Kar Geno is a community-based organisation located in a small,charming village named Mabinju, in the Asembo region in the north west part of Kenya. The village is an hour’s drive west of Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya. Kar Geno is located right on the green banks of Lake Victoria, next to Winam Gulf.
Kar Geno – Centre of Hope, is a grass-roots organisation founded by our community in 2004.
The well-being of our people comes first and foremost. We invite all members of the community to get involved. The work we do benefits individuals, the organization, and our community as a whole. Our members consist of both women and men from the local villages as well as their children, who participate in the children’s programs.
Sadly, the effects of HIV/AIDS are felt all over the country and Asembo is no exception. In this Luo tribal region, funerals are communal. When someone dies, the community takes care of both the funeral expenses and the burial arrangements. Each and every community member mobilizes resources to honour the departed and their family. Because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there have been an unprecedented amount of deaths in the community in the last two decades. This was a wake up call to us all to start working on prevention and education in order to stop further spread of this epidemic.
We find that women are especially keen and motivated members, as very often they are widowed, single mothers or they have inherited responsibility for their siblings’ orphaned children and struggle to provide for them financially. Because women frequent health centres more often, they are able to have this killer disease diagnosed sooner. For many men, unfortunately diagnosis is often too late. Most of our programs are targeted towards disadvantaged women, who are the backbone of our local economy.
The impact of our work is far reaching. With the help of its various projects, Kar Geno is able to involve women, men and children in developing and protecting their own well-being. Our women earn a sustainable income working in the Moringa, the Peanut Butter, Hope Designers and sustainable agriculture cooperatives. The possibility to work in this remote agricultural area provides people with the financial means to educate their children and raise them in a healthy and safe environment, which otherwise would not be possible. The Microfinance Fund provides necessary stability and reassurance, so that even in the worst of times there is a backup to traditional lending methods. Kar Geno is able to offer these women a group that bonds them together emotionally and financially.
The youth are a demographic we take special interest in serving, as they are essential to a healthier future community. We offer a Children’s Program during the weekends while school is in session and during the week when there is a holiday period. We also operate in several of the local schools, contributing to health education or counselling, and sometimes sponsoring students in-need when we are able.
Through its projects Kar Geno supports and assists the people of the community in becoming self-reliant, empowered individuals who lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.