The Immanuel Afrika Centre, Kiajagi

Immanuel Afrika Project, KenyaDuring the height of Kenya’s post election violence in early 2008, the Immanuel Afrika rehabilitation centre was established for street boys between the ages of five and 18.

Immanuel Afrika Centre_Kenya_Just a Drop water projectThe centre currently feeds and houses former street boys, many of whom are from violent and troubled backgrounds – often involving drugs or glue-sniffing.

All boys are enrolled in school or vocational education; those with suitable families are reconciled and reintegrated whilst others make the centre their permanent home. The centre seeks to provide love, acceptance, encouragement and a very important second chance at a normal and productive life.

Two of these boys, including Emmanuel and Daniel, were rescued from Turkana, an exceptionally dry area where they often had to compete with livestock for the little water they found. The boys even witnessed families fighting at gun point over ownership of a man-made borehole.

Immanuel Afrika Centre_Kenya_Just a Drop water projectImmanuel Afrika opened a new centre in February 2012, to replace their previous rented premises. The new centre consists of a 50-bed dormitory, dining hall, study, kitchen and office. However, despite a borehole, the new site had no water storage facilities.

Neither the site nor the surrounding area is served by a public water supply; the local community rely on shallow wells, rainwater-harvesting or purchasing water privately. Rainwater harvesting was not deemed a viable option for this project, due to the sporadic nature of Kenya’s wet seasons. A borehole was constructed by the Australian High Commission, however, to sustain the centre’s requirements, a water tower and tank was required. Just a Drop, with support from the Anthony and Pat Mascolo Foundation, agreed to help.

Immanuel Afrika Project, KenyaThe excess water generated from the borehole will be sold for a small fee to local community members, thereby reducing the centre’s costs and allowing the borehole and distribution system to be sustainable and maintained.

In March 2012, Just a Drop worked with the Immanuel Afrika Centre to install a water tower and tank which would provide safe storage and a regular flow of water to the centre’s kitchen and bathrooms. The work involved:

  • The construction of a six metre steel tower
  • The installation of a water tank with a reservoir capacity of 16,000l
Immanuel Afrika Centre_Kenya_Just a Drop water project

The new water tower and tank

An irrigation project has also been started at the centre’s one acre farm which has boosted the centre’s supply of food. They now have surplus beans, onions, spinach and maize and the centre can sustain itself with the food it produces, providing a healthy diet to the boys attending.

Daniel and Emmanuel can now go to school and concentrate on their education, in the knowledge that after school they will not be forced to walk for miles to look for water in the dangerous conditions that they used to face.

The centre is now seeking funds to build a sanitation and latrine block so that it can increase the number of boys it takes on, as well as to develop its academy, which will provide a primary and secondary education to up to 95 local children.

 

JAMES

James’ father died when he was little, leaving his mother with five children. She could not cope.

James drifted onto the streets of Nairobi, where he lived for a number of years. His sole possessions were rolled each morning in a sack. He survived by pickpocketing and selling scrap metals. He made life feel as if it were less harrowing by sniffing glue, although he was often beaten up by the police and hospitalised.

The Immanuel Afrika Centre found him on the street and took him in hand. They made him substance-free; gave him back his self-respect; educated him; and fired him with ambition. He is off to Nairobi University soon.

So many things have had a positive impact on James’s life, not least his access to clean water, which was provided to the centre by Just a Drop. He can now turn on a tap and drink clean water without the fear of water-borne diseases; he can bathe daily and looks clean and smart in his fresh clothes. The water is used on the vegetable garden which produces a wide variety of good things to eat. James is now healthy, clean and alert. He is eager to learn and become a good and contributing Kenyan citizen.

Our sincere thanks to the Anthony and Pat Mascolo Charitable Foundation for making this project possible.

Anthony and Pat Mascalo logo Project Sponsor: Anthony & Pat Mascolo Charitable Foundation

Date of Project: March 2012