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The Ajiri Foundation works with the Ajiri Tea Company to create a sustainable trade cycle that will help to create employment and educate orphans in western Kenya. Using 100% of the net profits it receives from sales of tea, the Ajiri Foundation pays education-related costs for orphans in western Kenya. We base our mission and vision on the needs, opinions, and skills of the Kenyans we are working with.

While Kenya is a beautiful country with incredibly friendly people, it has a very poor population and has been especially hard-hit by HIV/AIDS. In 2005, 45.9% of Kenya’s population lived by the poverty line. The 2008 post-election violence in Kenya, coupled with the current worldwide economic recession, has likely increased this percentage. The poor in Kenya live largely in rural areas, especially in households that are headed by widows or by people with a low-level of education.

In Kenya today, there are an estimated 2.4 million orphans, half of whom were orphaned because of HIV/AIDS. Research shows that young children in households affected by HIV/AIDS are more likely to drop out of school because of an inability to pay education-related fees and because of an increased workload at home than children from households unaffected by HIV/AIDS. Orphans in Kenya are usually cared for by their extended family members. Because of HIV/AIDS, the number of orphans has grown significantly in recent years, thereby increasing the burden on the remaining family members. Families are often unable to afford school fees, books, and uniforms. Education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. The Ajiri Foundation pays the school fees, and purchases the books and uniforms necessary for these children to attend school.

Sources:

1. Wambugu, A. and Munga, B. “Growth, Poverty, and Income Inequality in Kenya: Suggested Policy Options.” May, 2009. Page 1.

2. Wambugu, Anthony and Mungu, Boaz. Page vi.

3. United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS. Country Report- Kenya, 2008. Page 21.

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