Kisumu & Nandi County, Kenya

KEDHAP: Kenya Economic Development & Human Advancement Project

KEDHAP is the development, peacebuilding, and relief arm of the Kenya Mennonite Church in the Diocese of Kisumu East. It brings change to the community by empowering the most vulnerable to participate in their programs to escape the cycle of poverty. KEDHAP is a powerful force for lasting, positive change in the region.

KEDHAP assists widows, orphans, and other vulnerable people; works to equip HIV+ individuals with life skills and health education; empowers girls and women through education, training, micro-loans, and sanitary pad distribution; and engages in peacebuilding to restore a culture of peace and collaboration in the region. Through their programs, KEDHAP takes a holistic approach to community development, utilizing communal assets and meeting critical needs to break the cycle of poverty and transform negative narratives.

The core objective of KEDHAP’s initiatives is to empower widows, orphans, and other vulnerable individuals by promoting education, improved health, and economic stability. The organization recognizes that social cohesion is a prerequisite for sustaining the positive outcomes of its programs, which is why peacebuilding initiatives are a key part of its work.

Special Fundraiser

Support 19-year-old Mwale Joseph, one of Kenya’s brightest, in achieving his dreams of completing his B.Sc in Biomedical Sciences. Out of other candidates who sat for the school’s national examination, Mwale was in the top 2.4% in all of Kenya, with over 800000 students testing in grade 12. Though Mwale has been funded an initial amount to join University, he will need at least $5000 a year for his four-year university course. Would you like to help Mwale cross his next finish line? Donate to KEDHAP and designate ‘Mwale’s Education’ in the subsequent pages.

About The Location & History 

Twenty years ago (in 2000), the AIDS epidemic was devastating Western Kenya. A small group of indigenous Kenyan Mennonites felt called to reach out in Christ’s love and compassion to help their suffering and dying neighbours, comforting them, caring for orphans and widows, and encouraging other church people to join their mission. They registered as Kisumu East Diocese HIV – AIDS Project (acronym: KEDHAP). With almost no money and very few other resources, they demonstrated both commitment and faithfulness in using all their resources entirely for their neediest beneficiaries and asking themselves the question, “How can I serve others, even with no money?” From its humble beginnings, KEDHAP has steadily grown. It now serves thousands of participants monthly in a wide range of programs in an extremely poor rural area.

KEDHAP operates within a largely rural region that is predominantly a sugar-cane growing zone, with tea being grown on the slopes of the Nandi Hills. Many migrant casual labourers work for the large landowners in the area and stay in the village centers, while the resident rural population mainly owns and farms plots of between one and three acres, usually for subsistence (predominantly maize) and cash crops. The area also has one of the largest numbers of individuals who are ‘squatters’ either on private lands or public lands. Since the area was resettled following Kenyan independence, there have been periodic clashes along the Kisumu-Nandi County border between the two tribes. Historical land tenure, disputed administrative boundaries, cattle rustling, and political incitement have divided the communities along ethnic lines for decades. KEDHAP’s programs have always and will continue to consider the history and interests of all ethnic communities within the border area and actively involve community members in peacebuilding, integration, and cohesion, including the co-ownership of projects between ethnic communities.

KEDHAP was started to address the AIDS epidemic that ravaged their county. Evidence from Kisumu County and elsewhere in western Kenya indicates strong links between poverty, environment, and investment in natural resources. The chronic illnesses and deaths associated with HIV/AIDS are a major cause of impoverishment in many parts of the area. Households that lose male income earners are likely to reduce their production of cash crops and their use of purchased inputs (e.g., seeds, fertilizer). Problems faced by community members include poor sanitation, lack of clean water sources, unemployment, diseases (such as malaria and cholera), as well as poverty and its effects, including poor diet and health and the lack of ability to pay for core household expenses that include health-related costs, transportation, food, clothing, and school-related fees.

Current Major Activities of KEDHAP Include:

  • Women/Girls Empowerment – KEDHAP provides sanitary supplies, underwear, and counseling for over 4,000 girls each month who are from poor households. Many of these girls continue to secondary school through this effort thus avoiding dropping out and early marriage.
  • Education – through assessments, funding is provided for over 35 highly qualified secondary school students who are either orphaned or from families in dire poverty
  • Community Development – the KEDHAP Resource Centre allows access to the public for such things as computers, photocopying, etc. Also, instructors and coaches are available for Table Banking to receive small business loans for microfinance.
  • People Living with HIV and AIDS – KEDHAP provides food for those unable to work or grow food and seeds and other materials for those who can grow their own food.
  • Health Education – this is provided in the various schools for HIV prevention and girls health.
  • Peacemaking and Reconciliation – Efforts are continuing in the training of community leaders in non-violent conflict resolution, peace dialogue between tribes through discussion and collaboration and sport activities.
  • Food Security and Income Generating Activities – A dairy goat program impacts the economics of many poor families. In addition, they provide training in agriculture and other areas.
  • Leadership Development – Training and education for national leaders.

For $25 a month, you can impact 15 girls!

Your donation to the Give PADS FOR PROGRESS campaign empowers us to purchase and distribute sanitary pads, provide new underwear, conduct educational workshops on menstrual health, and keep girls in school. Together, let’s break barriers, tackle period poverty, and create a brighter future for girls in need!

You Can Help!

If you care as we do, put a smile on the face of an orphan through payment of school fees, purchase a purebred dairy goat for a widow, or support a group of women or people affected by HIV/AIDS with a micro-credit loan. If you wish to be part of our change team by donating towards our projects, then witness how your contribution can be used from our Gifts of Hope Catalogue 2022-2023.