During August 2010, our two co-founders (Martha and Genevieve) discussed some of the challenges facing people in Kangema and the surrounding area of the Central Highlands of Kenya. Martha and a couple of other ladies were already trying to help a few orphaned children with school fees, foods and clothing and an agreement was made to build on this and turn it into something bigger and more sustainable in the long-term.
In October 2010, Wamumbi Orphan Care was registered as a local community based organisation and, in January 2012, Wamumbi Orphan Care Foundation became a recognised small charity in the UK and registered with The Charity Commission in July 2014. Our vision is to provide support to orphaned and vulnerable children in the area of Kangema township. We have built support within the community and volunteer helpers contribute greatly to making our meetings and workshops with the children and guardians a success.
Previously we were kindly provided with a meeting place for free by a local pastor at the Deliverance Church in Kangema. This was used for our meetings up until January 2013 when we secured our own office that doubles up as a library and study area for our children. This will be used until we secure our own land and build a drop-in centre for the organisation.
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Despite facing some challenges at the start of this year we are continuing to support our teenagers through secondary school and those doing vocational courses with money we have managed to fundraise from family and friends. We're in the process of making grant applications to ensure we can continue our work into the future. Sad news this month is that one of our grandmothers has passed away leaving behind the two siblings she was caring for, we will do our best to support them as they go through this difficult time.
We are currently supporting 15 teenagers through the third term of secondary school, with two more being sponsored by Equity Bank. In August we ran two sexual health workshops, one for our guardians and members of the wider community, and the other for all our teenagers 11yrs+. This was in collaboration with the ABCs of Sex Education who did a fantastic job, bringing a great sense of humour into an otherwise serious topic. We have also run four more successful workshops this year in April, May and August. Theatre, art, music and counselling through this medium is having a transformative effect on all our children. They are noticeably less depressed, more confident, and building strong relationships with their peers and guardians.
This month we're holding two workshops during the Easter holidays for our youngsters - one is a 10 day residential theatre and art therapy workshop and the other is a four day music workshop. We're excited to be able to give the children this opportunity to learn and grow in such creative spaces!