. Johari foundation is doing a great work in assisting the families and the children to break the poverty cycle and assist the families to become self reliant.

Continue reading "POVERTY LEVEL IS VERY RAMPANT AT MURANGA" »

Posted by Regina on May 19, 2010 11:43 PM

Monthly meeting and food distribution

The Guardian’s meeting for Miale outreach was held on 13th and 14th of May in both lower and upper zones. The meeting agenda was to discuss the role of the guardian’s in parenting as well as reminding them about the Johari Foundation policy. The Miale team gave the guardian’s feedback on the children's progress during the holiday programme which was pleasing to them .The Miale team urged the guardian’s to co-operate with the children and teachers for proper growth and development of children. After the meeting the guardians were very happy to receive the monthly food supply which includes: Rice, flour, cooking fat, paraffin, toothpaste porridge flour, shoe polish and soap.
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