With the continued growth and development of 3 related projects over a number of years, it was decided in 2007 to draw them together as a federation of partner projects. Since then, the Upendo Foundation organisation has continued to develop and the work of 2 of the projects in close geographical proximity to Upendo Foundation is now being managed directly by Upendo. The Kirongo Christian Integrated Community Project (CICP) continues to work in partnership with Upendo Foundation and is located near Ringa approx. 20km north of Upendo Foundation’s base in Oyugis., This partnership now embraces almost 50 community groups and over 5,000 people of whom approximately half are partial or total orphans. The health of community group members is supported by a network of community health workers and a clinic at Kirongo. With the growth over the last few years of ECD capacity in government primary schools, Upendo Foundation has reduced its direct support of separate ECD schools but in partnership with one of its UK funders, Amani UK, the organisation runs a schools link network with 20 local schools linked to 20 schools in the UK. Upendo Foundation also runs the Business Community Loan Fund acting as the supervising agent for another UK charity, Trade Relief, which helps to finance and develop small local businesses capable of creating future employment opportunities and having a positive social impact.
The Kirongo Christian Integrated Community Project (Kirongo) was founded in 1986 with the support of a UK charity called Amani UK. The project now has nearly 30 community groups, comprising widows groups, farmers groups, youth groups, Community Health Workers (CHW’s) groups and one spiritual group. Kirongo still supports the Kirongo Rainbow School with a current total of more than 100 children, enjoying not only a good level of teaching, but also a breakfast every morning.
In 2013 Kirongo was successful in registering a community health clinic called the Ted Rayner Memorial Clinic, having been founded the previous year by Jan Rayner, in memory of her late husband. It now provides a growing range of health care and education, for young and old alike and is situated in the Kirongo compound, alongside the Kirongo Rainbow School. The clinic is staffed by a nurse, a nurse-aid and a laboratory technician all of whom are supervised by a doctor
Kirongo is situated 1495m above sea level, some 20 Kms north of Oyugis on the Kisumu – Kisii road and directly serves more than 2,500 people out of the total population of 20,000, in an area of 35km2.
Kirongo’s aim is to encourage and nurture a process which will ensure that existing and new community groups will develop on a sustainable basis so that their members will have hope even after external support ceases.