Mission: The primary mission of the maragoli community development foundation is to assist the maragoli people of western kenya in improving their quality of life through the funding of sustainable development projects that they themselves conceive and implement. Funded projects focus on improving access to quality education and health care, the protection of the environment, the improvement of agricultural productivity, the support of local enterprises, and other endeavors that will benefit the daily lives of community members.
Programs: Environmental projects: national environment and management authority (nema) officials visited the site of the community resource center several times in 2014 and conducted an environmental impact study, including surveys of neighbors. Nearby residents were overwhelmingly supportive of the resource center, and appropriate steps have been taken to minimize its environmental impact. The officials asked macodef to continue complying with environmental legislation, and nema issued macodef registration certificate 00195560 on 11/26/2014. Solar lights and rainwater harvest systems were given to more than a dozen beneficiaries of this year's wooster rotary club alternative christmas drive. The growing use of solar lighting has lessened dependence on electricity, which is expensive, while rooftop harvesting systems provide a reliable alternative to community springs, which sometimes dry up during the dry season. The final report for the cordaid sustainable agriculture project was filed. In 2014 the parents took full charge of the school lunch programs, payment of the cook's wages, and supply of farm inputs. Some of the school parents benefited from subsidized fertilzer and tissue culture bananas that were supplied by the vihiga county government. A joint world bank and government of kenya project provided capacity building in dairly farming and banana husbandry to some of the parents of the primary school students. Under the same program, 14 parents received dairy cows, wheelbarrows and spades, while 5 parents were assisted in planting bananas. These examples illustrate how programs linking parents with other stakeholders are taking place, sustaining the program started with cordaid funds. The avene women's group received funds to start a dairy cow program. Several cows were initially purchased by this self-help group and calving has gone very smoothly; the total number of cows owned by members has grown to 11. The cows' milk is used both for personal consumption and for sale and has provided a steady, if modest, source of income for the women in the group.
health care: the vigetse community health center continues to operate, though patient attendance has dropped off as the stakeholders try to work out an agreement over the management of the clinic. Macodef officials were prepared to hand over the clinic to a management committee in 2014; however, the vigetse women's group, who had donated the land and the foundation of the building to the community, resisted the move. When the governor of vihiga county visited the health clinic in august, he urged the vigetse women's group to accept a government role in staffing and managing the clinic. The details of a new arrangement for managing the clinic are still under discussion.
community resource center: donor gifts and grants from the noble foundation in the u. S. And from the wilde ganzen foundation in the netherlands enabled us to construct the foundation slab and walls of the center. Stakeholder groups continued to crush rocks and donate bricks and other materials for the remaining construction. A local fund-raiser for bricks is planned for late june, 2015, after which construction of the ground floor of the building will be completed. A large portion of donor funds raised in 2014 are still waiting to be used on the construction of the ground floor of the building, once bricks and rocks are assembled by stakeholder groups. The local board of governors developed a business plan for income generating activities that uses the resource center as its nexus. The first phase of the plan calls for poultry and rabbit cages to be build on the compound, followed by raising and selling rabbits and chickens in local markets. The project will start small and grow slowly. In the second phase, plastic chairs and canvas tents will be purchased and rented for use at various community events, such as weddings, funerals, and conferences. Local macodef officials made several visits to nearby projects for training on the construction and management of community centers. On a visit to a cordaid project in kisumu, for example, they learned a great deal about setting up successful water and sanitation projects to serve the community. During a visit to mago polytechnic, they were briefed about running and managing vocational training programs, a guest house, and a health center, and learned ways to balance sources of power and water. We hope to replicate some of the above-mentioned programs in the future.
education: orphans and students from extremely poor backgrounds continued to receive school fees and uniforms through the joshua and salome bunyoli scholarship fund. More than three dozen students received uniforms and/or scholarships in 2014. School materials were also supplied to pupils of the primary schools. The cumulative effects of these efforts are showing up in attendance and performance rates. Personal hygiene supplies continue to be distributed to girls in the three village schools, and a four-day training session on reproductive health was held, along with a training session for village tailors, who are sewing 500 personal hygiene kits for female students in the two villages. During the year a youth polytechnic institute offering vocational training was opened at vigetse primary school. The institute attracted a total of 28 students who took courses in the following areas: tailoring, masonry, carpentry, mechanics, and information communication technology. Pupils who fail to transit to secondary schools now have a chance of gaining artisan skills that will improve their employment prospects. Emergency fund: in 2014, the local board of governors continued to identify individuals who had fallen through the social safety net and needed immediate assistance. The board used the wooster rotary club's alternative christmas drive to identify vulnerable individuals who could benefit from rainwater harvest systems and solar lights. In addition, the board gave out small grants in emergency situations such as needed turberculosis treatment or medication to treat complications from hiv. Our efforts to combat income inequality and to empower the weakest members of the community continue to be central to our mission.