‘Families’ program brings whole community change

By July 14, 2010

Kenya (MNN) — Millions of children in Kenya have been orphaned from AIDS, and the number continues to rise. Many of these orphans are taken in my grandmothers or other extended family, but this only adds financial distress on already poor families.

Kids Alive has been in Kenya for the past few years, serving orphaned children and their families through a school, children's homes, and a medical program. Just one year ago, however, they began the "Families Together" program to put families caring for orphans back on their feet.

"The goal of our ‘Families Together' program is to encourage self-sufficiency, to help communities break the cycle of poverty and neglect," says Kids Alive's Matt Parker. "We want to assist them with their immediate needs and give them the tools to become self-sufficient and productive members of their communities."

In order to do this, ‘Families Together' encourages families to start micro-enterprise businesses like farming, sewing, or cattle rearing. In the last year, micro-enterprise has impacted 60 families in significant ways.

"It has really empowered families, and it's created a sense of community," explains Parker. "People that felt their lives were hopeless are now in a better position to provide for themselves and for their families."

The life change for families and orphans does not stop there, though. The Kids Alive staff has been so influential in their approach to aid that many have seen Christ's love firsthand.

"Over the past year, we've been thrilled by the spiritual impact that our work in this Kenya community is having. A number of people have come to know the Lord as a result of the witness of our Kenyan staff. Our prayer continues to be that by reaching out and supporting these people, they will recognize the love of Christ and come to serve Him in their lives," says Parker.

Kids Alive's in Kenya extends beyond the "Families Together" program to the Karunda Center, which has been around for the past few years. The Karunda Center includes a children's home, a school program and a medical program, and is also currently serving many people throughout the community who would very likely have no access to education or medicine otherwise. To help with any of these sectors of Kids Alive in Kenya, click here.

Currently, Kids Alive is looking to expand their programs in Kenya. Parker says that they hope to add 40 to 60 more families to "Families Together" and that they also plan to make a mobile version of their medical clinic so they can reach more communities with physical and spiritual healing. To be a part of this expansion process, click here.

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