From day one, the mission of Macheo in Kenya has been to empower and protect vulnerable children and their communities, so that they can lead a bright future. Our vision is a society where children live happily in a safe caring and stimulating environment that promotes the best of their potential. It’s not by chance that we are called Macheo, meaning ‘sunrise’ in Swahili.
The Children’s Home: our foundation
Our aim is specific: to improve the situation of children in Thika, Kenya. We do that first and foremost with Macheo Children’s Home, providing a safe and supportive home environment for 56 children. We operate on clear principles for the Children’s Home upbringing of the children:
- It is best for a child to grow up in a family situation . We only accept a child if, after thorough investigation, we discover that this is virtually impossible with family or friends. Despite the care we offer, growing up in an orphanage is a last resort.
- We help every child to develop his or her individual talents. This is also why we limit our intake to 56 children.
- We do as much as we can to ensure that the children grow up with Kenyan culture and Kenyan norms and values. They attend a regular school outside of the orphanage, are part of sporting clubs and, where possible, visit family members during the holidays.
- Furthermore, religion plays an important part in Kenyan society; therefore the children go to their respective places of worship, despite Macheo not having been established based on a specific religious background.
Outreach Programs: extending & scaling our impact
In addition to the Childrens Home, we have established various outreach programs. Our Primary- and Secondary education, Healthcare and Family-Empowerment programs enable us to improve the lives and futures of thousands of children and their families in Thika:
- We work together closely with other trusted organisations and partners in which we complement each other’s activities and combine our resources to be more effective.
- We work together with the Kenyan government and local stakeholders (including the District Children’s Office, Education Office in Thika, Ministry of Health). By combining efforts, we are able to make a greater impact and avoid overlap in activities.
- We attempt to give as much responsibility with the people we work with (eg schools, teachers, and parents of the children) as possible. Their involvement and support is essential for successful programs, now, and in the future.
- We are always looking to improve our efforts and learn from our failures. Through Monitoring and Evaluation activities we keep track of our progress, identify best practices, failures, learn from them and implement changes.
Income-generating projects: becoming independent of donors
Our projects with which we generate our own local income make up the third pillar of Macheo. It is very important to us to become less financially dependent on sponsors and donors. The existence of the Children’s Home and outreach projects would be threatened if a donor were to withdraw in the future and we wish to avoid that. There are many other positive side effects of these projects.
- Our projects create jobs and Macheo employs over 115 people in the local community and many of them help us generate income.
- Another result of these projects is that the children realise the opportunities they are given do not come without effort, working hard is needed to provide for a living.
We act in emergency situations
As a humanitarian NGO in a country like Kenya, it is sometimes necessary to step in in emergency situations. One example is the Joyous Project: together with a sister organisation, we help boys who are the victims of sexual abuse get their lives back on track.
We set clear priorities
Despite all our activities outside Macheo Children’s Centre, the Children’s Home and its inhabitants always takes precedence, regardless of what happens. After all, we have taken on the responsibility of offering over 50 children a good upbringing and a really fun childhood, of course!