The informal settlements in Nairobi are among the area’s most vulnerable to political and ethnic manipulations. These slums contain some of Kenya’s most at-risk populations due to high unemployment, cramped living spaces, and marginalization from mainstream society. Ethnic divisions within these slums are exacerbated by political and non-political issues such as access to basic services, and religious and cultural differences. The opportunity for conflict is rife, threatening the peace and prosperity promised in the new constitution. Global Communities is implementing the USAID-funded Kenya Tuna Uwezo program, which aims to reduce politically-motivated conflict in these settlements. To achieve this, the program strengthens social networks of community members and civil society groups to collaborate productively on community issues and address grievances. Working with partners, PeaceNet and Kituo Cha Sheria, Global Communities is engaging residents, especially young people through multiple channels to ensure broad community acceptance and to reduce resistance within and among identity groups. Simultaneously, Global Communities aims to build the capacity of community leaders and groups to work effectively with one another across ethnic lines and will develop the technical and organizational capacity of local partners to ensure the sustainability of program activities. Learn more about the Kenya Tuna Uwezo program.
Global Communities is implementing the USAID-funded Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education (HOPE) program, which aims to improve students’ HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and practices in primary and secondary schools in Nairobi, with a particular focus on informal urban settlements. Over half of Nairobi’s population lives in informal settlements, which are characterized by high poverty, insecurity, poor health outcomes, substance abuse and low levels of education. This environment has a negative effect on young people, particularly girls, making them more vulnerable to HIV infection, sexual and gender-based violence. It is within this context that Global Communities is working with local partners to prevent HIV and promote healthy outcomes among students and their families. HOPE is targeting a wide diversity of schools across Nairobi, including informal and formal primary and secondary schools, and its surrounding communities to carry out peer education activities, train teachers to integrate life skills and HIV prevention education into the classroom, and to encourage greater involvement of parents and community members in school health activities. Simultaneously, the HOPE team is coordinating with the Ministry of Education to strengthen and roll-out the Ministry’s Sector Policy on HIV/AIDS and build the capacity of the County Education Offices to implement the policy throughout every county in Kenya.
The aim of Global Communities' work in Kenya is to leave behind a legacy of local organizations that can effectively enable Kenyan communities to live and thrive despite HIV/AIDS. Since 2004, Global Communities has been working to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS in Kenya by improving the ability of local, community and faith-based organizations to provide high quality HIV/AIDS services. Through a partnership with the Regional Society for Blood Transfusion Kenya (RSBTK), and with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is working to strengthen the national blood transfusion system to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in Kenya. Global Communities is working with the Kenyan National Blood Transfusion Service to ensure an adequate and timely supply of safe blood and blood products to health facilities in Kenya. This community-based approach will strengthen the capacity of Kenya’s own health systems to provide a strong supply of clean and safe blood for blood transfusions and other health needs; in turn preventing the transmission of blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Learn more by visiting Global Communities Kenya website or the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service website.
Global Communities is implementing the five-year Agribusiness Investment for Market Stimulation (AIMS) program to bolster trade by increasing access to financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in agribusiness in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. The core of the program supports lending to banks through a $50 million loan guaranty facility (LGF) backed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Global Communities complements this LGF with technical support to partner banks and agribusiness SMEs, including cooperatives, farmer associations and savings and credit cooperatives.
Through the Protecting and Restoring Economic Sustainability to Ensure Reduced Vulnerability Plus (PRESERV+) project with funding from USAID/OFDA, Global Communities assisted more than 30,000 people by protecting livelihoods through improved access to income and agricultural support. This was accomplished by integrating emergency cash assistance with agricultural inputs and training for affected farmers. Capacity building and training focused on increasing yields by using drought-appropriate planting methods and promoting agriculture-based income generation. PRESERV+ also included cash-for-work to support agricultural production through activities such as the construction of water harvesting systems and other activities that bolster agricultural production.