A community is a growing, changing body of people from a given area who share common interests and problems, depend on and influence each other, and follow common leaders. Simply put, the members of a community deeply know and care for each other and share a sense of belonging.
Pehucci Children’s Home is situated in the Ruai area, about 35km East of Nairobi city, the capital of Kenya. We serve 3 different communities existing in an area of about 10,000 acres. Although existing around the same geographical area, differentiation of these communities exists essentially because they practice different economic activities, face different challenges, and thus need different types of intervention.
What these communities have in common is:
- Low income per capita
- High unemployment
- Low/late child enrolment in school
- High child mortality rate
- High incidence of preventable diseases
- Risky sexual behavior
- High student drop-out rate
Since each community is unique, the way that we approach and enter the community is of great importance. First, it is imperative that we learn and understand the culture of each group and their practices. Addressing an entire community at one time may be counter productive, as in any group some will grasp ideas quickly and accurately, while others will misunderstand concepts completely. It is therefore imperative to find a champion for our cause within the community. The main purpose of the champion is to train a committee consisting of members of the community. This is the basic method by which we enter the community.