Olga is 15yrs old. She is sitting on a battered wooden chair in the tiny home she shares with her sisters Pauline 14, and Josephine 13, and her 6 month old baby Velma. Josephine has been sent home from school early feeling ill with malaria. Both parents are dead from AIDS. Before their mother’s death last year neighbours helped by bringing her medicine, then in payment they took all the land the family owned, though its value was far higher than any costs they had incurred.
The girls sometimes work for one of the local coffee farmers helping him harvest his beans, for which they receive 40 Kenya shillings a day – around 30p. They have no other way of supporting themselves, and without land they cannot grow food. The local man who took advantage of Olga and got her pregnant at the tender age of fourteen when she was highly vulnerable is nowhere to be seen.
This little family would be in danger of starvation now if it weren’t for the ‘Badilika Project Orphans Support Club’ funded by KOFUP which has provided the girls with regular supplies of food and medicine and bought school uniform, books and pencils for the two younger girls to go to school. Using KOFUP funds the project is now helping Olga to start up an income generating activity (IGA),setting up a shop in her home selling basic everyday items, which could make her a small profit and help this vulnerable family start to become self-sufficient. Setting up an IGA can be done for as little as £20.
Olga and her sisters will need support for some time to come.Through the dedication of the volunteers at the project and with KOFUP resources the girls are being given some hope for the future.