Tragically, there is a child welfare issue in Kisumu. Many children are discarded, unwanted and neglected as a result of HIV/AIDS, poverty and rape. More than 28,000 babies are born to 10 to 15-year-old mothers each year in Kenya. Many are simply abandoned and the few government welfare agencies are full. But these children have not been forgotten.
An hour’s drive west of Kisumu, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Victoria is where you’ll find the Milele Centre. This friendly campus of care includes a community farm and a newly-opened home for abandoned babies and young mothers. The people of Kisumu can also attend educational classes and learn how to start micro-enterprises. It truly is a haven of hope for the community’s most vulnerable children.
When you walk through the welcoming grounds of the Milele Centre, you’re bound to find Lindah with a baby in her arms and Frank with a plant in his hands! This loving husband and wife team have a heart for those who can’t help themselves. Since moving to Kisumu in 2009, the Milele Centre has become their dream. Here, they hope for children to be raised by the same ‘mamma’ so they can experience what it means to have a family.
The Early Childhood Development Centre is a place of prevention, encouraging young mothers to keep their children. Trained house ‘mothers’ and nurses care for twenty-one babies and provide a loving environment. It’s a place where mothers can receive counselling and support throughout their pregnancy. Young mums can also enrol their little ones in daycare so they can return to school to continue their education.
More than two hundred children and teens have enrolled in education programs hosted by The Milele Centre. This holistic and preventative approach helps the team tackle key issues. For instance, family members often father babies while relatives are indifferent. These programs educate the whole community including parents, men and boys.
A simple financial model allows members of a group to contribute a small savings within a structure that helps convert small sums of money into larger, more useful lump sums. With coaching and support, community members are able to establish small businesses such as motorbike taxi services.
Communities around Milele are struggling to maintain gardens and grow productive crops to support families with nutritious food. The Milele property includes a community garden, which models and teaches sustainable practices including crop selection, mulching, erosion prevention and irrigation. The farm also supports the Early Childhood Development Centre.
to support The Milele Centre and give children the care they need.