Kenya’s largest private children welfare organisation, SOS Children’s Villages, has launched a Ksh20 million fundraising campaign to strengthen the quality of care it gives to over 15,000 children and young Kenyans.
The beneficiaries are currently under the care of SOS CV Ke programmes in alternative care and family strengthening. The funds will be directed towards improving shelter and general living conditions of the children in SOS Children’s Villages Kenya’s two oldest facilities in Nairobi (1972) and Mombasa (1979).
SOS Children’s Villages Kenya National Director Walter S. Odhiambo said continuous use of the organisation’s facilities in Nairobi and Mombasa counties over the last 46 years has caused structural malfunctions and depreciation, making them costly to maintain and compromising the quality of services and safety of children.
“These facilities have successfully transformed the lives of more than 15,000 children in both in SOS family care and family strengthening programs and we will be glad to see more disadvantaged children continue to benefit from these transformative services under the same if not higher quality,” said Mr. Odhiambo.
The first SOS Children’s Village in Kenya was built in 1972 in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate and the Mombasa Villages in 1979. At any one given time, the two facilities take care of over 350 children and youth who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.
“These facilities have provided a loving home for many children who would otherwise not have a loving caring home and the child development enrichment programs have played a significant role in shaping these children into responsible citizens,” said Mr Odhiambo.
Modest estimates suggest that Kenya has over three million orphans.
As such, SOS CV Ke had established additional care facilities in Eldoret, Meru and Kisumu counties to reach out to more disadvantaged children.
“In Africa, we have a proverb that says it takes a whole village to raise a child in a safe and healthy environment,” Mr Odhiambo says. “It is because of this wisdom that we are now calling on partners, donors and all Kenyans to support this fund drive to help adequately care for our vulnerable children.”
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SOS CV Kenya’s Fund Development and Communications Manager, Ms Esther Okoth said the contributions from donors, partners and well-wishers would go a long way in providing the basic needs for the children like education, healthcare and general upkeep for the children.
The organisation has lined up several activities, including corporate dinner events, an eight-day Mount Kilimanjaro climb challenge and calls for in-kind donations where individuals, organised groups and organisations can send dry foods, scholastic materials, toiletries and different household essentials.