On 10th March 2021, Mr. Joaquin Garcia Clavel, CEO of Rhein Donau Stiftung e.V. visited Kianda Foundation offices in Lavington at the start of his fact-finding trip to Kenya. Rhein Donau Stiftung e.V is a non-profit organization based in Cologne, Germany, whose mission is to enable people in developing countries to become key actors in their development through education, training and the promotion of entrepreneurship. True to their mission, Rhein Donau Stiftung e.V. has been supporting various Kianda Foundation projects including the sizable extension project of Kimlea Girls Technical College Training Unit, the Smartika Mimi school hygiene and nutrition course at two primary schools in Limuru, and staff training at 3 colleges around Limuru run by Kimlea and the Kimlea Business Centre. The CEO had the chance to see the projects first hand and evaluate the progress, while strengthening partnership with the Foundation.
Mr. Joaquin Garcia Clavel interacted with the students of the Smartika Mimi school hygiene program. Smartika Mimi is a hygiene and nutrition training program for primary school pupils in Limuru, promoting personal and environmental hygiene. These public schools provide education for many children of labourers in the tea plantations in the surrounding area. Most of these families live at subsistence level and it is common to find a family of 5 cramped in a one-roomed house. The “Agents of Change” as the children are called, had the opportunity to show what they had learnt, and there was no hiding their excitement as they recited the Smartika Mimi motto: “I am smart, my school is smart and my home is smart”.
There were also visits to some of the beneficiaries of Kimlea Girls Technical College and Kimlea Business Centre. Including Lydia Waiya of DanFra Fryz a popular fast food eatery in Laini. Lydia says “The name DanFra is derived from the names of my two sons, one of them is called Dan and the other Frank hence DanFra Fryz”. Lydia told about her journey into entrepreneurship after completing the training course at Kimlea Business Centre. She discovered a niche in the market when one day she had to go a long distance to find a cold bottle of soda. She put together her little resources, looked for an ideal location with a lot of traffic, was eventually able to buy a fridge, where as well as cold soft drinks, she made fast food staples such as fries, cakes and samosas, all skills she learnt while at Kimlea. Lydia has not only improved the standard of living of the family, she is also an employer, she has employed 2 people to assist her in the business.
Lydia outside her fast food shop
Finally, there were also visits to Kenya YMCA College of Agriculture & Technology, ‘Sacred Heart Technical School and Nazareth School of Nursing, colleges where teachers and administration staff have received training from Kimlea Girls Technical College staff members in an upskilling training course. Mr. Garcia Clavel was impressed by the effectiveness of the program through the feedback from the trained staff.