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We offer internships to both foreign and local students. Students can stay at our well furnished guest huts at a fair rate and go out in the morning to the local clinics in Asembo region and beyond. Meals with be prepared with our women catering team, although the students have a choice to make their own food if they so wish. The means of transport to the hospitals can be through private cars, public service vehicles (matatus) or motor bikes. The student will choose the means of transport she can afford. The available Health Centers for Nurses and Midwives include Kisumu New Nyanza Referal Hospital, Lwak health Clinic, Kombewa Health Center, Madiany and Bondo District Hopitals.
From their first survey they have found the following factors as major contributors to poor education in the area:
Death of parents
Lack of school fees
Since EEP was established they have been able to do the following:
Did a survey on the education status in the community. Distributed education materials (donated by Danish friends) to pupils who come from poor families in the community. Due to the introduction of the Free Primary Education Program by the Kenyan government in 2003, most of the children from the families of Kanyakoo Self Help Group attend primary school. They have easy access to three primary schools that are around Kanyakoo village 28 of these children go to Raliew Primary School. This school has 660 pupils and 6 teachers that are employed by the government. However the performance in this school is better because there are some trained teachers who help in teaching and are paid by the parents. The ratio of Kanyakoo children who complete school has been generally 1 girl to 3 boys. This is attributed to the very traditional belief among some African society that girl-child education is a waste of resources, as they would get married off.
As much as the people can now boast of Free Primary Education, and that the parents are relieved of paying school fees in the primary schools, buying of text and exercise books, the learning situation is still not any better:
In Aduoyo Primary School, pupils are still learning under the trees.
One textbook is shared among 3-5 children.
The schools are understaffed with teachers. One teacher teaches up to 80 pupils in a class.
The parents have to build and maintain the school by themselves.
The parents have to buy the school uniforms.
No food program in the primary schools.
Until now more than 80 children and youths have gone through the basic Primary, secondary and College education through the support from Kanyakoo Self Help Initiative.
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The Women Empowerment and Employment Program (WEEP) seeks to empower and create employment for the women of Asembo through a tailoring unit, catering unit,handicfraft unit and a revolving fund initiative. To date, this project has received donations from WKF in the form of sewing machines for training and production. Recently the tailoring unit has received ordersto supply school uniforms to a few schools and it is anticipated that this will spur the unit’s growth. WKF has also provided micro-loans for material etc., and at the moment the business is humming with activity. WEEP also runs a small handicraft shop in the Asembo market where the women sell their products. However, there is need to further build the capacity of the women so as to equip them with business management skills...
They meet together every week on Thursdays to collect 40 Ksh saved in the week from every member. Each 10 Ksh are added to the group account, the rest 30 Ksh from each member is given to a member in turns. This kind of saving which they call MERRY-GO-ROUND, give them an opportunity to have a modest amount of money (30 Ksh x 30 women = 900 Ksh) to boost their businesses or to pay their daily expenses.
From July 2004 KSHI started organizing trainings and formations for this group of women on:
All these is to prepare them for Micro Credit Program that will offer:
Trainings on loan management
Trainings on loan repayment
Small loans, to small groups of women\men or individuals, who are not eligible for a bank loan because of their poor economic condition, and: - Want to start up a business - Or have emergency need for hospital services or school fees.
Achievements of revolving funds
During the year 2005 the women saved 10,200 in a group of 17 people. They decided to divide the amount to start their own business. Each member got 500 shillings. Members agreed upon the return of the money got to be within a period of six months, which is 30th June 2006. The 30 shillings contributed in the merry go round is always given to each member in turns. Women use this amount for domestic development whereby they mostly buy household utensils. Most of the members started some small-scale business eg.selling maize, beans, cooking samosa and simsim, selling vegetables and sweet potatoes. The profit got from the business differs depending with the season and product sold. This year the women have increased their savings from 10 shillings to 20 per week. At the end of the year 2006 they want to invest their savings into their own income generating initiative.The women can now offer themselves loans of up to 300 Kenya shillings, which they return with an interest of 10 percent.
Some women were not consistent in savings. The number also dropped from 23 to 17 women. This was due different economic capabilities. Some of them their earnings are meager thus has no possibility to save.
Sports have continued to play a crucial role in bringing the women together in the village. This has seen them start initiating interactions also with the neighboring villages and regions by organizing friendly tournaments. This has also helped in creating awareness of the existence of WEEP.
WEEP has continued to nurture Luo folk songs and dances. The group has since been well known in the region in dancing ‘DODO” a luo folk dance accompanied with singing.
In august 2005 23 women were trained in weaving baskets. This was with main aim of creating earning opportunities through production and selling of baskets. The two months training kick-started intensive production of baskets in the village. Women have been able to earn already from the weaving and selling that they do at their free time. Women have been able to earn up to 90 Kenya shillings per basket as net profit.
KSHI acquired two sewing machines that are being used in doll making. The doll making is being undertaken in the tailoring unit, a unit that was built for tailoring trainings, and due to lack of enough sewing machines the trainings have not taken root. Doll making also offers earning opportunity to the people who are interested.
Tourism & Acommodation
Kanyakoo has several guest houses, which can accommodate several people. The guesthouses are fully furnished. Guest can prepare their meals and can be assisted by the locals in making some African luo dishes. Guests can also stay with families. This will give them an ample opportunity to learn and experience way of life and the luo cultures. The guesthouses are at an affordable rate. Guests can be involved in the activities of different programs under Kanyakoo Self Help Initiative.
Asembo bay lies along the Winam gulf in the Nyanza Province, from Kisumu.
The road out of Kisumu to Asembo is littered with huge rocks and boulders of every size and shape imaginable. The rock structure here is reputed to be one of the oldest in the world dating back to pre-Cambrian times. As you drive in, the rock formation gets bigger and bigger. Against the clearest of blue skies, the rocks create a stark mosaic of granite against the sky. A turning on the side of the road leads to the rock of KIT MIKAYI (THE STONE OF THE FIRST WIFE) a sacred rock. The rock is set amidst local Luo homesteads. (The Luos are the third largest community in Kenya). From a distance, it gives the impression of two people standing. You can walk into the rocks through the narrow slits. Local legends abound about the rock. The ancestors found the rocks there. ‘ This community make sacrifices here during times of drought or other troubles”
Further through the vast landscapes you see stretches of Luo homesteads and vast farms. Lake Victoria lingers on your left as you drive further. Through the earth road, you see the lake in front of you, an indication that you are approaching Asembo bay.
Asembo bay lies on the shore of lake Victoria. Here there’s an old shopping center called KAMITO that was started by Indians. The Indians inhabited and were doing business at this place in pre and post independence time. They shipped their merchandise through the lake from Kisumu. Later the business was not doing well and they moved back to Kisumu. But traces of the Indians can be seen, through the temple, the buildings and the cemetery that they left behind. The locals doing business now occupy the buildings. The temple was turned to a police post.
Kisumu - Asembo - Kanyakoo
At the pier in Asembo bay, a ferry (Kenya railways) operates twice a week to Kisumu. At the pier you can see Ndere Island (where there are wild animals), the Homa hills, and the Uyoma peninsula. A boat ride would take you to the different Islands on lake Victoria. Islands like Rusinga Island, Mageta Island (which is occupied by fishermen), Mfangano Island, Sifo Island, Sirafuongo Island, Ruodhi Island, and many other small islands.
Kanyakoo Self Help Initiative