Support tailoring, jewelry, & agriculture classes for women
Women make up 50% of our world, yet in many places, especially Alendu, they have much less than 50% of the power. A woman who does not have any skills is more likely to marry early and then have children that she must rely on her husband to support. Her dependence on a husband makes her very vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse, or having to stay in a relationship where the husband is consistently unfaithful.
Our women & girls program helps to heal this deficit by helping women learn to tailor, make jewelry, grow food, and other skills they can use to support themselves and their children. This, in turn, gives them much more agency to be able to make change in their own lives. Our women receive social and emotional support from each other as well as our social worker.
Support well implementation, training and ongoing maintenance
Our well project has been in motion since 2015, when we first started engaging the community to plan and build support and buy-in for the well. This is important since the well will support 5 communities, and village chiefs have the ability to keep their people from using the water. We want the water to be accessible and used by all, so we’ve taken our time and gotten everyone on board. Water Missions International is currently in the process of installing the well, and clean water will hopefully be made available during 2018.
Clean water is a high-impact project in our community. Readily available and affordable clean water means we don’t have to purchase it expensively for making school lunches and for drinking water for the kids at LightHouse Academy. It means we can move forward with plans for a bakery in Alendu, since we’ll have clean water for baking. It means a whole lot less preventable illness in Alendu.
Support our farm manager, buy farm equipment, and animals
Alendu is no stranger to hunger. In a place where jobs are scarce, and families large and overextended due to taking in many AIDS orphans, families and children don’t always get the food that they need. And malnutrition is not only a killer, but causes a lifelong impact even for those who survive: if babies and toddlers don’t get the proper nutrients, it can stunt their mental and physical development for life, ensuring that they will live to repeat the poverty cycle.
The sustainable farm on Rafiki’s campus is a key part of our mission. In a place where drought comes often and stays long, the sustainable and regionally appropriate methods we practice are vital. It produces most of the food that feeds the kids at the school, allowing us to provide healthy, sustainable meals at a low cost. It also serves as the demonstration plot where the women from our women and girls program learn their agricultural skills. LightHouse Academy students also learn agricultural skills at the farm as part of the school curriculum, and they are encouraged to share these skills with their families. It’s all about making sure people have enough to eat, and taking care of the land in the process.
Support our school clinic, buy basic medications and supplies
If you are sick in Alendu, there are not many ways to ensure that you get well, even if your sickness is simple. If our kids have parasites or an infection, these preventable and easily treatable illnesses could quickly become serious without care. If kids are too sick to attend school, then their performance drops and they are not able to continue.
Addressing poor health is a crucial step in ending the poverty cycle. No matter how much education we provide, it only matters if kids can actually show up to school and be well enough to pay attention and learn. Our healthcare clinic in LightHouse Academy makes sure that these kinds of simple and preventable illnesses don’t keep our kids from what matters. The clinic also provides healthcare education for our kids, to help further prevent the spread of disease by raising awareness of simple practices like washing hands, brushing teeth, eating nutritious food, and only drinking clean water.