hb_kayley_baby2009 Howe we strove to help those who help their families

St. Cloud and Homa Bay Dioceses have entered into two joint projects – the first was the Metal Silo Project, and  second the Child Survival Project.  This most recent project invited both dioceses to hope for and work towards bettering the lives of young people affected by HIV/AIDS in their families.

When the partnership between Homa Bay, Kenya and St. Cloud, Minnesota began, it began with a joint project coordinated by Catholic Relief Services (the Metal Silo Project), the positive effects of which are still being seen and felt in Kenya and beyond today. When that project period ended, however, the Leadership Teams of both diocese began dialoguing about other projects that could be equally as beneficial to our two dioceses and that would match the gifts and needs of both. The result, determined in 2007, was the Child Survival Project.

The goal of the Child Survival Project was to assist those young people in the Homa Bay Diocese who have been hit by the affects of HIV/AIDS in their families. Although AIDS is a serious problem throughout the world, and throughout the African continent, the prevalence rate in the Homa Bay region of Kenya is higher than anywhere else in the country, and many places throughout the African continent. For this reason, the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programs that CRS has in place within the area were still not enough for the vast need, and hence St. Cloud agreed to help raise funds to support efforts in the Homa Bay Diocese to educate and assist around this issue.

The activities of the Child Survival Project included education for young adults who had lost parents to AIDS, and therefore were responsible to care for their younger siblings. These students were sponsored in their education, specifically in tertiary education and vocational training, so that they could prepare for a career in order to earn income for their families. Examples included masonry work, catering, tailoring, carpentry, and nursing, just to name a few. The average cost of educating one of these students for a year was $400 US dollars.  These education fees, as well as education and social work/community support for the orphans totaled $25,000 per year for the project, which St. Cloud Diocese helped raise for a commitment period of five years.

hb_stephanieIn 2016, the Child Survival Project has completed its five-year period, and there is currently no joint project taking place.  If you have feedback, questions or concerns regarding the Child Survival Project please contact the Mission Office.