I take this opportunity to welcome you to VFM. We have registered a tremendous achievement in this reporting period ending JUNE 2018. It is the first semiannual report in our three-year strategic development plan. What began a few years ago as an education center offering only education to vulnerable children has developed into a transformative community development program.
I have to register my sincere appreciation to all our esteemed partners and donors to be specific; for your undoubted support which has enabled us to move this far.
I must thank all stakeholders who in one way or the other extended their hands, I am very happy for the support we have received from our esteemed donors and our beneficiary.
I extend my sincere gratitude to IMANI Foundation, FEMI Foundation, TALLUD, PETER van VLIET Foundation, KOORNZAAYER Foundation, ZERO KAP, CCF; your continuous support to this program has given hope to many families who were hopeless.
It is this support that we expanded the program and now report the activities rolled out in Kamasengre community of Rusinga West. We now target all the seventeen villages in Rusinga West.
In the previous years we have always presented to you the work we did to transform the lives of children registered in our education program at VFM, however 2018 we have serious partnerships with other schools in the community, impacting the lives of over 1000 children. Our efforts increased by over 70% due to the available resources.
In any set up there are challenges, these achievements were not realized in a silver plate, to mention but a few, our education program especially the school was never smooth with new government policies. The new curriculum design is just amazing government thought but it faced out all the books that we bought just one year ago. We kept our promise to offer children very friendly services and thus we appreciate the efforts you made to support this activity. The community involvement increased and as we monitor our progress closely we are sure the uptake and practice will increase and our sustainability plan of community takeover will be realized at the end of the program.
In partnership with other local stakeholders and other partners like Free Kenya Foundation, the community has gained new development skills and we realized behavior change. Young women are have changed from offering cheap labor at the lake where they could offer sex for fish to vocational skills and we have seen 9 women in dress making, and over 50 young women in mat weaving. So many community members have involved themselves in farming and as things stand now families will eat because the harvest is guaranteed.
Our economic empowerment program picked so well and I must applause Zero Kap for supporting this initiative. Poultry farming is embraced, poultry feeds are made available at VFM and small farmers are already buying, groups in horticulture are already productive.
As we took to our community health activities, we never knew adult populations would demand the services, our focus was children, we called for more partnerships and through the support from the ministry of health. We achieved more with increased medical supplies and our joint community health outreaches.
I was never alone in this long walk, I only offered leadership to a competent group of individuals that I work with, I cannot forget to applause our program Manager and the entire team for the work well done. The teaching staffs have proved their worth by excellently implementing the new curriculum to discretion of the Ministry of Education. Our school is rated the best in the island by ministry- thank you Millicent for your leadership.
Involving community structures has adversely strengthened our service delivery to this community, community health volunteers (CHVs), beach management units (BMUs), village elders, church elders, administrative officers and opinion leaders. This groups in our various meetings supported us and community entry is never a challenge.
We are looking forward to continuing our good teamwork of ensuring we achieve our vision.
What we do together matters, it is the little things we do together and for each other that makes the community matter. Thank you for being part of this community and be blessed.