Extreme poverty and the AIDS pandemic ravaged rural western Kenya. In many schools, 50% of the students have lost one or both parents to the disease. Surviving family members struggle to provide even basic necessities for the children.
In 2007 the Global Interfaith Partnership initiated the Umoja Project. Umoja means “unity” in Kiswahili and the Umoja Project brings together congregations, schools and families from both Indiana and Chulaimbo to respond to the needs of Chulaimbo’s vulnerable children.
The main focus of the Umoja Project is to keep the kids in school, since education is the key to a better future for the children. The Umoja Project provides a range of services, including school tuitions and uniforms, school lunch programs, and feminine hygiene products, to ensure that more than 3,000 children can remain in school. The Umoja Project is a community-wide effort of teachers, pastors, and household guardians who support these children through school and into stable employment.
Our fundamental value is partnership — as people of faith, we are ALL called to respond to the needs of children who are so vulnerable. In the process, we all are enriched by learning about one another’s culture and our diverse faith traditions.