Village elders and local leaders, energized by the possibility for something positive in their community, offered Ameena Project the free use of their abandoned school. Located in heart of Kiang’ombe, the community-built schoolhouse had been vacant for years due to lack of financial resources.
Over 50 children are enrolled and received two meals per day in an engaging preschool education in a safe environment.
Kenyan government titled all land in the Kiang’ombe slum. Ameena Centre moved (literally, by hand) to the other edge of the community. Education Fund offered to core Ameena Centre staff. Community medical clinic conducted by Christian Isakson and Ian and Anne May.
Piped water was added to the site. Teaching interns from local Kenyan colleges come to Ameena Centre.
School buildings expanded to include Grade 1. Playground added to campus. Ameena Project board of directors visit school and holds community medical and dental clinic, staff development and training, and celebrates 5th anniversary with community. Two teaching interns transition to teaching staff.
Grade 2 added to program. A total of 85 children enrolled at Ameena Centre led by 12 Kenyan staff.
Due to funds donated at our successful Portland fundraiser in fall of 2019, the Kenyan staff and Ameena Centre families were able to upgrade the playground equipment for our students to swing, slide, spin and enjoy. While less exciting for the kids, critical improvements were made to the campus, to include an upgraded fence, a new, permanent wall and a more secure and attractive restroom.
Pandemic Response and Community Support
During the government-mandated school closures during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Ameena Centre staff facilitated food supply distributions to students’ families and built a new school structure to meet social distancing requirements. Students and staff returned in January 2021 after a nine-month closure. Donors’ generous support helped fund the Personal Protective Equipment and campus expansion that guaranteed a safe return to class.
In 2009, Ian and Anne May uprooted their lives in Portland and moved to Kenya to manage a humanitarian project. In 2010, they welcomed their youngest daughter and named her Ameena, meaning “amen” or “let it be so” in Swahili. The dramatic disparity between the opportunities available to American children like Ameena, and so many impoverished Kenyan babies born at that same time, was something they could not ignore – they had to act. In partnership with passionate and gifted Kenyan early education professionals, they established Ameena Project to bring opportunity to Kenyan children. It starts with equal access to education and nourishment, and our commitment that each dollar donated goes directly to Kenya – for the teachers, staff, meals and educational supplies required to nourish, educate and offer hope for a better future.
This young man is the perfect example of everything we hope to achieve at Ameena Project. Kennedy was one of our first students and finished the program successfully to enter the local school system healthy, eager, and ready to learn.
Five-year-old Ameena Centre student Isaac had missed several days of class when the staff when to check on him one morning. When they arrived, they found Isaac near the body of his dead mother, who had suffered from an untreated abscessed tooth.
Gakuo is a village elder in Kiang’ombe. He’s lived there so long that he is a household name. Many years ago, Gakuo was severely injured in a vehicle accident and could not afford medical care, leaving him with disabling injuries.
Copyright 2018, Ameena Project. Ameena Project is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 listed under Tumaini Ventures, Inc. Tax ID: 26-4182208. BRIDGE ID: 6933808754.