Teenagers Plus Community Based Organization

Saturday, Sep 23rd 2023

Village Of Divine Mercy Project - Sagana

Brief Introduction
Ms Irungu a Global Health advocate, Civil society Representative and key country advisor on Special sessions on AIDS-UNGASS, now a resident of Seattle WA, has experiential knowledge of the dynamics involved in Urban Slums and has continued to offer Visionary leadership to the CBO making T-plus a focal and resource point on the subject of Rights, Care & Services on Teenagers & HIV, locally and Nationally. Ms Irungu envisions not only a HIV free world under the current UNAIDS Getting to Zero Campaign by 2015, but also one of equality; Health Rights, Care, Treatment & Services devoid of Stigma & Discrimination for those children already living with HIV. Kenya has very scanty data on HIV prevalence rates below 15 years creating gaps in information thereby denying Health budgetary allocations targeting children under this age category. Up until 2011; 40,000 children were being born with HIV in Kenya each year a number which has significantly dropped to 13,000 per year largely due to successful PMTCT campaigns. Lack of budgetary allocation has being one major hindrance to Care & Treatment to Children HIV which has a 10-25% mortality rate if no intervention is offered. Holistic services which include healthy feeding practices and stable social support systems have the capacity to improve lives for these children especially in cases of Total Orphans and Most Vulnerable children such as those living with HIV. It’s with this background that Ms Irungus’ envisions a model community / village where Total orphans can be absorbed in family setups headed by single or widowed women who are themselves beneficiaries of rescue programs in the form of halfway home on transition, GBV and WLWHIV. The children however would be members of the larger T-plus community until such a time when they turn 18 years. The community mothers on the other hand would be on transition depending on their own crisis intervention period necessary but a certain number can be retained to offer uninterrupted social support to orphans under their care.

MVC / MARPS – 2nd Target Clientele
A gap that has been identified is the lack of integration of the deaf community into the mainstream development in Kenya. There are an approximate 600,000- 1m deaf people in Kenya a percentage that should not be ignored in any forum. With the HIV pandemic, there’s almost zero involvement by the government and whatever the civil society is doing is hardly supported and there’s need therefore to set an example of how this can be achieved. Intake of deaf orphaned children at T-plus village therefore offers such an opportunity for most vulnerable groups’ awareness creation, integration into normal community activities aimed at decreased alienation & discrimination at all levels of society and policy formulation. To this end, we shall aspire to work with the Deaf Society of Kenya as technical working partners.

This community project is expected to be self-sustaining and borrows heavily on the model of Nyumbani Village kwa Vonza in Kitui Eastern Province a project of COGRI albeit on a smaller magnitude with the objective of demonstrating the possibility of duplicating this concept into smaller grass-root ideas.      This pioneer project by COGRI has influenced the decision to seek the services of its project director Arch.Kariuki Kiragu whom she’s well acquainted to offer an eco-technological approach to this project.

The project has adapted the title ‘‘T-plus Village of Divine Mercy, Sagana’’. Though of a small scale, it seeks to incorporate all aspects of eco-technology for self-sustenance and capacity transference to the outside community through training on improved Agri-tech approaches. This will enhance integration with the existing community, improve living standards and encourage social cohesion at local levels. Due to space limitation, best practices in all aspects are to be embraced to ensure optimal returns, lowest overheads (operating costs) and encourage holistic community and personal development for the children and their guardians. Components of training, production & Marketing of cottage products will ensure income generation for the project itself and acquired skills for those in transition programs. To this end, the CBO has acquired a 10 acre piece of land in Kieni constituency in Kirinyaga District which is about 4kms off Sagana – Nyeri highway. The ownership of this acreage is absolute and the survey maps available to illustrate the actual shape of the piece of land. The area is ideally serviced with services like water and some fair level of infrastructure. Some of the features that we envision include.

Boarding units – Children & their guardians: while the ideal thing would be to house a number of children under a house ‘mum’, the space limitation may not allow this kind of concept and instead opt for age-appropriate dormitory set-ups and maybe some detached units for very young children and their caregivers. The overall number of persons to be accommodated to be determined in design lay-out. Of importance to note is that, the children will attend local schools ‘outside’ the village to but there’s a possibility that nursery classes can be started on need basis to cater for very young children depending on proximity to public schools and number in question. Health services too will be outsourced locally but there might be need to have a sick-bay or medication room to monitor sick children under specialized personnel. First Aid and observation can be administered from here.

Laundry Mat – A community activity that enhances socialization and communication, water recycling and redirection into the farm or nursery beds

Library / Reading Room – One crucial village feature that promotes a reading culture.

Animals Sheds – To house a variety of domestic animals for production of dairy products for consumption and commercial purposes.

Granaries /Food storage – To include a processing room (cottage industry) for various Farm products.

Greenhouses for IGA – This component are integrated to address any additional form of resource generation.

Labor resource & Community Involvement (Synergy) – This community aims at engaging the target beneficiaries from formation stage. The objective is to harmonize work & ethics values, create a synergy at all levels of project development and promote social structures with all dynamics involved. We therefore envision at infancy stage meaningful involvement of PLWHIV particularly widows and orphans the latter who are legally allowed to work. This will not only encourage project ownership but create functional structures supported with newly acquired skills for continuity purposes.

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University of Nairobi