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Kenya is a country that has undergone great growth in recent years. It has a diverse population of almost 42 million, with a relatively stable government, good infrastructure foundation and large tourism industry. Because of it's climate, access to clean water remains a challenge for many Kenyans. Extreme poverty and unemployment in the slums and rural areas limits opportunities for the people who live there, but many local groups and organizations and working towards making health care and education more accessible.

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Bondo Peer Counselors Support Group (BPCSG) is a community-based organization which admits members of the public who have gone for HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), and are willing to partner with other people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) toward positive and productive living.  Located in Bondo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, BPCSG was founded in 2003 with an aim to build the capacity of people living with HIV/AIDs as well as Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs), by empowering them to live positively and productively. The Bondo area has been devastated by this disease, and still has the highest infection rate in the country (23%). The group has attracted a membership of over 60 adults, 300 OVCs and 30 community health workers. The group is currently seeing about 150clients within the local hospital facility on a daily basis and at their respective homes every week. The number is rising with every group visit at clients’ own homes. The main strategy of the group is to form support groups at the community level. BPCSG envisions a family of care and support, a world of fully integrated PLWHAs and a community free from stigma, denial and discrimination.

Mark Dull and his wife Jennifer first visited Bondo in October of 2011 and were moved by what they saw.  There are over 80,000 orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) in this district surrounding Bondo, Kenya, and it is estimated that 50% of the school children are orphans, especially due to the very high prevelance of HIV/AIDS rate (24%) in the area.  Despite the poverty and social stratification in the area, Mark and Jennifer found themselves in a warm and welcoming community with many spirited children with a passion for soccer.

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ICO Foundation has been establishing initiatives with this community since February 2012, with the initial goals of improving school infrastructure, supporting programs at the local community centre, assisting youth and women in generating income and becoming self-sufficient, improving infrastructure at a rural medical clinic(s), assisting with local water and sanitation projects, and the provision of  humanitarian goods donated by Ash Lee Jefferson School in Fall River, NS, Canada.

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ICO Initiatives

September 17, 2014
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