Previously, DIG has developed three separate sites in Kenya: 1) Ruiru- a Clinic south of Nairobi with Mother 2 Mothers, 2) Raila- a school in the heart of the Kibera slums, and 3) WISER girls secondary school– in Muhuru bay only a few hours from our new sites. This fall, DIG will begin two new projects with Crossroads Spring School and Lwala Community Hospital outside of Kisumu and Kisi, respectively. The new projects are a unique partnership between the Segal Family Foundation, the host sites, their stateside non-profits and DIG.
Crossroads: Pulling up to Crossroads, we were greeted by 300 smiling children and the school’s board, principal and director. The site is in Hamisi District in Kenyan’s Western Province. It is incredibly beautiful with winding roads going through steep lush green mountains. However, not so visible is the district’s high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.
Crossroads serves over 300 orphans and children impacted by HIV/AIDS. The school is beginning a poultry project and combined with DIG’s gardens are hoping to reduce their expenditures on food for their students and make their meals more nutritious. Food prices in the area continue to rise and we are hoping to be part of a sustainable solution to support the students’ health and wellness at Crossroads.
There will be two gardens at Crossroads. The first will be a highly visible demonstration vegetable garden on school property. The second garden will be a larger 1-2 acre plot nearby where we can grow more crops and help Crossroads become food secure. Lwala: After a long and winding drive on a dirt road through cornfields and small villages, we pulled up to Lwala Community Hospital. The hospital serves a catchment area of 20-30,000 people with 1,500-1,600 patients seen per month. Lwala Community Hospital is aptly named because community is what it is all about. Lwala does more than just serve patients they also engage in outreach, education and economic development; true public health. They have a large plot of land that is waiting to be cultivated in the front of the hospital grounds.
The project at Lwala will have a large focus on community outreach and development. The demonstration garden will be used as a training ground for three community groups: 1) youth group 2) HIV-positive support group and 3) traditional birth attendants group.
The potential for both these projects is truly amazing! We will hopefully begin digging in October and will keep you updated when we reap our first harvests.
Thank you for your interests in our new projects and hope to see you in Kenya next summer!