MAKE ME SMILE
For the benefit of the children.
WE HELP THE PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES
Make Me Smile Kenya is an NGO with a holistic approach to sustainable development cooperation and was founded in 2008 in Kisumu, Western Kenya. To guarantee the sustainability of our work, we involve the structures of the government as well as all relevant actors. This enables the beneficiaries to take care of themselves and their children independently and to stand up for their rights.
The Mayenya Community Centre provides a comprehensive approach to addressing poverty in the region. By offering access to healthcare services, skill development, and education initiatives, the centre is empowering the community to achieve long-term success. The Centre aims to ensure that all members of the community have access to the resources and support needed to thrive, regardless of their circumstances.
The Mayenya Community Centre is working towards a brighter future for the entire community by providing a range of services and programs.
The Safe Park is a community project that was established in 2015 with the support of the UN Women’s Guild (UNWG). The main goal of the project was to provide a safe and secure environment for children to play and learn. It has since become a valuable asset to the community, serving as a hub for social activities and educational programs.
Over the years, the park has undergone significant development to improve its facilities and services. The Safe Park has also expanded its outreach to include women and families in the community.
These efforts have helped to create a sense of community and support for families, as well as providing a safe and nurturing environment for children to thrive.
The Make Me Smile Health Centre provides specialized services for maternal and child health, including prenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care. The facility offers these services for free to ensure that everyone, especially mothers and their children, can access quality healthcare. The Centre is staffed with trained medical professionals who are dedicated to reducing the high child mortality rates in the region. In addition, the Centre provides people living with HIV access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and support groups, as well as adolescent youth-friendly services, community WASH activities, and capacity building for both medical and non-medical staff.
Youth Friendly Centre
The Youth Friendly Centre provides adolescents with access to information on reproductive health and contraceptives in a warm, inviting, and most of all confidential setting. The center is staffed by a team of experienced professionals, led by a trained nurse.
In addition to one-on-one consultations, the center also hosts a variety of training and workshops aimed at improving the overall health and well-being of young people. These sessions are designed to empower adolescents with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about their health while promoting a culture of open communication and acceptance.
The Craft Centre offers adolescent girls and young women the possibility to get quality training in tailoring. During the six-month training, participants learn both theory and practice, as well as essential life skills to empower them in their everyday lives. The curriculum includes topics such as reproductive health, safe motherhood, contraception, and HIV prevention, as well as entrepreneurship and financial management. Graduates of the program are equipped with a sewing machine and fabric. They have gone on to find employment or start their own businesses, providing them with financial stability and the ability to make informed choices about their lives.
IT Centre - Future Hub
The Future Hub is a vocational training center located in Kisumu, Kenya, which was established in response to the local demand for computer training. The training curriculum comprises five modules, including basic computer skills, office experience, web design, coding, and job readiness. The primary goal of the project is to provide people in the region with access to computers and the internet, to prepare them for jobs with computers by adapting the training to local job market needs, and to create IT jobs. The Future Hub is expected to be fully operational from June 2023, and it aims to train 120 beneficiaries daily.
The community, previously lacked access to clean water for utility, relying on contaminated sources such as hand-dug wells and rainwater harvesting. This changed with the installation of a solar-powered community water station at the Mayenya community center, benefiting approximately 200 households. Equipped with a UV filter system, the water station ensures that community members have access to clean water for their daily needs. The solar-powered pumps are not only cost-effective but also have a low environmental impact, making them an amazing option.
The permaculture project aims to provide sustainable farming methods and modern agricultural technologies to 200 households in the Kisumu district of Kenya. Through demo farms in Mayenya and New Land, the project offers access to sustainable farming methods, professional introductory permaculture courses, and food security training. The project also focuses on establishing permaculture systems that meet the needs of the communities, including agroforestry, aquaponics, grey water systems, and mindfulness. By imparting knowledge and skills in permaculture and nutrition, the project seeks to empower communities to achieve self-reliance and sustainability.
Make Me Smile Kenya has several outreach programs aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable communities in the Kisumu region of Kenya. These programs include support for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV, improving access to reproductive health and gender-based violence services, and empowering adolescent girls and young women to reduce the risk of HIV. Through these programs, Make Me Smile Kenya aims to provide comprehensive support and resources to improve the overall well-being of these communities.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
The program, in collaboration with USAID, is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The children themselves or the household they live in are affected by HIV.
The program focuses on four key areas to ensure that the children receive the necessary support. In the school domain, the program provides resources and support to help children attend school regularly. In the health domain, the program works to ensure that all members of the family are aware of their status and have access to testing, counseling, and treatment, if necessary.
In the stability domain, the team works to assess the financial needs of each family and provide support to help them become self-sufficient. This may include providing job training, microloans, or other forms of financial assistance. Finally, the program prioritizes the safety of the families in our program. It works to identify any potential risks of violence and provide support and resources to help families feel safe and secure in their homes and communities.
The families graduate from the program when they fulfill the benchmarks in all four domains.
Reproductive Health and Gender-Based Violence
The second phase of the program, co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency and implemented by Make Me Smile Kenya, aims to improve the quality of reproductive health care and gender equality in Kolwa East and Miwani over three years starting 2020. The program has three main goals, including increasing knowledge and capacity to respond to sexual and gender-based violence, increasing support services and knowledge on reproductive health services and sexual and gender-based violence, and increasing political attention through citizen participation. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the program successfully reached communities with reproductive health and gender equality information and ensured that people could access SRHR services. The program continues to innovate and implement effective methods to improve the lives of the target populations.
Make Me Smile Kenya, in collaboration with USAid, has been implementing the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) program since 2016 to empower girls and young women aged 9-24 in Kisumu region, Kenya. The program aims to reduce the risk of HIV among adolescent girls and young women who are particularly vulnerable.
It covers a wide range of interventions, including HIV screening and counseling, educational support, financial education, aftercare for victims of gender-based violence, pre-exposure prophylaxis, provision of condoms, and improving access to adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health care. All of the interventions are being implemented by mentors of the program.
In 2023, the DREAMS programme is expected to reach approximately 18,000 girls and young women in Kisumu region.
Make Me Smile Kenya has several short-term projects aimed at addressing various community needs. These include vertical gardens to support children affected by HIV, shelter renovation for those who have lost their homes during the rainy season, and free dental camps for the community. These projects provide immediate support and help improve the quality of life for those in need.
The vertical gardens have been implemented to help children affected by HIV meet their nutritional needs. These gardens are designed to withstand different seasons and provide fresh produce to families throughout the year. By growing their own vegetables in the vertical gardens, families are able to supplement their diets with nutritious, locally grown food. This is particularly important for children living with HIV, who require a well-balanced diet to maintain their health and manage their condition.
The project has a one-year cycle in which the families are being selected, trained and monitored.
The shelter renovation project aims to provide support to those who have lost their homes during the rainy season. They provide financial assistance to build new houses and require families to provide labor for the construction. The project strives to give people a roof over their heads and a place to call home.
Make Me Smile Dental Camps is a project that provides free dental treatment for people in Kisumu, Kenya. The initiative is in cooperation with international doctors who offer their services to the community. The camps also provide courses on dental hygiene at several primary schools, and the children are given toothbrushes and toothpaste. This helps to improve oral hygiene and prevent dental problems in the region. If possible the dental camps are organised yearly.
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