At the heart of 100 Humanitarians International is our Business Boxes for Families program. We have worked
with over 50 families in Kenya so far.
The Business Box can include any of the following based on assessment of what the family needs:
Cow, Goat, Chickens, Raised Garden Beds, Garden Towers, Trees, Water Storage Systems, Water Filters, Thermal Cookers
What made us focus on economic development in families? The core of the home is the family, and when basic needs are met, and skills are taught, it has an impact on every member.
We began in a community in Bomet, Kenya, with five families who needed a hand up. Two years later, those families are thriving by selling milk from cows and goats, collecting eggs from chickens, growing gardens, and a few have started businesses. Our program is comprehensive, beginning with basic needs and expanding into literacy and educational training. We helped start a sewing center where women are gaining skills and creating reusable feminine hygiene kits for their community. We also built a training center to host our classes and workshops.
We partnered with organizations such as The Waterbearers and HopeSaC to bring water filters and thermal cooking to the families, to provide clean water, reduced fuel costs, and reduce the time needed to cook meals on a daily basis.
The Families Mentoring Families program is constantly evolving, as we connect with mentors, tools, and resources provided by partner organizations to bring strong self-reliance and economic development principles to the families we work with.
We began with a garden box building blitz in March 2017, and now, we fill garden towers with 140 vegetable starts on each expedition. Gardening projects are our gateway to teaching stewardship, and by showing stewardship, families can then earn chickens and goats. We work on a pay it forward program, where families mentor each other, and learn from each other in their communities.
We have planted almost 100 garden boxes and towers over the past two years, with many more in the works. We have also started vegetable and tree farms, to transplant at the family homes, and to help change the ecosystem in the areas we work, to bring in more rain. Our goal is to ultimately plant one million trees in Narok County.
The first cow we donated was delivered to a widow with 5 children and no income to speak of. Her meals were being provided as much as possible by her mother-in-law and neighbors. Now, that widow has received all of the animals in our Business Box for Families program, and they have given birthday. She is able to sell vegetables and milk, as well as providing food for her family.
We have worked with over 50 families, who have all received at least part of the Business Box for Families.
In the Fall of 2017, we decided to start building water storage systems to gather rainwater on houses with tin roofs. We partnered with The Waterbearers to provide the filters for the systems. After we built three, it began to rain, and in the months afterward, Kenya flooded! The water storage systems were completely filled. As we continue to build training centers, we will incorporate water storage systems.
We have built four in Kenya so far, with plans to build them in more villages where drilling is cost-prohibitive.
We are working on identifying the programs that we want to implement in the training centers in Kenya, including Literacy, Self-reliance, and Entrepreneurship. We also will have skills development classes such as sewing, first aid, retained heat cooking, and other classes that will support the community development.
Our goal is to have four training center compounds and the Emparnat Cultural Center, where we can hold these classes.