Most know the story of how Founder, Cat Ross, traveled to Kenya on her own back when she was 22 and started the local charitable organization Kenya Initiative for Development & Sustainability Inc. ( K.I.D.S.) which rerouted the direction of her life forever.
What most don’t know, is that the original organization that Cat partnered with on her first experience in Kenya was Volunteer International Community Development Africa (VICDA). VICDA is a non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya by a local woman, Irene Wairimu Ngatia. She founded the organization with the goal of helping needy Kenyans with the assistance of International volunteers in various development projects ranging from school projects, to hospitals, to counselling programs.
As the volunteer program grew and VICDA developed a positive reputation within the Kenyan community, it extended its impact by becoming involved in community development work. With the assistance of generous donors and selfless volunteers, VICDA has been able to focus their efforts primarily on the rehabilitation of street children, drilling of wells, HIV/AIDS counseling and assistance, medical camps, medical centres, child education, community projects for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) including feeding programs, food distribution, construction of homes, classrooms and medical centers, and microfinance programs to help them rebuild their lives.
"As VICDA continued serving the community, the organization's team realized there was a need to empower rural farmers economically. As a team, we came up with different ideas and we decided to introduce an Agri-Business Program. First, we had to source a ready market for the crops to be introduced to the farmers and fortunately we secured a local market. At this point I contacted K.I.D.S. (who is one of VICDA's partners) and requested funding for the project as it would empower a community within one of the programs that they were already supporting. Fortunately, Cat Ross, Founder, and her Board of Directors embraced the idea and they immediately provided the funding for the project . As more farmers came on board, due to different types of crop they have in their farms, we decided to venture into the export market. Today, as an organization we have reached our target market locally and in the Middle East and Europe. We are now implementing training for farmers on how to produce quality product. We could not have come this far without the support of K.I.D.S. and its donors." - Irene Wairimu Ngatia, Executive Director, VICDA
K.I.D.S. continues to work tirelessly to meet the needs of their partnered programs and ensure that everyone can live a sustainable, healthy, happy life. We reiterate Irene's sentiments in that we could not have done and could not continue to achieve success without the support of donors and supporters like you! We are excited to continue working towards success in our newest venture, which is the largest project in K.I.D.S. Kenya Initiative for Development & Sustainability's history! We have committed to a sustainable solution to water access in the Lemolo IDP Camp in the form of a water borehole!
To learn more about K.I.D.S. work, please watch our mini documentary here.
To donate today to our recent Borehole Project, click here.
“We are forever grateful for our partnership with Irene and her team, and for the generosity of our community. It truly does take a village!
— Cat Ross, Founder of K.I.D.S. Initiative