Perhaps the most unique thing about Kindle Orphan Outreach is our dedication to working alongside the community. Most of our staff lives in the area where we serve, and almost everything we do comes from an idea that germinated within the community. Community members are with us (or maybe it is better to say that we are with them) all along the way. We depend upon the community for many different things, for example:
- Management and Development of the Clinic
- Identifying Those in Need
- Running Community-Based Childcare Centres (CBCC’s)
- Planning and Building a Junior Primary School
- Running Youth groups and Family Life Groups
- Planning for the Future
Management and Development of the Clinic
The need for a clinic was presented to Kindle by the local chiefs. They offered land and bricks for construction and even provided some labor as well. Now that the clinic is operational, the chiefs participate in the operation of the clinic by providing a Health Advisory Committee made up of volunteers from the community and by working with us to determine acceptable fee scales. 15% of the money generated by fees is returned to the chiefs for use in the development of the clinic. They continue to provide more bricks every year, and provide inputs about the development of the clinic. Maternity services are now at the top of the priority list, so they are providing bricks and helping to petition the government to bring electricity to the area to ease nighttime operation.
Identifying Those in Need
The Kindle Main Committee is made up of volunteers selected by the chiefs, and one of their responsibilities is to maintain a register of orphaned children in our area. They also aid in the selection of students who should receive sponsorships for secondary school. Their eyes and ears in the community help us to know that we are really helping those who are most in need.
Running Community-Based Childcare Centres (CBCC’s)
The CBCC at Mkaka village was started by the women of the village, and is run by the women of the village. Kindle has simply come alongside these women with training and a few material resources like building materials and teaching materials.
Planning and Building a Junior Primary School
The idea for construction of a Junior Primary school came from the community. They first approached Kindle, then the chiefs of several villages chose a plot of land to contribute for the school. They then went to the local government to have them assess the need and the land that was being offered. Once the government approval came in, they elected a school committee and started making bricks. They have also agreed to have a share in the ongoing maintenance of the school once it is in operation.
Running Youth groups and Family Life Groups
We have only two staff members dedicated to the nearly fifty groups that are in operation, so without volunteers from the community this entire ministry would grind to a halt.
Planning for the Future
Every year, before Kindle’s annual planning meeting, there is a meeting between the chiefs and Kindle management. At that meeting we get feedback from the chiefs about the work that Kindle is already doing and the changes that they would like to see in the future. This gives us a good opportunity to coordinate with the work that is planned by the village development committees and with other development going on at local schools.