We are a youth-led grassroots organisation based in Obambo Village and Obunga Slum in Kisumu Kenya, East Africa. We empower girls through quality education at Akili Girls Preparatory School and marginalised women through entrepreneurship training.
1. Akili Girls Preparatory School:
Tasks include teaching art and craft, english, music, drama, sports, smart girls program, child rights, guidance and counseling, oral narratives, etc.
2. Maendeleo Hub:
Tasks include teaching entrepreneurship, business development, fundraising to local women and youth, site visits of projects, needs assessment, training microfinance, basic computer applications word, excel, internet and email, grant writing and proof reading, mentorship, resource mobilisation and sustainability.
3. Maendeleo Eco Farm:
Tasks include teaching sustainable and regenerative agriculture techniques, e.g. permaculture and biointensive gardening, to local women and young farmers. Also included are teaching healthy eating lifestyle, gardening and growing crops, ecotourism, yoga, farm camps, etc.
For $150 per week, volunteers are provided with meals, accommodation and live with host families in Kanyawegi village, 25 minutes drive from Kisumu town. Transport to the school and the Hub is provided in the organisation's car when the rest of the staff are going to work.
Volunteers meet their own transport costs to town or when running errands. $4 or less per day is enough for transport on public vans and motorcycles.
All meals provided.
Volunteers pay $150 weekly. This amount includes cost of airport pickup and drop off from Kisumu International Airport, meals, accommodation/room, and project fees, which goes to finance organisation costs or fund a project which volunteers participate in. The volunteer fees for the duration the volunteer expects to stay is sent in full via PayPal prior to traveling to the site. In addition a one off registration fees of $50 is paid upon confirmation of volunteer opportunity
Teachers, Caretakers, farm managers, sports instruction, counseling
Most volunteers come at the end of May to end of June. There is a break in July and August. Then others start coming in sept, Oct and stay till end of November. There is little volunteer activities in December to April
Riley Orton Foundation was founded by David Omondi and Erick Otieno. Having been raised in the Obunga Slums, Kenya, David and Erick watched their mothers and other women and widows struggle to raise their children and support them through education. They would do everything from prostitution, brewing alcohol, selling marijuana, to washing clothes for people, just to make lives better for their families. Bad as it was, the Obunga Slum was a refuge for many women running away from abusive husbands in the rural areas and other towns in western Kenya to start a new life in Kisumu. Unfortunately, opportunities here were limited, leaving many women to struggle to raise their families single-handedly. Most of the children and youth dropped out of school due to lack of school fees, others resorted to selling scrap metal to fend for their families and others got into drugs. Many of these women got infected with HIV/AIDS. This broke their hearts and left them determined to come back after school to lead sustainable change in their community.
Unlike many other young people in the slum, David and Erick were lucky to get a sponsorship to pursue college education. After graduating from college with BSc. Biochemistry and P1 Certificate in Education from the University of Nairobi and Bungoma Teacher’s College respectively, they returned to their community of Obunga slum as development experts to catalyze change from the inside as a way of giving back to their community.
Their vision is to use Akili Preparatory School as a model for the provision of sustainable high quality education for girls which can be rolled-out to other schools to help improve student performance and achieve gender equality and empower women in Kenya. Erick serves the organisation as the Chief Executive Officer while David is the Director of Operations.
In 2016, we started Maendeleo Hub, a community resource center which aims to connect marginalised women and youth who are leaders of grassroots projects and self-help groups with the resources they need to create sustainable change in their communities in Kisumu, Kenya.
In Kisumu, Kenya, women and youth are the unsung heroes, running small high impact projects. They understand the power of strength in unity and are usually organised in self-help groups which in most cases are the social and economic glue of African communities. Through small income generating projects like car wash, table banking, and motor-bicycle transport, they allow savings and loans even to those who do not have bank accounts allowing economic development of the family and entire village. However, because they have low levels of education, do not have computer skills, lack internet access, do not speak English, cannot use social media to share their stories of impact, do not know how to write and submit proposals among other geographical and technological barriers they are always marginalised from accessing funding to support their work.