Vonde Welfare, Kenya Women and Children Centre, and Little Voice Deep Within, social groups from Nairobi and Makueni have emerged as the 2023 winners of the LG Electronics Ambassador Challenge that seeks to promote the growth and self-reliance of local communities. The three will each receive Ksh.1,000,000 million which is the main prize that will go towards solving social issues in the communities in which they reside.
The three groups emerged as winners after beating 52 applicants from across the country after being analyzed based on necessity, effectiveness, efficiency, concreteness and Manageability. This follows a rigorous application and selection process that kicked off in January this year in partnership with Korea Food For the Hungry International (KFHI)
Of the three groups, Vonde Welfare seeks to offer solutions to water challenges facing Makueni residents from Vonde area in Mbooni Sub-County. Most of the affected residents are single mothers, school-going children and women whose husbands work far away from the area in such of greener pastures. The area is on top of a hill hence the water table is very low causing residents to walk kilometres away in such of water.
“Through this capital, we intend to mitigate the challenge of scarcity of water in the area during dry seasons to at least 50-80 families, reduce the workload of fetching water from a long distance thus creating more time for attending to family chores and looking for support to feed families by mothers who are most affected in more than 60 families and finally increase the concentration of children by more than 200 in schools which has been a major challenge in the area since most of them spend time looking for water. We are elated to be a finalist and we look forward to making a difference”. Said James Kalulu Muthoka, Vonde Welfare representative.
On the other hand, the Kenya Women and Children Centre based in Nairobi aim to use the funds to assist in reducing the raising cases of Gender-based Violence in the country by educating the public on how to respond and prevent the illness. “This will be done through capacity building, Economic empowerment, training, clinical, Psychosocial shelter and legal assistance in our facility in what we have dubbed as a one-stop centre”. Said Judy Nzioki, Kenya Women and Children Centre representative.
As part of their solutions agenda, the social group seeks to leverage the capital to safeguard and protect the rights and well-being of communities through GBV prevention to 400,000 direct beneficiaries, reduce the risk of GBV reoccurrence by 40 per cent through economic empowerment and safe shelter, and finally improve access to GBV services (medical, psychosocial care and legal access) by at least 20 per cent of the number of GBV survivors.
The third group Little Voice Deep Within based in Kariobangi South, Nairobi seeks to empower vulnerable children through environmentally friendly interventions. Currently, the group manages a small community library where vulnerable children from the vicinity with neither access to reading materials nor a place to be able to read are welcomed every Saturday to both borrow a book as well as read. The group intends to use part of the funds to set up a digital library and accommodate more students, especially during the holiday season.
Erick Wiclife Odhiambo from Little Voice Deep said, “Our dream is to expand our community library model across other informal settlement and resource-limited contexts. We seek not only to nurture and revive a reading culture but also to create a child-friendly safe space within which the little voice deep within will be awakened, that little voice deep within that always tells you to do good. We also seek to nurture the nascent talents of targeted children by empowering them with environmentally friendly skills in arts and creativity train thus contributing not only to their integral development but an improved awareness of caring for mother earth. Some of the skills include knitting, weaving, perspective drawing, form drawing and handcrafting”.
The three groups are expected to execute their ideas in three months once they are awarded. To ensure due diligence, a follow-up will be made by the Programme manager and key partner of the challenge, KFHI.
LG Electronics EA Managing Director, Lee Dong Won said, “Communities thrive when their members are empowered to take control of their growth and development. The success of the LG Ambassador’s challenge in promoting the growth and self-reliance of local communities is a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration. Congratulations to the winners for their inspiring solutions and to all participants for their dedication to building stronger, more resilient communities. It is my plea to all of us, that we continue to support and invest in initiatives that empower local communities to take charge of their destiny.”
To bring the solutions to life, KFHI will plan, support, and implement customized project progress and monitoring according to the location of the project screening, project community selection, and the characteristics of the selected teams (including organization, operation, and capabilities) through the competition.