OUR MISSION is to improve the social and economic future of Kendu Bay children through school-based programs that promote gender equity and advance education opportunity.
In 2005, a core of U.S. and Kenya friends joined hands to form a grass roots organization dedicated to improving education opportunity and the social empowerment of children in Kendu Bay, western Kenya.
First years of scholarship awards revealed an under representation of eligible girls. Low performance scores from frequent absence made girls largely ineligible for scholarship support. Adolescent girls were losing up to a week of school each month due to the lack of sanitary supplies.
Thus, in 2009, KSHP introduced a gender-equity program at six primary schools and launched its first Girls Clubs. To keep girls in school during their menses, KSHP commissioned a local women's group to produce reusable sanitary pads. Partnership with local school committees assisted construction of gender-sensitive latrines.
In 2011, KSHP extended its Girls Empowerment program to new schools in the zone, with Girls Clubs, Dignity Kit supplies and gender-sensitive latrines. Today, all 23 primary schools in Nyakongo zone of Homa Bay County (Kendu Bay) are KSHP partner schools. More than 3,700 girls participate in our Girls' Club gender education and skill-building program. Over 2,100 adolescent girls receive ‘Dignity Kit’ supplies and all 23 schools have new gender-sensitive latrines. In 2014, the absence of material resources in zone schools led KSHP to sponsor an annual BOOKS! drive to supplement needed core subject textbooks in our partner schools. In all, more than 13,000 children benefit directly from KSHP donor-supported programs. Kenya Self-Help Project is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
KSHP Board of Directors Sarah Forrester, Board Chairman Textile designer; Kenyan childhood Lexington, MA
Ray Bartik, Secretary Project manager Flower Mound, TX
Mary Jane Marchelewicz, Treasurer Retired educator So Burlington, VT
Kathleen H. Dodge, Exec Director Retired educator and teacher leader Burlington, VT
Evon Bartik, Director Health care specialist Flower Mound, TX
Dorothea Christ, Director Educator and organization coordinator Southlake, TX
Bryan Gianesin, Director Attorney, entrepreneur and businessman Laguna Beach, CA
Catherine Stevens, Director Practicing social worker Underhill, VT
BOARD MEMBER TESTIMONIAL "KSHP is truly a one of a kind organization. I have had ties since 2005 - first as the daughter of a sponsor, then as a volunteer serving in Kendu Bay itself, and now as a contributing Board Member. Living in Kenya, watching the program at work on a daily basis, I witnessed the tremendous weight with which every single contribution is received by the individuals it aims to serve - whether that be a single sanitary pad, a letter from a sponsor, a sponsorship itself, or the grand opening of a new latrine. Kenya Self-Help Project is lifting up an entire communities of people who have so much to offer in return. With a small on-site staff in Kenya, and a volunteer-based cohort here in America, there is little to no overhead. It is all love and supplies. Kenya Self Help Project defies the odds of what grassroots organizations are thought to be capable of, and you will surely witness that when you give - for KSHP gives that right back, and much more." Catherine Stevens, Underhill, VT