Baraka's Success Story in Empowering Orphans in East Africa

Schaefer with General Kianga and Baraka Co-Founder Hafeez Esmail and the orphans of Kitile and Usalala

In May 2010 Baraka partnered with Peace Corps volunteer Alex Schaefer to support the orphans of Kitile after a horrendous drought left poverty levels abnormally high and school attendance levels abnormally low. Kitle was the perfect place to fulfill Baraka’s mission of strengthening communities by empowering orphans who lacked proper nutrition and education.

The Impact

With your help our recent program has helped 115 orphans and their guardians. The orphans of Kitile are much more likely to get the education they need to reach a higher station in life, and when they get there it will be with a much healthier, stronger body. Less quantifiably, but no less significantly, is the infusion of optimism this project provided.

Why we chose Kitile

In Kitile grandparents and other relatives take care of the orphans. In most cases these older guardians struggled to take care of themselves. Almost all caretakers relied on help from neighbors and fellow church members to help out with an occasional meal or covering school fees.

After reviewing different models to address the root issue of poverty, Baraka determined the best way to catalyze sustainable progress was to improve the guardians’ earning power. Besides improving their feeding and schooling, this would also strengthen the orphans’ overall home environment by infusing the heads of household with dignity.

Baraka’s research and conversations with the community revealed chicken farming as an income generating activity with relatively low startup costs, simple ongoing maintenance and strong local markets for the final product.

How we did it

Baraka partnered with a Kenyan based NGO, Women And Children Alternate Lives (WACAL) to train local guardians on chicken farming. We provided a flock of high-grade chickens and we are excited to report that the program has been very successful. On average, guardians have generated enough income over a year to cover expenses for six children in primary school or one in secondary school. Just as important, 78% of the guardians brought their flocks up to a sustainable level, meaning that they have the right mix of breeders and young chickens to maintain higher levels of production indefinitely.

This would not have been possible without your support. So, thank you and please continue to support our efforts. They may be small projects but as you can see that can have a huge impact on orphans’ lives!


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