The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Community Grants Team, together with the U.S Deputy Chief of Mission Isiah Parnell, hosted the Round 7 grantees of the PEPFAR Community Grants Program (PCGP) at the U.S Embassy Nairobi on March 14. A total of 28 participants from 11 counties came to sign their grants. The finalists receiving awards were selected from a pool of 218 applicants after a rigorous review process. The organizations chosen had shown a proven record of accomplishments in their past activities. The grants awarded were between $7,700 and $15,000.
Started in 2009, PCGP’s main focus is assisting communities (community-based organizations, faith-based organizations or groups of persons living with HIV/AIDS) with projects that promote HIV prevention and offer care and support to people infected or affected by HIV. The program also focuses on enhancing the quality of life for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) infected or affected by HIV. Since its inception, 64 organizations across Kenya have been provided with grants, with the 7 best performing organizations having received a second grant in 2012 and 2013.
“I am very happy that you were able to come today. We are confident that with the funds provided from the PEPFAR Community Grants team, you will truly make a difference in your communities,” said DCM Parnell.
Since 2004, through PEPFAR, the U.S. government has invested over $2.5 billion or ksh215 billion in Kenya alone. The PEPFAR program in Kenya is the largest PEPFAR program in the world. PEPFAR provides support to the Government of Kenya to provide quality care and treatment to the people of Kenya.
PEPFAR works with large international and local non-governmental organizations in Kenya and is also committed to supporting the development of small, local partners who are addressing HIV/AIDS at the grassroots level. Many community-based organizations have helped improve the lives of many OVCs and People Living with HIV (PLHIV). One such group in Western Kenya started by distributing 150 chickens to OVCs and PLHIV households. With support from PEPFAR, this increased to over 3,000 chickens within just over a year. This has led to economic empowerment and improved food security for those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Through PEPFAR funds, many children, who would have otherwise dropped out of school, have been assisted to complete primary school as well as high school. PLHIV have also been assisted to continue with treatments and to live positively through the formation of support groups.
Through the PCGP program, as many people as possible are reached with HIV prevention messages or effective home and community-based health care (HCBC), therefore reducing HIV stigma and discrimination as well as promoting gender equity. The program supports Income Generating Activities (IGAs) to sustain projects after PCGP funding.
“We are truly thankful for the opportunity accorded to us. This opportunity is God sent. Our call, energy, resources and mission for the last 13 years has been targeted to People Living with HIV, widows & widowers and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in our community (Machakos County). We are committed fully to implementing the plan we sent to you to the end, because we know the impact felt in the community. We continue to pray for the KENYA PCGP team for the mandate you have been discharged with you. The impact is tremendous and we hope to work with you now and in the future, in the different capacities God will allow us to do,” grant recipient Gibran Kaia, Fountain of Hope Mercy.