Bondo School Sponsorship

Bondo Town is located near Lake Victoria in Nyanza Province, Kenya, about 50 kms northwest of Kisumu.  Located in an agricultural area, the town was established as a market centre in the early 1920’s and has a current population of approximately 30,000, with more spread out over a large area in many communities around the town.  HIV/AIDS orphans are one of the most vulnerable groups in the area, and are represented in almost 50% of the school population.  This high number is attributed to the major health issues in the region, including 23% HIV/AIDS (2011, approximately 3-4 times the national HIV/AIDS rate), and high rates of malaria, TB, and maternal mortality.  The orphans face numerous hardships resulting from poverty, insufficient food, low nutritional standards, poor housing and lack of access to basic services, such as water and sanitation.  Other challenges faced by the Bondo Community include inadequate school infrastructures (substandard buildings, no water, minimal sanitary facilities), and the inability to pay school fees.

ICO Foundation has been establishing initiatives with this community since February 2012, when two ICO Team Members lived there for the better part of 2 years.  The initial goals were to improve school infrastructure, assist women in generating income and becoming self-sufficient (eco-stove project, African Angels), assist with local water projects, and build proper homes for a couple of widows and their children in desperate need.  ICO also built one of the first school libraries in the area, which could house up to 120 children. From 2014 to the present the focus has been the sustainment of the Bondo School Sponsorship Initiative which supports underprivileged children to get a good quality education and for those in boarding school a steady diet and shelter.  As of June 2020, ICO sponsors 18 students in 10 different schools, from Grade 3 to final year university.

Responding to COVID-19 in Bondo Kenya

Due to the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya shut down the schools in March 2020. The community in Bondo Kenya that ICO works with has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. In Kenya, there is no social safety net as in the developed countries, and people at the best of times struggle to get by on a day-to-day basis, and have no reserves to get by when their incomes dry up. Some are able to grow their own food, but this is often not the case. For this reason, some of ICO’s initiatives, including Bondo School Sponsorships, are setting up programs of food distribution, room rental and rent subsidy within their communities to help families survive through the crisis. This temporary shift in Initiative purpose is due to COVID-19 and will cease once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control. Note the ICO has no relationship with any other NGO in the Bondo area that could support the ICO Bondo Community, therefore it is incumbent upon ICO to provide this relief. All donations received after Aug 11, 2020 will be utilized for this new purpose as well as our original purpose.

 

For more information contact our Initiative Lead: 

Mark Dull: markdull@innovativecommunities.org

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