AAH Kenya began its work in the Mara region of Narok County in 2005 and has since then steadily grown into a fully-fledged country programme and has set up operations in Kakuma (Turkana County). The country programme is addressing development challenges in partnership with marginalised Kenyan communities mainly living in low income urban and rural settings including arid and semi-arid areas. The programme targets pastoralists, refugees, displaced and urban poor communities by supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and small scale agricultural production systems.
Period: 2019 to date
Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) in partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched a business incubation program to support refugees and host communities in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement become self-reliant. This is through entrepreneurial coaching to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MSMEs) start-ups and growth stage businesses.
A first of its kind in a refugee setting, the business incubation program has seen the establishment of over 153 enterprises, since its inception in April 2019, with beneficiaries going through intensive capacity building programs to enhance core business functions such as distribution, marketing and bookkeeping. During induction, the businesses – whether groups or individuals – are critically assessed, in a bid to formulate a strategy to facilitate business growth and development.
AAH-I Country Director, Dr. Kamau Githaiga, acknowledged UNHCR’s funding support in launching the incubator program that focuses on self-recognition and employment with the increased profitability objective drawn from problem solving skills, increased learning and earning potential which results to improved livelihoods.
“Over the past one year, UNHCR’s partnership with AAH-I has seen a demonstrable growth of MSMEs who continue to benefit from professional mentorship and coaching; with a combination of technical expertise that facilitates access to finance and markets, business registration processes and access to social and business networks.” said Dr. Githaiga.
“At AAHI, we endeavour to prioritize the financial inclusion agenda to reduce vulnerability and promote self-employment as the refugees and host community businesses (our incubates) transition towards a wider entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Currently, the incubator program has created opportunities where incubates are assisted to leverage on a particular industry, depending on their respective skills and passion. The multi-level sectors range from Information and Communications Technology (ICT), healthcare, hospitality, transportation, fabrication, construction, entertainment, personal care, retail and farming.
AAH-I incubator program runs from 6 to 12 months, where each Incubatee goes through a one-on-one intensive consultative coaching by our Business coaches from admission to graduation. The coaches then follow-up through advisory and business development services and creates a platform for networks with financial service providers and the larger business community to enable the incubates become self-reliant.
After graduation, the incubates also become role models to the new Incubatee-cohort and promote incubator activities. Through a post-graduate program, the incubator personnel maintain connection with graduates transitioning into self-employment models after which they are introduced to the new incubates to acquire potential for growth and learning.
Through a multi-sectorial approach, the incubator is implemented by bringing on board various stakeholders among them UNHCR, PUM Experts, Humanity and Inclusion (HI), Refugee Consortium Kenya (RCK) and AEC Kenya, among other partners.
Respective policies that limit movement of refugees prevent them from seeking livelihood opportunities beyond Kakuma refugee Camp and Kalobeyei settlement. AAH Kenya has been implementing value chain-based projects that offer a holistic approach to livelihood activities.
These projects analyze structural issues affecting supply and demand and evaluate cost effective and efficient strategies to give business people a competitive advantage to grow and scale.
In Kalobeyei, AAH Kenya has chosen handicrafts as a key industry to scale, giving women and girls at risk of sexual and gender-based violence an opportunity to make a living from their skills and break the cycle of violence that is worsened by poverty.
In October 2018 AAH Kenya launched the ‘Safe from the start’ project in Kalobeyei settlement.
The goal of this project is to reduce the risk of women and girls to sexual and gender-based violence, by supporting them to build resilience and grow sustainable handicraft enterprises, which will improve their livelihoods.
To date there are 10 groups of 10 women each actively participating in the project. They include the host community and refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia.
PARTNER: Water Fund / Danida
PROJECT PERIOD: January 2020 – February 2021
Within the first 6 months period, it was anticipated that the targeted communities would have unlocked their water and sanitation opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
The project will create a transformation impact on the lives of 80,000 refugees and 47,000 host population by increasing their resilience, hence creating opportunities for economic growth through climate smart surface and underground water harvesting techniques for crop and livestock production and domestic uses.
The project is implemented in Kakuma ward in the Kakuma 1, 2, 3, 4 and Morunugle sub-location in Awarnaparan location & Mana anarwa area, and Kalobeyei in Kanamesek area, Turkana west Sub County.
The project has two key outcomes:
The project will undertake the following interventions:
PARTNER: Bread for the World
PROJECT PERIOD: 1st July 2020 – 30th June 2023
With funding from Bread for the world, AAHI will be implementing a 3 years project in Narok West and Narok south sub-counties in Narok county. The project is seeking to strengthen communities’ climate adaptive practices and policies to avert economic losses for enhanced socio-economic development. The project will achieve the objective through the following components;
The changing climatic conditions has over time affected the normal livelihoods of the pastoralist’s communities in Narok West and South Sub Counties. The project is working with organized community groups i.e. 5 cooperatives and 20 women groups in Naikarra and Siana wards. Recurrent droughts, land degradation and reduced access to traditional grazing lands has increased the vulnerability of the pastoral communities. This causes general threats to water infrastructures, energy/fuel, and environmental conservation. The project is promoting tree planting, use of green energy, construction of sand dams and utilization of energy saving jikos. This will strengthen the capacity and coping mechanism for enhanced and sustainable livelihoods.
The project is working with 50 organized women groups to empower them economically, using REFLECT methodology and VSLA model, strengthening the agribusiness practices through the kitchen gardening approach. Peer to peer and group to group mentorship sessions will be organized to promote learning among the groups. The interventions are therefore designed with a specific target to empower women to become key players in their social, economic and political arena.
Community participation calls for people to be involved in planning, implementing and managing their local environment and resources. The project will participatory work with the communities to engage and hold duty bearers accountable of their commitments. The project period falls within the political election year and several forums will be held to educate the citizens on voter rights and processes to electing responsible and accountable leaders. The project will provide platforms for rights holders to engage duty bearers on pertinent issues involving their livelihoods and policies affecting them.
PROJECT START: November 2016 to date
Since November 2016, Action Africa Help International (AAH-I) with funding from UNHCR has offered logistical and supplies support to serve operational needs of partners both in the Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement. The overall outcome is to enable UNHCR and partners to offer timely interventions to refugees and hosting community in Turkana West Sub-county, Turkana county. To be able to deliver and drawing from lessons learnt in previous years, the department is organized into four units.
The key activities under each unit include:
1. Warehouse management – This involves the management, movement and storage of Core Relief Items (CRIs), including receiving, storage, and shipping of CRIs at the request of UNHCR and partners. AAHI manages 7 rub halls and 3 storage facilities. To increase efficiency and cost effectiveness a warehouse management system and standard Operating procedures (SOPs) are in use. Quarterly stock inventories are conducted and shared with UNHCR. The warehouse plays a big role in the transportation of Core Relief Items (CRIs) and other Non-Food Items (NFIs) to various locations within the Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei under the centralized arrangement.
3. Fuel management– AAHI has set up a Fuel Distribution and Management system that maintains, controls, and monitors fuel consumption and stock reorder levels. AAH-I also ensures that the fuel consumption test of all categories of vehicles and generators is conducted quarterly to enhance accountability.
4. Workshop management – AAH-I is currently looking at elements of sustainability to commercializing the workshop operations in line with the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (KISEDP) framework component and private sector management. In line with the Turkana County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) on youth empowerment, the workshop is absorbing mechanics from the host community, DON BOSCO, and NRC for the apprenticeship. The workshop is responsible for maintenance of UNHCR assets (Vehicles and generators).
To carry on the logistics project, AAHI will continue to strengthen the management and operation team with competentce and experienced staff.
Project Period: November 2016 – December 2020
Since 2016, AAHI has been UNHCR lead livelihoods partner, implementing annual projects. The overall goal of the 2020 project is to enhance the livelihood opportunities of 3000 persons through artisan upskilling, ICDL training, incubating businesses, promote market linkages and capacity building of existing enterprise. In all programing AAHI has considered embedding SGBV and disability. According to IFC (2018), Kakuma’s productive potential lies in its people, but many of them lack the education they need to put their skills and talents to use, whether as business owners, employers, or employees. This has an adverse link to employment status, business ownership, income, and savings.
The project will bring an effective approach to promoting improved, secure and sustainable livelihood strategies developed, demonstrated and validated over the years.
The expected outcomes:
In all the interventions, we deliberately shift from pilot activities to fully fledged projects that create economic opportunities for all and ensure nobody is left behind. The main focus is on upskilling community’s capacity and facilitating an enabling environment in agribusiness, business development service and marketing, connecting our clients to existing and potential financial inclusion opportunities in the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund, AEC, commercial banks and potential microfinance institutions. The project also receives technical support from Bawa Hope (under MADE 51) for global market linkages and PUM Experts for business incubation.
This projects is guided by the KISEDP phase I (2018- 2022), component 8 (Entrepreneurship and private sector engagement) and Turkana CIDP. AAHI co-chairs the quarterly Turkana West Sub-County Livelihoods and Private Sector Technical Working Group.
The project is also working with youth in primary schools to provide them with an opportunity to gain business skills through poultry and fish farming and vegetable gardening.
Adult Literacy in Narok
Digital Learning in Turkana