Project Location: Meru, Kenya
Project Type: Nutrition
Project Code: KMK0620B

Background: Chalice has partnered with the Good Shepherd Sisters of Kenya to run our sponsor site in the region of Meru since 1999.

Chalice community projects - Mucore women food supportOne of the subsites is in Kooje - a slum area where more than 600 children are sponsored. Eighty percent of the families live in extreme poverty, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdowns, eliminating opportunities for daily-wage workers. The living conditions are dangerously poor, with overcrowding, pollution, and minimal sanitation.

HIV/AIDS is prevalent and still stigmatized in the Kooje slum. Twenty women from the families of sponsored children have bravely identified their HIV positive status. They have formed their own support group, which they have named "Mucore", meaning "friend". The Mucore group has been an invaluable source of hope, solidarity, and information for each member.

The average family size in Kooje is five to eight people. Families struggle to provide enough food for everyone. Mothers will only eat after the children are fed, resulting in high rates of malnutrition among moms. For women who are HIV+, this can put their health in severe danger. Small infections that would not harm a healthy adult could be life-threatening to their compromised immune systems. The anti-retroviral medication is likewise taxing on their bodies, and malnutrition can lead to nausea, extreme fatigue, and loss of appetite.

Project Objectives: The Meru site has created this food support program to ensure the "Mucore" women receive the nutrition and health care they need to stay strong. Each mom will receive a sufficient supply of corn, rice, black beans, peas, cooking oil, and a nutritional porridge mix. To help produce a lasting, sustainable supply of iron-rich vegetables as well as protein, the mothers will also receive seeds and seedlings to grow their own spinach, kale and tomatoes, as well as laying hens (eggs) and ducks.

The site will also pay for their national health insurance for two years, which will ensure that they can receive treatment and medication for any small illness or infection before the condition worsens. The Meru site has requested $11,746 to provide for the insurance payments, seeds and seedlings, food items, hens, and ducks. With these items, the 20 women will have the necessities to manage their condition and care for their 120 family members now and into the future.

Budget in Canadian Funds: $11,746.00

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

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