In 1998, Three Kenyans - Philip Ndeta (the brains behind the organization), Obed Tsuma and Benta Atieno founded Learning and Development Kenya (LDK) to work with the local community to address the problems brought about by government’s introduction of cost sharing in the education and health sectors. While outwardly improving the economy of Kenya, these government measures ultimately led to an increase in child labor, high rates of school dropouts, and increased homelessness in children.
Since 1998 and through its education program, LDK has been able to provide support for high education and specialized training in secretarial courses, computer, teaching (both primary and ECD), IT and even tailoring to over 150 young Kenyans who would otherwise not have had a chance to empower their talents and build their future. Though no follow up has been made to establish their current status, we believe that with the qualifications attained through our support they are now employed in the government or private sector or even self-employed and therefore contributing to nation building.
Currently LDK supports 324 needy children in nursery, primary and secondary schools. It further supports 74 orphans with shelter, food, medical care and other basic needs. The orphans live in the home at the Virginia center in Rhonda slums within Nakuru Municipality.
Vision: To see a free Kenyan Society without inequalities of extreme poverty, destitution, deprivation, or austerity.
Mission: To respond to the needs of the communities and those of their children with a primary objective of improving the quality of life of those in need.
History: Local non-governmental, non-profit, non-sectarian development organization founded in 1998. It acquired special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2008.
Programs: Education program
Environmental and Sanitation program
Peace initiative project
Civic education program
Overview of donors that have contributed to our programs:
Foundations; INGOs; Overseas corporations: The Hilden Charitable Fund – UK
Bertelsmann AG – Germany
The Ark Foundation of Africa – USA
CO-OPERAID – Switzerland
Random House New York – USA (Books)
Crossroads International – Hong Kong (China)
Misereor – Germany
Advantage Africa – UK
MIVA Switzerland (Vehicle)
Government: Kenya Government (Department of provincial administration – food for feeding program).
Kenya Government (Ministry of education – Grant for support of informal education system).
Since 2000 Learning and Development Kenya has been implementing a literacy project, designed to improve on the literacy and reading skills of the orphans and needy children and prepare them for positive and active participation in nation building. LDK provides an enabling learning environment with modern teaching facilities including solid classrooms, highly qualified and caring teaching staff and a modern library with the necessary books to motivate and boost the morale of both the children and teachers at the institution. This has improved the standard of learning, making the project one of the best within the Municipality in terms of provision of quality education.
Every day, we provide a warm meal to 324 students in our school, children who would otherwise miss a meal.
Skills Training Workshops
The skills training program is more connected to the micro credit project. It aims to provide capacity building and therefore strengthen individual business skills of the loan recipients. The program is based on the premise that trade is the most effective way of helping the poor to create sustainable, long-term solutions to the economic problems they face. It has helped beneficiaries to master their trading skills, lowering default rate on repaying the loans.
To help families develop sustainable sources of income, we loan small amounts of seed capital at zero interest to families to start their own business—families who otherwise would never have dreamed that financial independence was a possibility.
The micro credit project has been implemented on the believe that the best way to address poverty is to help families and individuals to become financially independent – through free revolving loans, education and training, that will lead them into income generation and employment. And because of the relationships we have fostered with the families of many children from the community enrolled in the school, LDK is uniquely positioned to identify the most motivated, entrepreneurial individuals as recipients. These individuals are often the parents of our students, which allows us to ensure that this support is being targeted at the families most in need and maintain continuous contact.
During the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008, LDK hosted nearly 7,000 displaced peoples, coordinating with the Red Cross to ensure steady food supplies. Other than the local churches, LDK was the only local NGO that was involved in this exercise because most of the affected people were from this area, a majority being the poor parents that LDK supports with education of their children. The facilities at its learning center also ensured safety of the Internally Displaced Persons as well as our networking skills with both the provincial administration department and the Red Cross.
The program aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and promotes sustainable behavior change among the youth and residents.
LDK has also collaborated with the Ark Foundation of Africa to support scale up activities of CBOs within East Africa:
Too many orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) in Africa are growing up in situations of scarcity without education, healthcare, strong parental support etc. Similarly, grandmothers who care for the majority of orphans are overwhelmed, doing their job under very difficult, unsupportive circumstances. Grandmothers are simply doing what they know and what they love doing, day after day.
In countries with very weak or practically non-existent social safety nets like Kenya, indigenous NGOs and CBOs are also struggling to survive. Many do not have the resources or enough staff with the right skills and training to enable them to effectively address OVC related challenges.
To address this dilemma, LDK and the Ark Foundation of Africa and its partners organized a 5-day capacity building workshop for leaders of indigenous organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The participatory workshop focused on building culturally sustainable and realistic programs to close the large gap between the need and available services. Learning and Development Kenya acted as the host organization for the workshop.
30 participants were nominated for the workshop from eligible organizations working directly with orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers. Most of the nominated organizations that participated in the workshop are based in the districts of:
Kenya – Nakuru, Mombasa, Nandi and Trans Nzoia
Tanzania – Bagamoyo, Dodoma Rural, and Mbozi, and Zanzibar
Uganda – Gulu, Kitgum, Luwero, and Wakiso
The workshop aimed at engaging and strengthening the capacity of indigenous organizations so that they can scale up their programs and effectively meet the complex needs of orphans and vulnerable children in their communities.
Athletic Leagues to Drive Community Empathy and Understanding
Historically, athletic competition has peaceably brought together individuals, factions, and even nations with troubled relations, and we believe that friendly competition and the spirit of teamwork can have a positive impact on the youth of Kenya who have been driven apart by the recent political elections. We have organized soccer games from teams of idle youth who would otherwise be engaged in gang-related activities and violence.
It is a priority to LDK to ensure that the people we are helping will have a clean, healthy, safe place to live for many, many years – and environmental sustainability through improved sanitation is a critical component of that effort.
LDK mobilizes youth in the community to participate in the environmental activities. Usually once a year in tree planting exercises when the long rains start in March/April, and once monthly in the clean up exercises. Most of the youth participating in these activities are those being supported but they influence other members in the community in the overall cleaning exercises.