Uongozi - Center for NGO Studies, Leadership & Management
Who we are We are a grassroots based volunteer organization founded in late 2004, since which time we have been operating in Kibwezi district of the Eastern Province of Kenya. We implement programs designed to provide opportunities that empower the marginalized and vulnerable members of our community, particularly orphans, disabled persons, and people living with HIV/AIDS. We have evolved as a reform movement in Kibwezi division and beyond. We address community concerns of food security, consistency of income, environmental sustainability, disability issues, governance, and HIV/AIDS. Our purpose is to increase the community’s capacity to organize and collectively address these concerns through a participatory capacity and partnership building process. We gather knowledge and resources through utilizing local and global volunteers and partners. UONGOZI advocates sharing and equal access to information and resources within our local community. Through this approach, we support effective interventions geared towards strengthening community support systems.
Whom do we serve? Kibwezi district (the target area) has a population of approximately 150,000 people. There are approximately 13,252 households, of which over 4,500 are female-headed, single-parent homes. Our responses target the most vulnerable members of society, specifically orphans and vulnerable children, people with disabilities (PWDS), and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA’s), particularly women. Our immediate beneficiaries are community-based organizations (CBO’s) and NGO’s serving these vulnerable groups.
Who Manages UONGOZI? A seven-member Advisory Board manages UONGOZI. The membership is comprised of persons with diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. An executive director oversees the day to day activities of the organization. Our activities are implemented with the help of dedicated community volunteers, which forms the basis for the sustainability of our projects.
Who are our supporters? The foundation of our initiative is built upon the participation of community members. The individuals, who commit their time, energy, and resources, even when they are scarce, provide the dedication that supports the organization. In addition to the grassroots support that the organization enjoys, we have a few international friends and volunteers that support our work. We are always looking to build a wider international community of friends to support our efforts in Kenya. What is our mission? UONGOZI exists “To empower marginalized and vulnerable communities through knowledge, experience, and capacity and partnership building processes.” What is our inspiration/vision? UONGOZI seeks “To contribute to and participate in the harmonious creation of rural communities that are fair, free, and empowered. We believe in and promote an individual’s inherent right to equal access to and control of available resources necessary for a dignified life.” What do we seek to achieve? (Our goal & objectives) UONGOZI seeks “To facilitate capacity and partnership building processes that strengthen community systems in a sustainable manner in order to address issues of disability, HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, food insecurity, and poor governance.” UONGOZI is guided in its activities by the following organizational objectives: • To improve the health standards of the rural poor through initiating and supporting community-based health programs/projects with a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS • To foster sustainable agriculture and sustainable forestry management by encouraging and supporting existing initiatives in food security and natural resource management • To initiate and/or influence the initiation of income generating activities among vulnerable groups, particularly women and people with special needs (disabled persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, and orphans) • To establish and/or assist in the establishment of community information and communication technology (ICT) camps • To increase opportunities for the most vulnerable members of the community particularly orphans and vulnerable children(OVC) • To facilitate a capacity building process that recognizes the role of vulnerable groups in participatory development
What are our Strategies and principles? UONGOZI is guided in its efforts by the following strategies and principles: Community Organization and Participation: Since community members are at the heart of our efforts and goals, their input and opinions are essential to providing appropriate and effective interventions. Sustainability: We strive to realize a capacity building process in which participants seek effective and lasting solutions that allow them to independently manage their lives. Knowledge & Experience Sharing: We serve as a model for on-going evolution and development in hope that other communities may adopt the same processes and structure. Capacity & Partnership building: We support and build capacities and partnerships among organizations and networks in order to promote resource sharing and combat duplication of service. Universal rights: We believe that all people, regardless of age, gender, religion, or social/ health status, deserve to live a dignified life and be empowered to articulate and meet their needs. What Programs/Interventions do we implement? Currently UONGOZI maintains core program focuses on: Capacity & Partnership Building Partner Support program (PSP) The program focuses on strengthening the organizational, institutional, and program capacities of target community-based organizations, community self-help/women groups and NGO’s. This is achieved through a rigorous capacity analysis process, partner identification, and the creation of capacity building action plans. All of these action plans are filtered into an overall Partner Support Program (PSP). HIV/AIDS Kibwezi Integrated Care and Support (KICS) project The KICS project focuses on strengthening community systems in caring for and supporting those affected by and infected with HIV/AIDS. In particular, the project aims to facilitate responses to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), especially in the areas of education and medical care. The majority of our efforts concentrate on working with community-based organizations (CBO’s) currently responding to the needs of OVC. Life Skills Project Majority of the youth in the target areas need relevant life skills to enable them address most the challenges facing them today. The life skills and stepping stones project provides the youth with an opportunity to acquire these skills and utilize them to reach other young people in the target communities.
Income, Environment and Food Security Bio-Intensive Agriculture (BIA) and Sustainable Livelihoods Project Agriculture is the primary source of food and income in the Kibwezi district. UONGOZI trains local farmers in techniques of organic farming as a means of promoting good nutrition and income security for local households. The BIA project provides support to participating farmers by providing skilled and knowledgeable volunteers to assist in optimal crop development. In addition, the project involves tree planting exercises every rain season. Disability/Special Needs Kibwezi Community Rehabilitation Centre (KCRC) project This project is at its initial stages and aims at working with the disabled people’s organizations in the area. The objective is to provide rehabilitation services for people with disabilities (PWD’s), as well as to integrate such people into HIV/AIDS income-generating programs. This is achieved through our partnership with disabled people’s organizations (DPO’s) in the target area. What are our Future Programs Our future programs will expand on these existing initiatives. We are also planning establish an integrated of community Resource and a children support Centre. In addition, the center will showcase different community development approaches including bio intensive agriculture training. So far, funds have been secured to purchase a piece of land where such a center would be constructed. All of these projects are designed to offer direct benefits to target beneficiaries. We are also planning to continue our organizational development by strengthening and expanding our capacity building program.
Would you like to support our efforts? For opportunities to volunteer, participate in our activities, or donate funds and/or other resources, feel free to contact us at the address below. It is easy to make a difference through UONGOZI!
In Kenya, Contact: Eddie Mwanzia The Executive Director Centre for NGO Studies, Leadership & Management (UONGOZI), Kenya P.O. Box 400 – 90137, Kibwezi, Kenya Phone: +254 - 20 – 358 - 2166 Cell +254 – 72 – 288 - 6165 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Website: www.uongozi.org
In the United States, Contact: Sean McCann The President UONGOZI California 455 Union Street, Apt #157, Arcata, California 95521 California (Humboldt), USA Phone: +1- 941- 780 - 3683 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com www. uongozi.org