Kenya (MNN) — A family self-sufficiency program in western Kenya is completing its first year, and the impact has been astounding.
Kids Alive International started “Keeping Families Together” about a year ago in western Kenya after noting the success of similar programs in several other areas.
Western Kenya is definitely an area with great need. Matt Parker recently returned from working in western Kenya with Kids Alive. He says, “Droughts and flooding in the area have resulted in a cycle of crop failure [and] food insecurity.”
Through “Keeping Families Together,” more than 60 Kenyan families from four different communities are learning how to generate small-scale income through agriculture, business, and project management.
Parker says, “What we don’t want to do is to run a program for a couple of years, and at the end of that time it falls apart. We want to see a long-term impact in the lives of these families, in other families, and in this entire community.”
Already, Kids Alive is helping the community build a road that will lead directly to the market. This will give families easier access to sell their produce and generate more income.
But the job doesn’t stop there.
According to Parker, “There are many social problems including substance abuse, poor parenting, family breakdown, and a large number of street children.” Getting the communities directly involved in the change itself is the goal.
“We’ve helped the community to identify the problems that they face, and the root causes for these problems,” Parker says. “We’ve encouraged them to think about what assets and facilities they already have in the community that they can utilize to make people’s lives better, and we’ve encouraged them to help design the programs that bring about lasting change.”
Parker goes on to emphasize, “Of course, meeting the families’ spiritual needs is key. We have a pastor who visits the families, provides Bible teaching, Bible studies, and links people with local churches. It’s been an exciting project to see develop!”
The impact for the Gospel is visible. “We see a spiritual hunger, and we are seeing people’s lives changed for the better and people coming to know the Lord,” says Parker.
On top of the family programming, Kids Alive also has a Children’s Home in western Kenya that houses up to 30 kids. There, Kids Alive meets their physical needs, provides education, and teaches them the Gospel message.
Pray for the ongoing transformation of families and communities in western Kenya, both physically and spiritually. Pray for the growth of both the “Keeping Families Together” ministry and the Children’s Home.