Why We Work
“The ongoing failure to respond to the orphan crisis will have grave implications not just for the children themselves, but for their communities and nations.”
-Carol Bellamy, UNICEF
There are over 2 million orphaned children in Kenya. There are over 60,000 children living on the streets of Kenya. Homeless street children forage the city’s garbage dumps for food, begging or stealing to survive. Many “street” children sniff glue and other hallucinogenic solvents to reduce the hunger pangs. Meanwhile, too many girls living on the streets are forced into a life of prostitution and slavery.
Children living on the streets are trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair from which it is all but impossible to escape. We believe that in order to break the cycle of poverty, the standard of care orphaned children receive must be raised significantly. As we consider the task of caring for vulnerable children, we ask, “what would you want for the children in your own life?”
Flying Kites cares for homeless, orphaned and abused children in an extraordinary way. The children who live come to live at our Center, Flying Kites Leadership Academy, will experience the highest quality of childcare, have access to excellent medical services, and receive a first-class education. Is it extraordinary to propose that homeless, orphaned and abused children have a right to the best services available?
Our efforts will focus on delivering this type of exemplary care, rather than providing care at a more simple substient level. Housing every single homeless and orphaned child in Kenya is impossible. Therefore, we must radically rethink the approach we are going to take. Do we provide orphaned children with merely adequate care – enough food to survive, limited education, rows of bunk beds and bowls of rice? Can we except children raised in these conditions to be positioned to take on the challenges facing their country, to compete on a world stage?
In order to have a significant and lasting impact on the crisis facing vulnerable children in Africa, and around the world, we must resist the temptation to water down our care for short-term results and quick-fix handouts.
We are dedicated to developing a model of childcare that will be extended and replicated, one that will change the way we think about options for disadvantaged children. We must change the way we practice charity and development; as a result, the children themselves will finally be able to change their world.
How We Work
Flying Kites provides high quality residential care to Kenya’s most desperate orphaned, homeless and abused children. Our strategy demands that certain basic requirements be met on our site (fertile land, fresh air and clean water) before more complex issues of care and education are addressed through our model. We believe that in order for our children to have a chance to impact this world significantly, the care provided to them must be exemplary.
In The Community
Flying Kites engages the local community through outreach programs and offers material grants to families caring for orphans, initiatives that deliver agricultural training to subsistence farmers, and hosts workshops designed to empower marginalized women. In order to assess the efficacy of interventions we measure key criteria of all programs, both on site and in the community.
Around the world
An annual conference to address lack of systematic cooperation between Non-Profits will be held at Flying Kites’ Kenya site will bring together local, national and international care-providers, academics and politicians.
Raising funds, raising awareness and raising standards
Our Kinder Kites program connects elementary age children with children in Africa through an interactive curriculum. Our MyTURN initiative asks college students across America to stand up to AIDS, speak up for orphaned children and step up to the challenge to end global poverty.
The site of our first children’s home is in Kinangop, Kenya. Kinangop is a 90 minute drive from Nairobi. Situated at 2700m (approximately 8500 ft), the center occupies 12 acres of land in the foothills of the Aberdares Mountain Ranges and leases 30 acres of agricultural land for production.
Despite a location straddling the Equator, the Center’s altitude means the climate is temperate year round. While generous average rainfall ensures that irrigation needs are minimal, a day without sunshine is rare. In particular, between October and March, the weather is characterized by comfortable, dry days and cool clear nights. The altitude also means that malaria is not present.