What is Umoja?
Umoja is Swahili for unity and togetherness. The issues of homelessness, poverty, and death in Africa can only begin to be tackled by the support and generosity of everyone pulling together. This concept is the foundation for creating Umoja Orphanage Kenya. Please read on to find out our vision and goals for the future and the ways that you can help us give orphans and vulnerable children in Africa a second chance at life.
What is our vision?
“Together we achieve the extraordinary.” Alone our success is limited, but together we are many people. We can reach greater heights of success through the spirit of togetherness. Harambee is the Kenyan tradition of community self-help, and literally means all pull together. Keeping with this tradition, we will work together to help those in need.
- Together we can give hope and a future to vulnerable children.
- Together we can make positive changes and save lives.
- Together we can give children a second chance at life.
What is our goal?
Every child deserves the basic needs for survival. Our organisation aims to provide food, shelter, love, care, respect, education, and support for the vulnerable and orphaned children of this world. We will create an environment that provides:
- food and nutritional support.
- shelter where children can feel safe and secure.
- protection from all forms of abuse.
- acceptable health care services.
- psychosocial and emotional support.
- educational and vocational assistance and training
- the right to fulfil their spiritual and religious beliefs.
- the opportunity to realise their physical, mental, and social potential.
- guidance so to realise their rights and responsibilities and understand shared values.
- unconditional love and a sense of belonging.
- hope for the future.
What problems do children face?
Living in Australia is very different from living in Africa. Besides differences in food, weather, nature, and culture, the main difference is the approach to daily life. Australians focus on getting the job done to have time to enjoy life, while Africans are faced with the struggle just to live. In Africa, one is focused first and foremost on survival and relationships. The facts:
- The world’s 25 poorest countries are all in Africa.
- Poverty affects almost everyone in Kenya.
- 23% of Kenyans live on less than $1 per day (extreme economic poverty according to the United Nations).
- On a daily basis they face famine, malaria, diarrhoea, AIDS, and a high mortality rate.
- United Nations state that lack of food, clean water, medical aide, shelter, and clothing contributes to their day-to-day struggles to survive.
- In Africa there is NO Government aide whatsoever.
- Kenya is home to nearly 40 million people with an average life expectancy of 52 for men and 56 for women.
- There are over 2 million orphaned children aged 0 – 17 in Kenya, half of whom are parentless due to AIDS-HIV.
- 40% of Kenyan children have stunted growth (world health organization).
- Less than ½ the children under 5 years old who were suspected of having pneumonia were taken to appropriate health care services.
- Less than ½ the children of Kenya are continuing onto secondary school.
- 1 in 39 women risk death during childbirth due to the absence of an unskilled birth attendant.
Who will Umoja help?
There are many vulnerable and orphaned children living in Africa who need our help. Orphans are children who have lost both biological parents as well as foster/adoptive carers within their village. The Umoja Orphanage Kenya hopes to help children whom:
are orphaned, sick, dying, abused, abandoned or neglected, and who have no choice of survival without intervention.
are pre-orphans as they may have parents who are chronically ill with HIV-AIDS or other illnesses—these children may even be more vulnerable as they witness and have to cope with the psychosocial burden of watching a parent and even their siblings die.
What needs to be done?
These five goals begin our journey towards achieving our dream:
- A call for harambee in Australia to get people to start pulling together for the African children through fundraising. As people recognise the power of one, they can begin to work together with others to realise the power of the collective one.
- Purchase a minivan (and hire a driver) and have it customised to carry tourists for safaris. This bus will be painted with a sign to promote the message that all profits raised will help support the growth of the Umoja Orphanage Kenya.
- Purchase five to ten acres of land. Five acres is the minimum amount of land to begin self-sustainability (when living can be sustained without exhausting natural resources, for example: cows for milk, fruit and vegetable gardens, a piggery project, and solar power).
- Begin designing the first stages of the Umoja Orphanage Kenya so work can begin on the construction.
- Call for local harambee for volunteers to oversee the local Africans building the orphanage.
What can you do?
There are many ways that you can get involved to support Umoja Orphanage Kenya.
- Visit our donate page to see that variety of ways your donations can help.
Begin your own harambee and spread the word among your family, friends, and colleagues to support this wonderful cause.
- Contact the organisation to hold your own fundraising event to support the growth of Umoja Orphanage Kenya.
- Join our organisation and become and ambassador for the Umoja Orphanage Kenya by volunteering your time to help us reach our dream.