Fortune Learners Centre
Fortune Community Centre was started in April 2013 by 10 peers led by Charles Owino from the Kayole-Soweto Community who were working in various schools as untrained teachers, watching their bosses sending away vulnerable children from school due to lack of school fee, they thought how they could better the lives of this bright poor children whom some resorted to begging in the streets, the females ones resorted to child prostitution. After the close of schools in term three in 2013, the untrained teachers agreed to start a community centre to provide education, economic empowerment and HIV and AIDS education including psychosocial support to the vulnerable children and their care givers. Our vision: Creating the future for orphans and vulnerable children and their care givers. Our mission is to be a leader in improving the welfare of child in especially difficult circumstance, youth in crisis and care-givers of the vulnerable children by enhancing opportunities for the development of their full potential. 3. Our Projects. Education of Orphans and Vulnerable Children and talent development Project. Fortune Learners Centre forms part of the projects undertaken by Fortune Community Centre. The centre opened its door in January 2014. Apart from the orphans and vulnerable children who do not pay anything, we also admit children from middle class families who pay some small fee to help run the centre through motivating the volunteer teachers, and food to the vulnerable children and other running costs. The little they pay is not enough for the administrative costs and this has made the project move from one place to the other wherever they are thrown out due to lack of rent payments. They owe the school a lot of money by the end of term not because they like but it is because they have little or no income to support education of their children. The Centre was established with the goal of providing formal and non-formal education to the community members as a means of preparing them to venture into sustainable self reliant ventures. The skills we intend to impart at the centre under the non-formal section will include, tailoring, beauty, dress making and hair dressing with the view of introducing more courses soon. Most of our children are orphans living with well-wishers and some guardians and we would also be happy to build a children’s home in future to provide them with shelter (children are currently attached to our close community networks and available relatives though they are supported, the public health department advised against keeping the children at the building since it was not conducive for the night stays. Other activities like sports and other arts (dance, singing, and drawing) are considered means of nurturing talents within the community and bringing up a responsible society. The centre has 169 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children currently being educated and 33 who staying at the projects home are currently attached to our networks in the community since the building is not conducive we are supporting them with food wherever they are and we visit them regularly ,they will be back when we manage to improve the building. Fortune School-Kendu-Bay This project is based in Kendu-Bay Homa Bay County, this is the county with the highest HIV infection and AIDS death rates in Kenya. Most of the energetic people die living the old to take care of the AIDS orphans, Fortune cares for such children, they are provided with education and meals. The project has 60 such children but those in need are ever growing with the increase in AIDS and other deaths in the community, they sit in stones due to lack of desks and only a few have school uniform. They go through many abuses in the paces they leave because others are just leaving with well wishers, the community have provided land where we are looking for partners to help build them a school and a home where they can be safe and acquire education. There is also need for initiating an income generating activity for the care givers as well as HIV and AIDS education in the community. The projects main is to provide quality education though the following objectives. Objective 1: To provide serine learning/living environment for the vulnerable children. Objective 2: To provide the vulnerable children at the centre with table, desks and chairs. Objective 3: To provide the vulnerable children in the community with text books to read. Objective 4: To promote talent among the children living in the slums of Soweto,Kayole and Kendu-Bay. Economic Empowerment of Youth and Care-Givers of the OVC Project. This project targets the families of the children and other vulnerable youth and women in the community to provide them with valuable portable skills for income generation and help sustain the education of the children. Suggested activities are: ü Training on entrepreneurship. ü Training on tailoring/dressmaking, hairdressing and beauty as well as providing equipments and materials. ü Training peanut butter, pop corn making and provision of equipments and supplies for the work. ü Goat keeping and block making in rural areas. ü Training on bead, bracelet, women purse and hand bags making from beads and recycled polythene papers. HIV Prevention and Gender Based Violence Project. Objectives of the project: · To delay sexual debut, reduce cases of teen pregnancies and STI and HIV infections. · Promote secondary abstinence or have protected sexual intercourse and learning’s one’s HIV status improve community with a trusted adult. · To prevent child trafficking and sexual violence among children in informal settlement of Soweto, Kayole and Kendu-Bay. This project protect the vulnerable adolescents and youth ages 10-24 years from the vagaries of early pregnancies, child trafficking, sexual violence ,STI and HIV infections as well as support teen mothers return to school as well enroll their children .It achieve this through rolling out of adolescent and youth life skills in slums equipping adolescents in and out of school with appropriate messages to enable them make informed decisions in regards to health and life through; Training of adolescents girls on life skills, Strengthening existing health clubs in primary and secondary schools into Behavior Change Communication Groups (BCCG), Organize debating events/forums for learning purposes, sensitize , counseling of out of school teen mothers and recruitment and support health ambassadors in the community to carry the message forward.