Students fundraised more than 11 600 USD for Kenya project

FreeAid2016Photo: Patrik Eriksson

June 20, 2016 | Posted in Business partnerships, Civil Society Development (CSD), Kenya | By

Two Schools in Dalarna fundraised more than 11 621 USD for IAS project with school lunches in Kenya. Many thanks to all the students for your great support!

Free Aid is a school concept where students at Söderbaumska School and Mosaik Free School together fundraise money by working at companies or at home for a day. Last year the students collected 7 946 USD for one of IAS projects in Ethiopia and this year they were determined to beat last year’s record. Carolina Sundin, principle at Mosaik Free School is proud to say that they did.

-We are very proud of our students who altogether collected 11 621 USD! The students have been very determined and they worked hard to reach the goal of beating last year’s record. The result was far beyond expectations, says Carolina.

Sponsoring school lunches

The students baked, cleaned, made the garden or worked at different companies. This year the money raised is channeled to IAS project in Tharaka, Kenya where Linas Food Basket (Linas Matkassse) together with IAS serve school lunches for school children. The students also organized a concert in the evening with music performances to which they invited family and friends and where the gate money went to the project.

-All parents know that children who are hungry have difficulties to concentrate. In Kenya 40 % of the country’s population lives in poverty, and many families are farmers depending on rain. When the rains fail and the crops die, it becomes extremely difficult for these people and they can barely feed their own family, says Mary Githiomi, Country Director, IAS Kenya.

School lunches will help children´s learning

When children are left out from breakfast and lunch, it’s hard for them to learn and concentrate.

-By providing children with school lunches, we make sure that they will continue their education. We have seen a major difference since the project started; the children have better health, they play more and they attend school, says Mary.

IAS is cooperating with different schools in Sweden to fundraise money for our projects. This spring we worked together with Åkerö School, Söderbaumska School and Free School Mosaik, all based in the north part of Sweden. Many thanks to The Åkerö School, who this year collected 1 730 USD.

If your school is interested to get involved with us, please contact

Text: Rebecka Woods

Foto: Patrik Eriksson

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Joyce no longer risks being exposed to sexual violence


March 8, 2016 | Posted in Humanitarian intervention, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), Kenya | By

To pour a glass of water is something that many of us take for granted, we just go to the tap and fill it up. For many girls and women in Kenya an everyday thing like having access to water can be associated with extreme danger. This used to be true for Joyce Kennedy, 19, from Kenya.

This is Joyce Kenedy, 19 years old, from Tharaka, Nithi County, Kenya. Ten years ago almost nothing could grew in this area, and people were completely dependent on the rainy season. Lack of rain resulted in crops destroyed which lead to famine. To fetch water for her family Joyce used to walk several kilometers every day, which often meant dangerous walks in the evenings where she risked being vulnerable to sexual violence.

– Often when I went to fetch water men shouted after me and called me names. It made me scared and I didn’t feel safe. Constantly being exposed to this was very stressful, says Joyce.

A few years ago IAS built a water irrigation system in Tharaka where water is taken from a nearby river and distributed to 130 local farmers so that they can grow vegetables and fruits. The purpose of this was so the farmers would become self-sufficient and not dependent on rainy seasons. For Joyce and her family, it  means that they receive water directly to their house from a water pipe.

– Now when we get water directly into the garden we are able to grow food to sell at the market. I also no longer need to be exposed to the risks that came with these walks, says Joyce.

IAS in Kenya

IAS has been working in Kenya since 1994 and currently has  five projects in the country. The focus is implementing education, water, hygiene and sanitation, peace-prevention measures and relief aid in different parts of the country. This project was funded by the Swedish Mission Council l, Erikshjälpen, Linas Matkasse and Mockfjärds Fönster.

Text and photo: Rebecka Woods

Donate now to help us give more people access to clean water. 



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Young mothers now stand on their own feet

Some of the young mothersFrom left: Victoria, Abigail, Eddah, Immaculate and Teresia are now able to support themselves

October 14, 2015 | Posted in Business partnerships, Humanitarian intervention | By

October 14th, 2015

Some years ago these single mothers from Nakuru were living a hard life in either abusive marriages or working as prostitutes. But thanks to The Kenya Food Basket Program, their lives are today completely different.

The Kenya Food Basket Program is a collaboration between IAS and the Swedish food delivery company Linas Matkasse. It´s a support project that help people to have a long-term economic growth. The beneficiaries are people living with HIV/Aids, elderly, persons with disabilities and single parents.

– The beneficiaries receives a food basket once a month during 18 months so that they can increase personal savings. They are also part of a self-help group to strengthen their self-sufficiency and economic empowerment, says Susan Kiambi, Programme Manager IAS Kenya and responsible for Kenya Food Basket Program.

Rescued from the street

The group of young single mothers consists of 20 members who are between 23-27 years old. Most of them have been rescued from either abusive marriages or from Nakuru streets where they worked as prostitutes.

-In Nakuru we are in partnership with a crisis centre in a local church which rescues young women in difficulties. These women go through counseling and are part of support groups where they meet and share experiences. After they have been rehabilitated, they are trained in different income generating activities, says Susan Kiambi.

Starting their own businesses

The young mothers have been part of IAS Food Basket Program during 18 months and today they stand on their own. Some of them have gone back to school to attain skills such as tailoring or bead work classes and some of them are running their own small business.

-I met with them several times and they all have a very positive attitude. One girl named Eddah, is selling second hand clothes and another girl Teresia sells potatoes to a wholesale company. Some of them also work as casual laborers like washing clothes in some of the hotels in Nakuru. They all support each other and believe they will manage on their own even when the Food Basket Program is finished.

Text: Rebecka Woods

Photo: Susan Kiambi

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IAS arranged seminar on Inclusive Education


September 17, 2015 | Posted in Business partnerships, Inclusive Education (IE) | By

September 17th, 2015

How is Inclusive Education defined? And how should it be implemented? These were some of the questions that were discussed when IAS arranged a seminar on the topic Inclusion or Separation – What´s best in education?

The seminar was attended by IAS collaborating partners and students and teachers from Stockholm University and opened up with a short overview of the historical development of Inclusive Education (IE). This was followed by discussion on the definition of Inclusive Education.

– IE is about including all children with specific focus on those who are facing barriers to learning and participation and hence vulnerable to marginalization, exclusion and underachievement. This includes children with disabilities, said Stephen Mwaura, IAS Inclusive Education Focal Point.

Environment needs to change-not the child

Stephen Mwaura stressed that all children can learn and should be given equal opportunity to reach full potential in education.

– IE is about changing the systems to fit and accommodate children facing barriers to learn and participate and not changing the children to fit into the systems. So, how do we remove or minimize these barriers so that all children can have access to quality education?

Paul Mbatia, Coordinator from Light from the World also stressed that Inclusive Education looks into transforming education systems in order to remove barriers that prevent children from fully participating in education. And this goes back to how we view people.

– What´s your first impression when you see a person who can´t walk? Do you see the impairment or do you see the person behind it? Impairment is not the issue but the issue is how we respond, Paul said.

-Education is a basic human right and should be achieved on the basis of equality of opportunity to all children including those with disabilities, Stephen said.

Children hidden in homes

Children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion as they are often not accepted by friends, family or the communities in which they live. It is not uncommon that these children are being hidden in the homes since the parents believe the disability is a curse. Therefore they are also denied the opportunity to go to school.

-There is a lot of awareness-work to be done when it comes to changing of attitudes and reducing other barriers in the countries where IAS is implementing Inclusive Education. These countries includes Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya.

When children with disabilities are educated in special schools (segregated settings) they are often discriminated and the system tend to force these children to lead a separate life and often unable to fit in the society.

Awareness-work in IAS is done by training teachers, capacity building education administrators, awareness creation campaigns, empowering parents and local leaders, putting together parents groups and family networks, collaboration with key stakeholders, early identification and intervention of children, etc.

How far should we embrace IE?

The seminar ended with a panel discussion on the best way forward, should the education system be inclusion or separation? And how far should we embrace inclusive education?

-In IAS we want to give the child the best start in education and a smooth transfer to inclusion in the regular school. Often these children start school very late, since they have been hidden at home, said Stephen.

Therefore a child might start in a special class situated in a regular school for about two years or so to get extra support before being included in the respective regular class. While in the special class the children have an opportunity to meet and interact with children with no disabilities which is an integration to the regular class.

-Inclusive education is a process, a never-ending search to find better ways of responding to diversity. It is thus an on-going process of changing the education systems (polices, practices, attitudes, resources and environment) so that it can welcome, support and benefit all children, Stephen said.

Click here for Seminar Film

Text: Rebecka Woods

Photo: Håkan Björk



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