The first eight girls have joined the new children’s home On Friday 27 June 2014 Olturoto Children’s Village (OCV) opened its doors to eight little Kenyan girls aged five to ten years old. Three sets of sisters, Dorcas & Faith, Vivian & Lillian, Shiiru & Sarah, arrived on Friday and and Maria and Esther arrived on Saturday. The girls will be living at ‘Grace’ which is the first of four children’s homes to open at OCV. The girls have come from the streets of Nairobi where they have been exposed to often dangerous conditions and have gone without basic care and education. They arrived today with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Kickstart has partnered with two charities, Rescue Dada and CARA, to help identify the most vulnerable and at-risk children to join OCV. The goal of OCV is one of long term reintegration, meaning OCV will be a half way home for the kids until they are ready to transition into a loving family environment. While living at OCV, the girls will be cared for on a daily basis by our new matron, Mary (pictured far left), and supported by our highly experienced Programme Manager, William (second from right). The girls will attend Olturoto Primary School and for some this will be their first exposure to formal education. Since purchasing land in 2009, Kickstart’s team across Kenya, Australia and the UK have been focused on designing OCV in a way that promotes local empowerment through sustainability principles. Environmental sustainability is achieved through obtaining all power from renewable sources (wind and solar), cooking with biogas, water sourced on site and waste also treated on site. We are also targeting financial sustainability through a commercial farm operated by our OCV [...]
A team from Kickstart Kids International was privileged to visit a fellow Children’s institution in Kilimambogo area about 20km from Thika Town in Kiambu County. Pendekezo Letu (PKL), meaning “our right to have a choice” in Kiswahili, is a Kenyan, non-religious, non-governmental organization, which was established in 1997 and specializes in assisting young street girls, their families and other highly vulnerable children living in marginalized urban communities in Kenya to fully access their fundamental rights to a caring family environment, education, information, protection from neglect, violence and exploitation, justice, health care and consequently increase their opportunities for sustainable and equitable development. Kickstart Kids visit centred primarily around understanding PKL’s reintegration approach for learning purposes. What better way to learn than from those who are already excelling at it! Some of the key highlights of the visit were song and dance presentations made by the girls at PKL which were creative and highly entertaining. Kickstart Kids International Chairman and Founder James Woodward was at hand to present a few gifts and goodies to the girls. Also present was Dr. James Harrison from Kickstart Kids International (Australia) and Olturoto Children’s Village new programme manager William Odipo amongst others. “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins. What a wonderful learning experience it was! Asante Pendekezo Letu….
The past month has been exciting with various activities surrounding the kitting out of the house in readiness for the admission of children in June. Top of the list were two key environmental sustainability installations. New Energy Efficient Refrigerator & Freezer Olturoto Children’s Village was recently the recipient of new SunDanzerTM DC refrigerator and freezer purchased by Kickstart Kids International. These high efficiency refrigerators and freezers have exceptionally low energy consumption requiring smaller, less expensive power systems and low operating expense. The purchase of the refrigerator and freezer is in line with Kickstart Kids International environmental sustainability pillar which focuses on accessing technologies and approaches that ensure sustainable consumption of food, energy and water. The new equipment which requires zero maintenance, with brushless, thermostatically controlled DC compressor operates on 12 or 24 VDC. A patented low-frost system reduces frost and moisture build-up for low maintenance. These chest-style refrigerators and freezers are easy to clean using the drain hole at the bottom of the unit. With thick insulation and a refrigeration system optimized for solar, SunDanzer refrigerators and freezers provide outstanding economical and reliable operation. Low energy consumption is the key that allows SunDanzer refrigerators and freezers to be cost effectively powered from solar, wind, fuel cells or batteries. This technology allows refrigeration in remote locations where it was previously unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Congratulations to Oltutoro Children’s Village. We have fire! In line with Kickstart Kids International’s environmental sustainability pillar, an energy saving Biogas solution was recently installed at Olturoto Children’s Village. This first of its kind surface level Flexi Biogas system is an indigenous system designed and manufactured in Kenya. The system is fabricated from specially treated robust materials [...]
Kickstart recruits experienced Programme Manager for Olturoto Children’s Village Kenya, May 2014 Kickstart Kids International, in local partnership with Nanga Organisation in Kenya, today announced the appointment of William Odipo as Programme Manager for Olturoto Children’s Village (OCV). Joining from Koinonia Community Kenya, William will manage the day to day activities at Olturoto Children’s Village primarily responsible for the care of the children and driving the reintegration programme to ensure each child finds a permanent home after OCV. His initial focus will be to build a local team of qualified matrons and support staff. James Woodward, Chairman and Founder, commented: “Our commitment to provide the best practice quality of care for orphaned and disadvantaged children is only possible with a high calibre team in Kenya. We are assembling a staff of experienced people who share our vision and William’s solid experience in child welfare, counselling and psychology, as well as his deep understanding of the local community, makes him a perfect fit. We are pleased to welcome him to the Kickstart family.” William has a strong background in programme management initiatives that support the reintegration of orphaned and vulnerable children into family environments. During his career, William has managed a team of seven responsible for over 500 children, coordinated the reintegration of over 100 children back to their families and has worked strategically with key stakeholders including governments, charities, educational institutions and community organisations. At Kiononia, William implemented the Children’s Act of Kenya 2001, the Charitable Children’s Institutions Regulations 2005, The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of a Child and the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child. Speaking about his move, William said “I am enthusiastic about Kickstart’s sustainable approach [...]
Kickstart Kids is now tax deductible in Australia. Sydney, April 2014 Kickstart Kids International Overseas Aid Fund has been accredited by the Australian Tax Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient, making all donations in Australia over $2 tax deductible. This is a significant achievement for Kickstart, and an endorsement of the organisation’s commitment to project sustainability and reporting transparency through compliance with AusAID’s Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme. Kickstart has a strong supporter base in Australia and from 20 March these supporters will be able to claim tax deductions when making donations. This includes both recurring donations and one off donations made at www.givenow.com.au/kickstartkidsinternational The team are hopeful that this will encourage more people to sign up for recurring monthly donations to help support Kickstart’s work with orphaned children at Olturoto Children’s Village in Kenya. A consistent income stream through monthly donations will enable Kickstart to plan ahead for project expansion and improve the quality of care that is provided to the children Kickstart is serving. This is only possible with the donations received from supporters and it is now easier than ever before to help. For further information: For questions about supporting Kickstart contact our Sponsorship Coordinator Elyse Bakunowicz firstname.lastname@example.org To make a tax deductible donation from Australia visit www.givenow.com.au/kickstartkidsinternational Kickstart Kids International is a charitable organisation working with impoverished communities in sustainable ways to kickstart the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. Kickstart Kids International has been working with orphanage children in Kenya since 2007. Kickstart’s second children’s centre in Kenya, Olturoto Children’s Village, will open its doors in 2014 with capacity for 32 children at a time, focusing on reintegration, project sustainability and local empowerment. The Kickstart Kids International network consists of registered not-for-profit [...]
Kickstart Kids International is now registered with The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). ACNC is the new independent national regulator of charities in Australia and holds Australian charities to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. Kickstart has qualified for the following subtypes: • Relief of poverty • Advancement of education Registration with the ACNC is a significant milestone as it allows Kickstart, as an Australian charity, to access a number of tax concessions including those from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and from state, territory and local governments. James Woodward, Chariman and Founder said today “I am very pleased with this result and see it as a reflection of our continued commitment to maintaining the highest standards of accountability and transparency whilst supporting those most in need.” For further information: More information regarding ACNC and charity registration can be found on the ACNC website: https://www.acnc.gov.au/
Hear what's happening in Kenya from our General Manager, Victoria. November 2013 Welcome to the first issue of Victoria’s Voice! We appreciate you taking time to read this blog and hope you will continue to do so each month. Victoria’s Voice is intended to bring you news and updates from the Olturoto Children’s Village (OCV) which is sponsored by Kickstart Kids International through its local partner Nanga Organization. Congratulations Bonnie! We have exciting news! Bonnie, one of the OCV children, recently sat for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) which will allow him to join high school in 2014. Bonnie is expected to perform well as he has been ranking top 5 in his class. We wish him all the success and look forward to the release of the results in December. The Green is Here! Olturoto is located close to Kitengela approximately 110kms from the City of Nairobi. The terrain is generally quite dry and rocky especially during the dry season. The last couple of months have been quite dry, duty and quite HOT as would be expected. A drive to OCV will typically leave you hugging your water bottle searching for the nearest tree for some shade. However, the last two weeks of November have seen the area blessed with a bit of rainfall and the results? A cool green crisp environment! I was surprised to see a bit of still water in the seasonal river running near OCV. The river bed is usually as dry as the desert. The area looks simply lovely and at least the cattle and goats from the local herdsmen have something to eat. Alfred, the supervisor at the OCV farm recently recounted how a few sheep [...]
Kickstart Kids International has today released its Annual Reports for the financial year ending 30 June 2012. In September 2011, we incorporated a not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee called Kickstart Kids International Limited which is regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Up until this point we had been operating under a NSW Incorporated Association called Kickstart Kids International Inc. The decision to incorporated the new entity was voluntarily made in order to ensure we are held to the highest level of accountability and transparency. Given this transition is ongoing, we have prepared Annual Reports for both entities and are making them available to the public at the links below. We warmly invite you to browse these reports where you will find information on our overseas aid activities, our performance and corporate governance structures. If you have any questions or require further information about Kickstart Kids International’s corporate governance, please contact us. Annual Reports: Kickstart INC FY12 Annual Report Kickstart LTD FY12 Annual Report
On 1 June 2012, Kickstart celebrated a great milestone – the first harvest from the new farm at Olturoto Children’s Village. Over the last 18 months Kickstart has focussed on developing a commercial farm at Olturoto Children’s Village. Establishing a local income stream was considered a vital aspect of the project, taking initial priority over the construction of homes for the children. “Kickstart has defined a long-term exit plan for our involvement with Olturoto Children’s Village. We are determined to provide the local community with a children’s village that they can be proud of and one that they can feel confident to run without any further assistance from Kickstart. The farm is crucial to achieving this goal of empowerment through providing food security and a sustainable local income source” says James Woodward, founder of Kickstart Kids International. The first two days of harvesting produced 300kg of chillies and beans that has been sold to a Kenyan exporter under an exclusive supply contract. The produce from the Olturoto Children’s Village farm is exported fresh via air freight to a major supermarket chain in the UK. There are currently five full time local staff working on the farm who live in on-site accommodation constructed by Kickstart. “We have a reliable water source from our borehole, great climate, virgin soil and a vibrant overseas market that are keen for our produce. This is great combination for us. With the farm starting to fund itself we are now in a position to move onto the construction of homes for the children” says Solomon Choge, one of Kickstart’s in-country Kenyan directors. Construction of the first home for the children will commence in July 2012.
To raise money for Kickstart Kids International’s latest project Katy Anderson will complete her first ironman triathlon on 6 May 2012. An Ironman triathlon consists of a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and a 42.2km run. That’s a total of 226 kilometres. So it’s no mean feat. Over the last four years, Katy has run 8 marathons but has never competed in swimming or cycling. In fact, she bought her first wetsuit in September last year and her bike only a few months earlier! Her training regime is about to step up from 15 to 20 hours per week. Katy is dedicating her efforts by donating every dollar raised to Kickstart Kids International with a fundraising goal of $5000. Katy volunteered with Kickstart in Kenya in 2010 and since then has been helping the team where she can. At the end of last year, she accepted a role on the board. Kickstart founder James Woodward is thrilled with Katy’s latest contribution to Kickstart. ‘This is great opportunity for Kickstart and we are grateful for Katy’s ongoing support. We are behind her 100%’ he said. About the cause Kickstart Kids International has purchased a 10 acre block of land in Olturoto around 50km from Nairobi. A section of the block will be devoted to the children’s home, initially featuring two buildings for the children to live in with a matron in each and an administration building. Construction of the first house is set to begin in mid-April and to be opened by the end of the year. The front acre will also feature a library which will not only serve our children but also the wider community and 7 acres have been devoted to a farm which is currently producing chilies and [...]