Project Location: Asembo, Kenya
Project Code: HDPKAA0124

The sponsor site staff in our Asembo site see an alarming deterioration of mental health in their rural Kenyan region. They can see that children and teens are incredibly stressed at school and at home and might not have the right outlets. They get the ‘weekend blues’ and don’t know who they can talk to.

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"Fear causes denial, ignorance, isolation, poor decision-making, resistance, and hostility,” says Sr. Pauline. Older teens do not feel that they have a plan or prospects after high school, which diminishes their sense of self-worth, purpose, and motivation. This makes them extremely vulnerable to dangerous influences, like gangs or substance abuse.

The site staff, under Sr. Pauline, have created a year-long mental health initiative to address these concerns throughout their partner schools. The 450 participants will be grouped as children (aged six to ten), tweens (11-14), and teens (15-17). The children will have twice monthly after-school sessions with short topics and lots of playtime. The tweens and teens will meet on two Saturdays a month.

Through the program, trained psychologists and mental health experts will help young people to cope with stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, which in turn will build a healthier and more resilient community. Staff want to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health; they want to foster a ‘safe space’ where anyone, at any age, can share their experience and ask for help.

The program will entail age-appropriate peer groups, life skills training, and social activities. The children will learn social skills, leadership skills, and techniques to cope with grief. The staff will put a particular emphasis on personal development and healthy relationships, looking to build self-esteem, communication skills, better academic performance, and increased participation in community activities.

The total budget for this twelve-month program is $14,288.89 CAD. This includes payment for the teachers/community health workers to run 90 children’s groups, mental health facilitators (range of specialists for sessions), and counselling sessions with the psychologist. It also includes a small budget for workshop materials, snacks, didactic games and sports equipment, musical instruments, and art and craft supplies. The site staff will also refresh the classroom environment with a coat of paint and some proper furniture.

Your support will help 300 sponsored and 150 non-sponsored children, tweens, and teens improve their overall mental health and well-being, and create a more open, connected, and supportive Asembo community at large.

Budget in Canadian Funds: $14,288.89 CAD

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Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other community projects that may arise.

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