African Childrens Haven serves more than 700 children and their families. Our projects focus on the most vulnerable members of society, especially girls and young women living in poverty.
Because we ourselves are small, we can provide services directly to children that might not otherwise receive support from large non-profits or international donors. Below is a summary of what we do.
When we first met them, most of the kids at Kenya’s Happy Home Orphanage were recovering from malnutrition and none had ever attended school. By the end of 2015, many of the children shown in this 2007 photo had graduated from primary school, a huge achievement for any African child let alone an AIDS orphan living in a rural community. Caring for orphan children is at the heart of what we do. Because of AIDS, hundreds of thousands of African children are without parents and must fend for themselves.
African Childrens Haven provides support to four orphan care programs in some of the areas hardest hit by the disease.
Preventing Childhood Marriage and Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation and childhood marriage is still an all-too common practice in many parts of Africa where girls are considered property and where poverty often drives people to sacrifice their daughters for the good of the family. African Childrens Haven helps fight these illegal practices by supporting a safe house that shelters hundreds of such girls. We also provide educational scholarships that take the girls out of harm's way, and provide them with the opportunity to forge a better life. In most cases the girls cannot return home, but whenever possible efforts are made to reconcile and the girls with their families.
Partners: Mission With A Vision and Vumilia Girls Home
Henry and Joyce are now in secondary school. For these top students, both of whom grew up in one of East Africa's toughest slums, it’s a dream come true. Since 2009, we’ve provided scholarships for hundreds of deserving youngsters. For a small non-profit, funding can be a challenge, but it’s well worth it. Educating children, especially girls and young women, provides long-terms results that enhance family well-being and help to grow communities. In Tanzania, for example, nine out of ten of our first female scholarship recipients – orphans all – are now in college of university studying medicine, nursing, and accounting.
Partners: Starkid School and Rescue Centre, Happy Home Orphanage
Support for Teachers
Providing scholarships is one way to help children, but supporting their teachers is just as important. Each year, African Childrens Haven helps pay the salaries and health insurance for hard working teachers at small community-run schools located in slum neighborhoods. Each of these teachers works under difficult conditions for very small pay. We help by ensuring that they’re paid on time and by providing a bit of security for their families. It’s a great investment that’s helps keep great teachers in the classroom doing what they do best.
Partners: Starkid School and Rescue Centre, Fanaka Memorial Secondary School
Protecting Vulnerable Children
What happens after school lets out? Kids who live in slum neighborhoods or in remote rural locations rarely have access to after-school programs that keep their minds engaged and protect them from falling prey to drug and sex traffickers. To reduce the risk, we invest in after school programs that keep children active through sports and other recreational activities. We’re also working to build computer labs where kids can develop new skills and access learning resources that enhance their studies.
Partners: Mercy Center, Fanaka Memorial Secondary School
Almost all of the kids that we support come from impoverished families where nutritious food is often in short supply. African Childrens Haven helps by financing school feeding programs that in some cases supply as many as three meals a day, meals that makes studying possible and help ensure that children develop both physically as well as mentally.
Partners: Overseers Education Centre Starkids School and Rescue Centre St. Philips Primary Mathare
We also invest in educational programs that work to keep kids healthy and safe. In addition to providing access to health care and healthy school lunches, we also support sex education. The project, which emphasizes the ABCs … abstain, be faithful and use condoms … helps to educate tens of thousands of young people in rural areas that are most often left untouched by government public health programs.
Partner: The ABCs of Sex Education
Breaching the Digital Divide
Africans are going to school in greater numbers than ever before, including millions of young girls who for the first time can take advantage of a shift in tradition that once prohibited them from even attending school. Computer education is lacking in the curricula of most African schools, especially those located in slum areas where 70 percent of the Africa’s children now live.
Working with our partners at the Starkid School and Rescue Center, and with our Carole Cole scholarship students in Tanzania, we’re working to teach computer literacy skills, skills that will lead to jobs and help fuel Africa’s growing economies.