ASN Upendo Village Naivasha
Brief Description of the Project
ASN Upendo Village is a project of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi founded in partnership with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters from the USA and it is situated at Karai, Naivasha Sub-county, Nakuru County-Kenya. The project is domiciled within the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru. ASN Upendo Village provides support and cares for the people affected and infected by HIV and AIDS
within Naivasha and has adopted a holistic approach toward fighting HIV and AIDS whereby it provides educational, health, nutritional, economic sustainability, and psychosocial support to its clients.
The organization was founded in 2001 and began providing services on the ground in May 2003. The ministry has grown over the years and now serves over 13,501 people on an ongoing basis. As people regain their health, Upendo Village helps them to move towards self-sufficiency through social, economic, and psychological empowerment. ASN Upendo Village’s vision is “to be a haven of love and care to people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Kenya” while its mission is “guided by the gospel values to provide medical care, education, economic and psychosocial support to people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS within Naivasha so that they can live with dignity”. ASN Upendo Village embraces innovation, modern technology, and exercise professionalism in all its actions.
Benefits of the project to the community.
ASN Upendo Village adopts a holistic approach toward fighting HIV and AIDS by providing educational, health, nutritional, economic sustainability, and psychosocial support to its clients. The benefits of the project to the community can be broken down as follows.
Social Welfare Support for Clients
Through the Social Welfare Department, ASN Upendo Village runs 4 (four) support groups for HIV+ positive clients where they meet every month. These support groups Mirera, Karai, Naivasha Town, and Maai Mahiu. Since the inception of the project, a total of 3,100 (776 males and 2,324 female) HIV+ support group members have been enrolled in the program.
During their monthly meetings, the support group members are educated on various topics such as hygiene, adherence to Antiretroviral Drugs (ARVs), opportunistic infections, parenting, gender-based violence, and other topics that enlighten and increase their awareness. The Social Welfare Department has also enrolled 6,919 Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) and
3,070 household members who all benefit from the programs within ASN Upendo Village. The Social Welfare Program runs the Kids and Teenagers Club support group for HIV+ kids and teenagers. Since the inception of the program, 362 kids and teenagers have benefited from the program. These kids and teenagers meet thrice in a year during school holidays at ASN Upendo
Village to share their life experiences and be educated on a number of issues affecting them such as peer pressure, drug and substance abuse, and adherence to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) among others.
ASN Upendo Village under the Social Welfare Department runs the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program for HIV+ mothers provision of formula milk as the exclusive feeding option for exposed babies. Since its inception, this program has helped 398 HIV- babies from HIV+ mothers. The grandmothers’ project involves grandmothers who take care of orphaned and vulnerable children. The grandmothers are supported to take care of the children through the supply of their nutritional supplements, support for their education, and education on how to take care of them.
Since its inception, the project has enrolled 55 grandmothers. The grandmothers have two support groups (Naivasha Town and Maai Mahiu) and they meet once in a month. Economic Sustainability Support for Clients (Income Generating Activities)
The Income Generating Activities Department supports clients to become self-sustainable through various income-generating projects. These projects include; beekeeping, crafts making, dairy goats rearing, chicken rearing, provision of interest-free loans, solar lamps, tree planting, and solar ovens. Over the years, 2,438 clients have benefitted from various IGAS projects and
10,818 trees have been planted.
The breakdown of the beneficiaries of various Income Generating Activities has been as follows.
Education Sponsorship Program
The Education Program was established to provide educational sponsorship to orphaned and vulnerable children as a way of reducing the financial burden to the sick parents and also providing the poor families with support pillars by educating their children. The program supports all the educational needs of the beneficiary until they graduate with tertiary institutions.
The total number of beneficiaries of the education sponsorship program to date since the
inception in 2006 is 319.
Medical Department (ASN Upendo Village Dispensary)
ASN Upendo Village Dispensary is based inside the institution and offers quality medical services to the community at a subsidized price. The dispensary offers the following services to the community;
1. Outpatient Department
2. Child Welfare Clinic
3. Antenatal Clinic
4. Comprehensive Care Center
5. Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)
6. Laboratory Tests
7. Dental Services
8. Pharmacy Department
The Medical Department also runs a Diabetic Support Group of 24 members. This support group meets every month for follow up on the members’ health, to share their experiences in managing their medical condition, and to educate them on a number of topics that are of common concern to them.
Other benefits of the Project to the community
1. Fluoride-free water
Due to the common community challenge of water scarcity and high fluoride levels in the little that is available within Naivasha Sub-county, ASN Upendo Village supplies fluoride-free water to the general community at a highly subsidized price.
2. Fountain Valley Bottled Water
ASN Upendo Village also runs the Fountain Valley Pure Drinking Water project which is a bottled water project to provide purified water to its customers. Some of the ASN Upendo Village have been trained on entrepreneurship and supplied with bottled water to sell as a source of their income.
UPENDO VILLAGE – Academic Day
UPENDO VILLAGE – Chicken Beneficiary
UPENDO VILLAGE – Diabetic Group/Health Talks
UPENDO VILLAGE – Milk Formula for Children
UPENDO VILLAGE – Goat Benficiary
UPENDO VILLAGE – Village Grandmums Session
UPENDO VILLAGE – IGA Farm
UPENDO VILLAGE – Lantern Beneficiary