Who We Are
We are a U.S.-based, 100 percent volunteer run organization with the mission of coming alongside talented and passionate Kenyans empowering them to serve vulnerable children and families within their own community.
Ameena Project operates a community school called Ameena Centre in Kiang’ombe – a vulnerable and once isolated community near Thika, Kenya. The school serves children ages 3-8 years old. We employ dedicated Kenyan staff including a director, teachers, security guards and kitchen staff. Our students receive two nourishing meals a day and enjoy an engaging curriculum of learning and activities, preparing them for success in Kenyan primary school and beyond.
We’ve seen our school become the heartbeat of the community with elders and family members uniting to help make the project a success. And for many in the community, they are, for the first time, viewing education as something attainable and important for their children. This has brought tremendous hope to the community that is now full of active and vibrant children.
Improvements to Infrastructure and Economy
The town of Kiang’ombe continues to see improvements to its infrastructure and economy thanks to the faithful support of Ameena Project donors in the U.S. Their generous gifts made possible the construction of permanent buildings, classroom improvements, playground updates and teacher training to give our students the best early elementary experience possible.
Marking a Decade of Nourishment, Education and Hope
2022 marks ten years since we welcomed the first students into Ameena Centre early education center. Today we are serving 133 students aged 2-8 years. This is our largest student body population and nearly 30% more than the average of our previous nine years. We are only able to feed and educate these children due to your faithful support throughout the past decade. Thanks to you, it’s working!
Pandemic Response and Community Support
During government-mandated school closures during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ameena Centre staff facilitated food supply distributions to student families and built a new structure to meet social distancing requirements. After a nine month closure, students and staff returned in January 2021. Donors’ generous support helped fund the extra food supplies, along with the personal protective equipment and campus expansion that guaranteed a safe return to class.
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.
Program Continues Fantastic Growth
Grade 2 added to program. A total of 85 children enrolled at Ameena Centre led by 12 Kenyan staff.
Building Expanded and Playground Added
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.
Piped Water Welcomed at Centre
Piped water was added to the site. Teaching interns from local Kenyan colleges come to Ameena Centre.
A Move for the Ameena Centre
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.
Over 50 Children Enroll
Over 50 children are enrolled and received two meals per day in an engaging preschool education in a safe environment.
Kiang’ombe Community Grants School Building to Ameena Project
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.
Today, 99% of children who start at Ameena Centre successfully go on to local primary schools.
You can make a difference
Every dollar you give goes directly to Kenya to pay teachers and staff, fund meals, provide classroom supplies and maintain school facilities. No American involved in the program receives a paycheck or other compensation, meaning every dollar you give goes directly to the education and nourishment of the children of Kiang’ombe.
Percent of Ameena Centre graduates that go on to successfully attend primary school.
The Ameena Project Difference: Our promise to you
We respect the culture and traditions of the local communities of Kenya, specifically Kiang’ombe, where Ameena Center is located. We focus on empowering local leaders to be able to do what is right for their community. We recognize that local solutions are best for local problems.
Ameena Project strives for simplicity in all operations and management to maximize direct benefit. Keeping things simple and focused costs much less than the average U.S. non-profit. Simplicity is the key to making the most of donations and keeping our staff hard at work helping these children.
We leverage all of your financial donations to ensure the greatest impact of each dollar spent. We carefully evaluate all domestic operations to minimize needless expenses, and we critically evaluate our operations in Kenya to ensure efficiency and fiscal accountability on an ongoing basis.
Supporters of Ameena Project have the right to know exactly how we use donated funds and how we make financial decisions. We believe that regular communication with supporters – via newsletter and social media – is crucial to developing a vibrant giving community who feel deeply invested and committed to this cause.