The Outreach team in Kenya head up all outreach projects. They liase with community to find out what people may need, they then create projects to support the community in these areas and encourage them to take ownership.
We are dedicated to forming relationships with our communities, and serving them in a way that helps them to address the root cause of their issues. Our programs work with local people to tackle issues such as unemployment, drug abuse, social inequality, loneliness, and poor health and hygiene.
The Outreach team also liase with teams from the UK and the US, we encourage visiting teams to use their skills and talents to get involved with current running projects.
These are a few of the projects we are currently running:
Children attend Open Arms Academy
Children from the local community sponsored to attend Open Arms Academy
Children from the local community sponsored to attend their local school
Meals given to students a week (daily breakfast and lunch)
Open Arms Acadamy
We are passionate about educating the future generations that will shape Kenya. We have a Primary school within the Village, which is regarded as one of the top schools in the area and means our methods of teaching are often taught to other locals schools and teachers. In Kenya, year groupd are based on ability rather than age so children progress to High School when they are able. We teach all students that live in the Village until they go to High School (which are all boarding schools in Kenya). We also sponser many local children from the community. We provide breakfast and lunch to all students - for most of the children in the community these are the only meals they are given.
We have regular teams of highly experienced teaching staff in the UK who make an anual trip and give regular staff training. We also train staff on dealing with children who may have experienced trauma - as so many of our children sadly have - and how they can work through this in their teaching.
“I thank God that I can have an education. I know that I am armed with something that can improve life for me and my family. My life is not perfect, and my family still struggle. I know I must work hard, but being at school gives me hope for my future.”
Lily, aged 10, one of 93 children from the local community who are sponsored to attend Open Arms Academy
“After I left the Village I was able to live on my own because I had saved money from selling maize and other farm produce - skills I learnt at Open Arms. I need to be a good example to my little brother, for my family, and for my brothers and sisters at Open Arms. I will show them that you can make it if you work hard and you stay focused”.
Ezekiel, aged 21. Ezekiel has been an apprentice at the workshop and is learning how to build Silos as well as learning farming skills.
Young people trained to build Silo's
Silo's given, rented or sold to people in the community
Bags of maize ground in our Grain Mill per month
Growing maize is done widely across Kenya, people grow the maize to eat and any left over they sell to earn a profit. Maize is grown, dried and then stored so when it is needed it is ground down to make maize flour - which is used to make Ugali (a staple food in Kenya).
As maize is seasonal it is sold at a much higher price between May-November. Traditional methods of storing maize lose around 30% due to insects, disease and weevils. As a result, families end up selling their grain soon after harvest, only to buy it back at an expensive price just a few months after harvest. Storing maize in a silo keeps all of the maize!
Benefits of using a Silo?
- Maize doesn't need to be covered in pesticides making it healthier to eat
- Rats and insects cannot get inside or survive in maize stores and spread disease as it is airtight
- All of the maize is retained to create more food/income
- Famers don't need to buy pesticide or regularly check their maize
- Farmers make around 42% extra profit (from not buying pesticides and not losing 30% of produce)
What is our Silo Initiative?
We currently build Silo's in the Village, we train young people to build them so they can earn money from this skills training. Community members can then bring the maize to us and can then collect 100% of their maize when they want it back. We also store our own maize which is used to feed the children who live in the Open Arms Village and can be sold at market to help us become more self sustainable.
We have plans to expand this project to benefit a greater number of people in the community. Families who need silo's the most cannot afford to buy one, we plan on renting them out. 10% of the maize stored in rented silos will be used as payment, which will in turn help us to meet the maize needs from the children we look after within our family homes and enable us to sell more maize to those who need it in the community.