When the Rift Valley Children’s Village was first conceived, it was determined that the children should attend the local primary school to ensure that they develop a strong bond with the greater community. However, the local school was severely underfunded and under staffed. 7 teachers and 450 students with only a handful of text books and often no chalk meant that teachers were exhausted and demoralised.
In 2007 thanks to financial support from TCF, the Rift Valley Children’s Fund entered into a management contract with the Karatu District Education Office. Working in partnership with the government to manage a primary school had never been done before. The lack of a tested “road map” meant that a great deal of trust had to be built between the government and the staff of RVCF.
The first objective of RVCF was to provide the needed teachers, teaching materials, lunch program and infrastructure necessary to create a positive learning environment. The second objective was to provide teacher training, performance incentives and outside assistance to raise the standards for teaching and student performance.
Gyetighi is now the #1 government school in the region and in the top 2% of both public and private schools in the nation!
The success of Gyetighi has invited a similar contract with Oldeani Secondary School, the local government secondary school. In 2014, TCF began renovations at Oldeani Secondary School with the expectation that it too will become an example of academic excellence in the region. Stay tuned!
On the coffee plantations surrounding RVCV, access to health care is all but non-existent. The nearest clinic is more than an hour away by foot, the nearest hospital is three times as far. Not only is distance a barrier to care, a visit to a doctor is often prohibitively expensive. Recognizing the acute need for access to medical care, in 2006 RVCV began partnering with the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (FAME), to host free medical clinics for the community. Twice a month, FAME doctors and nurses come to RVCV and provide free medical consultations and treatment for the community.
In addition to hosting these bi-monthly clinics, RVCV employs a full time Registered Nurse who deals with the medical needs of the RVCV community and works at Gyetighi to meet the needs of the faculty and students there. Along with providing medical care, our nurse teaches a basic health and reproductive health course at Gyetighi (see Community Health Ed). This class is the first of its kind in the region and is aimed at increasing student and community awareness around medial issues ranging from cleanliness and disease prevention to sexually transmitted diseases and domestic abuse.
Kids Living With Relatives (KLR)
The KLR program was conceived to address the needs of orphaned children in our area who had loving relatives ready to care for them but lacked the basic resources to do so. Through monthly visits by our social workers we are able to deliver basic necessities (food, cleaning supplies, clothing) and offer guidance for the caregivers of these children. In addition, they are able to spend weekend and vacation days with us enabling them to improve their spoken English skills, participate in the many creative and educational activities offered
The program was created in recognition of the need for pro-active interventions at the household level to combat the incidence of orphaned and marginalized children in the area. In this remote area of Tanzania the seasonal work of coffee picking has determined the destiny of our community for generations. Our area has an unemployment rate %75 and an average income of $150.00 a year. With little opportunity to earn a decent living and disastrous working conditions family structures crumble and the children are the first to suffer.
Following an initial preparation period and campaign to raise awareness of the program in area communities, we began providing credit, savings, and business skills training services to 58 initial program participants in June 2008. Today we have provided loans for more than 500 clients. Through this program we are providing the leadership and support necessary to empower local entrepreneurs to define a new destiny for their families.
Sponsorship is perhaps the most vital ingredient to helping a child grow into a confident and productive adult. Join us and give the gift of love to a child today! Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.