In 2000 a group of teachers, students and other concerned individuals in the community of Kiambiu came together to address a growing problem: of the over 15,000 children in Kiambiu, over half of them will never get educational support because of their vulnerability. Most of these children easily fall into vices such as child sex work, prostitution, child labor, and drug abuse.
Children orphaned by HIV and AIDS have been forced to engage in child-labor to provide for their households, which has caused the school attendance rate to fall even lower. This concerned group acknowledged that these situations were violations of the children’s rights and vowed to do something about them.
As a result, Action Two Africa was registered in 2006 as a community based organization. The group’s main objective was ensuring that children in Kiambiu had the means to be able to continue going to school. As Action Two Africa became more organized however, they also began advocating for awareness on issues related to HIV and AIDS, basic hygiene, economic empowerment, and, above all, promoting the importance of education in their community.
The 25 members were also involved in providing home-based care services to 120 bedridden clients, all infected with HIV. The group involved itself in drama as a way of “edutainment” and as a means to help offset operating costs. The group worked very closely with other institutions and the government to find ways to empower the community. It networked with schools and hospitals to refer children for educational and health services.
In late 2012 the group leader collaborated with some interested American partners and decided to start the process to register Action Two Africa as an international nongovernmental organization. In May 2013 the process was finally complete and official. The main focus of the group is now on maintaining a fully-functioning child sponsorship program for orphans and vulnerable children in Kiambiu.
A2A’s plan is to expand their reach into other spheres of needs in the near future. Child sponsorship is just the starting point. Issues like HIV and AIDS awareness, home-based care, social entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment are all vital components of a holistic approach to addressing needs in Kiambiu and other communities.