Impact Stories

For an overwhelming majority of families in Kenya, education is out of reach for one reason: lack of jobs and poverty. 

Organic Savanna is a social enterprise as part of the Karibu Centre, located in Thika, Kenya. Through the production and sales of aloe vera skin products at the centre’s home-grown aloe farm, we are able to develop a source of income that sustainably funds the programs. Not only does 100% of the profit go towards funding the classrooms and education programs, but also creates jobs for the community.

Learn more about the impact Organic Savanna and is making in the lives of our aloe farmers and Karibu Centre programs...

“I walked around my neighbourhood selling bleach and detergent - everyday was a hit or miss with sales. Sometimes I ended up with nothing”. 

Lydia used to make and sell household cleaning supplies prior to joining the Karibu Centre as a working mom and parent. Here, her income is guaranteed and she makes a living doing work around the centre: one day it will be helping the kitchen staff make meals for the kids, teachers and volunteers; next day it will be tending to the organic farm. Before Karibu Centre, she says, life was a struggle and this is the first time in her life that she has a stable source of income. Lydia beams with pride when she says she has been appointed the vice-secretary for the Jumuia Program (providing adults life skills, job preparedness and investment training). Lydia’s day starts at 7 am with a 30 minute walk to the Karibu daycare, where she drops off her 3 year old, Francis; then she takes 5 year old Jane to pre-school classes and starts her work around the centre. Lydia’s daughter Jane smiles and tells us her favourite thing about the centre is food (especially cabbage and peas!) and computer classes.  As for little Francis, Lydia says his development since he joined the Karibu daycare has been extraordinary; he learned how to walk and talk ahead of his peers outside of daycare. Francis is due to join the preschool Early Child Development program at the Centre next year. Lydia say her biggest hope for her kids is for them to get the highest level of education. Will she be sad if they leave Thika one day? “I won’t be sad at all! I want them to go out and explore the world”.

 

“The Karibu Centre has helped my kids discover their talents: Asunte wants to be a nurse and Ian dreams of being a pilot one day”.

Meet Margaret, mother of 4 kids living in the nearby Umoja village. She says she could not be more proud of her kids since they joined the Karibu Centre and has seen an extraordinary change in their behavior. She says the Centre is the best option for childhood education programs in the area - it’s pocket friendly for vulnerable families and helps keep kids away from the streets. Prior to going on maternity leave, Margaret used to be one of the working moms at the Centre and attend Jumuia Program classes for adults where she learned how to save money and engage in income generating activities. She has since started her own business selling coal and potatoes - she attributes her success to skills she has learned from her mentors at the Karibu Centre. She lights up when we ask her about the progress her kids made since joining the centre - her oldest, 9 year old Ian had started his journey at the centre at the age of 4 and attended Early Childhood Education classes to prepare him for school. now attends after school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program and has never missed a lesson. Margaret smiles and shares an inspiring story: when the time came for Ian to go to primary school, the teachers said Ian was too sharp for Grade 1 and he was sent straight to Grade 2. “Thanks to the Karibu Centre, Ian skipped a grade and is now the best performing kid in his class”. As for her 4 year old daughter, Asunte, Margaret said she used to misbehave before coming to Karibu, sometimes fight with other kids and not listen to adults. “I am very proud that Asunte has gotten a prize for the most well-behaved child in her class last month - she has come a long way!”

To learn more about the Karibu Centre, visit here.


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