Who we are
Hand to Hand Community Kenya (HHCK) is a national, independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) registered in Kenya. We are also registered as an NGO called “From Hand to Hand’” in the United States of America.
We empower people to access food, quality education, medical care, overcome dependency syndrome and achieve gender equality in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). We define poverty as a shortage of rights. Our conviction is that everyone has a right to a life full of dignity. We also believe that everyone has the potential to live a decent life. HHCK is a strong proponent of the Rights-Based Approach to poverty reduction. People remain poor because they are deprived of human rights and thus we strive to encourage them to participate in shaping their future.
HHCK is registered by the Kenyan NGO board and started its operations in 2013. Our mandate includes advocacy, empowerment through schooling of children, women’s economic empowerment, the development of entrepreneurial skills and general upkeep of underprivileged families coming from the slums and streets of Nairobi, Kisii, Nyamira, Narok and Kajiado counties. Our main focus is on six key SDGs: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Climate Action and Decent work and economic growth.
HOW IS HHCK FUNDED?
HHCK is a charity and as such depends solely on donor funding. Over the years of our operation we have journeyed with friends who believe in what we are doing. These are individuals through the kindness of their hearts have supported HHCK through thick and thin. Despite the constraints of Covid-19 they have stood with us and we are highly grateful.
In the USA we are registered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
We encourage more friends to come on board as our organization grows. Every coin counts. You may not change the whole world but you can change the world of one person.
As they say, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with others’. This has guided us to engage other partners in our field. We work closely with Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and other NGOs as well as the government. This has continued to help us achieve more results. At the same time, this complementary approach has seen us reach areas we couldn’t have reached on our own. Our close working relationship with pastors who work in the slums has seen us reach many needy people. It has also helped us organize our program better.
One of the most significant flagship projects in the history of HHCK was the resettlement of three families, including 21 children drawn from the slums of Nairobi. These families lived at our facility on the Kilgoris farm for three years. During their stay we trained the parents in life skills, permaculture and entrepreneurship, and sent all of their children to schools. The children ranged in age from four years to 21 years.
On exit of these families we bought land and built houses for the three families for permanent resettlement. They are now comfortably living at their homes.
Our farm near the town of Kilgoris has served admirably as home to our staff and first beneficiaries who came from Nairobi in 2015. Since buying the land we have constructed three buildings including two guesthouses and a beneficiary house. The farm has been a hive of activity for permaculture farming, training and organic food production. It has promoted our presence in the region as an empowerment center. Besides this farm, we have another property in Shartuka.
HHCK serves the poorest of the poor from slums in Kenya as well as those from rural and remote areas. In its approach, we target women and try to support them to deal with what ties them to dilapidated conditions so that they may have a choice and a life they can have reason to value. Women are at the center of the struggle for quality life in society and therefore their empowerment takes priority.
HHCK creates women groups in the slums and some parts of rural areas (popularly known as ‘Hand to Hand Mums’) to enable us to give them the skills they need to live productive lives. We offer them life-skill trainings, entrepreneurship, business skill trainings and basic functional adult literacy. This intervention has seen many women take up small projects such us poultry farming, laundry services, soap making, knitting, tailoring, shoe making and vegetable farming. Others have started small businesses which have seen them generate their own income and has restored their dignity. We have also seen the women start revolving funds among themselves, which has created a pool of available cash to start or expand their businesses. HHCK supports them with funds to start them off.
HHCK encourages people from around the
world to volunteer in serving our beneficiaries. We have had a number of
volunteers since our inception and we can attest that our work has been made
easier and more enjoyable with their services.
Our facility in Kilgoris has ample residence for volunteers and its serenity is second to none. We do not limit our volunteers to access any of our programs, instead we support them to remain creative to achieve their goals while adding value to the organization.
Permaculture (an abbreviation of Permanent Agriculture) is a natural and practical ecological design system of farming that is based on three ethics:
1) Care of the earth
2) Care of people
3) Sharing the results
Permaculture is being responsible not only for the soil and food production but also for future generations and the environment. It is based on observation, storing of energy, increasing yields, fuel conservation, usage of renewable resources and services, and producing no waste. Permaculture is a low carbon and eco-friendly system resulting in an ecologically balanced and kinder world.
HHCK owns two organic farms in Transmara subcounty of Narok county, about 350 km southwest of Nairobi plus another property acquired in Kajiado County, not far from Nairobi CBD. The farms produce more than 70% of our food needs.
In response to rampart deforestation, HHCK has a vibrant reforestation program. We create awareness among our neighbours on the importance of tree planting and conservation of the environment. In line with this, we raise thousands of seedlings, which we share with our neighbours, schools and churches. We work with partners to enhance this program. For example Kimisitu Sacco has been a dependable source of seedlings and expertise.
Our Mission and Vision
I am Elizabeth, 19 years old. I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in the year 2020. When I joined my secondary school, due to domestic violence and family disengagement my parents abandoned me and I was forced to live with my grandma who is elderly. I struggled during my Form One to pay school fees, uniforms, transport to school and other daily needs. I thank God for bringing HHCK to my rescue. In 2018, they intervened during my form two, three and four studies. Due to my medical conditions, HHCK made special arrangements for my food in school. God bless them. HHCK has been my mother and father paying everything fully in school. HHCK has been on the forefront to take care of my medical condition. I was sick, they took me to the hospital and I'm healed. Because I didn't make it to university, I need to take a technical course that will help me in future. I request HHCK to still hold my hand for my better tomorrow.
Mary Kwamboka (Hand to Hand Mums)I became orphaned at the age of 10. My grandmother could not send me to school since I was a girl and therefore she thought that my place was in the kitchen. This made me preoccupied with house chores. I got married to someone (out of frustration) in Molo, a clashes-prone area. My 'husband' disappeared and left me with 3 children. We were chased during the tribal clashes and left for Nairobi where I got a job as a house help which earned me less than USD1 a day. My three children and I were living in the slum and this income could hardly sustain us. I resigned and started selling vegetables. My learning at HHCK has helped me in many ways: Table banking: through this am able to borrow money to expand my business and improvement of my sales. I now make up to about USD 5 per day. Better housing. Am now able to pay rent for a decent house for my family and have managed to move out of the slum. Schooling: am able to support my children in school through my business. I Would like to expand my business and employ 2 women to help. I now have my own stall. I would like to diversify to sell food etc. Thank you HHCK.