Kenya is a welcoming, sun-drenched country, known by tourists for its stunning native wildlife and safari holidays. There are many areas of Kenya, however, that are suffering in deep poverty. The region we are shipping to, in the south-western corner of the country, is a remote area of about 9,500 people, where unemployment is very high, and most people live a hand-to-mouth existence growing what food they can. Some villages have no access to clean water at all, meaning children become frequently sick from water-borne illnesses, and because education is scarce, HIV/Aids is 15% higher in this area than the national average.

The organisation we are shipping to works with women and orphans/vulnerable children in this part of Kenya. They know that statistics show when women in a community are empowered through education and business opportunities, the entire community can be lifted out of poverty.

Traditionally, women in this area who want to start a business or take out a loan for a new venture find it almost impossible to get credit, and are thus stuck in their poverty, regardless of their talent, motivation and creative ideas. This organisation, as well as running widespread successful HIV educational campaigns, has started a micro-loans scheme, helping women such as Mrs Nguono, a widow with 7 children. Mrs Nguono was desperately trying to care for her children, with no income and living in a rundown hut. After receiving a loan through this organisation, she was able to start her own small business, repay the loan, and build a new house of galvanised metal for her family. She is now proudly supporting her family comfortably.

The organisation has asked us for help, because they would like to expand their services but have no way of affording to purchase the equipment and furniture they need to do this, operating as they are, on a tiny NGO budget. They’ve asked for clothing and household items for distribution amongst the ‘overwhelming number of destitute families’, as well as furniture, computers and other specific items that they hope to use in new projects such as a handicrafts job creation scheme.

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