Eliminating Malnutrition: Providing 160,000 Doses of Essential Micronutrients to Kids in Kenya

Do You Know the Importance of Vitamin A?

The World Health Organization has deemed Vitamin A as the single most vital micronutrient for proper health and development for a growing child. Our bodies rely on vitamin A for proper bodily function and for long-term health. When a child lacks sufficient vitamin A during the early stages of development, they can easily get sick, go blind or even die.

Vitamin A Deficiency- 150 Million Children Around the World Do Not Get Sufficient Vitamin A

Some nutrients, like vitamin A, are not produced by the body naturally, which means it must come from a child’s diet, or they are at risk of being vitamin A deficient. Families with children living in conditions of poverty are most at risk, because purchasing or growing vitamin A-rich foods isn’t always possible.

  • Sight: Since vitamin A is crucial for healthy eyes, children who suffer from vitamin A deficiency may have compromised vision - or go completely blind.

  • Immune System: Vitamin A deficiency results in weakened immune systems in children, making them more susceptible to infectious diseases like measles, diarrhea and upper respiratory illnesses.

  • Hair & Skin: Without the vitamin A necessary for healthy growth, children often have thin, brittle, or lightened hair and dry, flaky skin.

  • Mortality: Vitamin A deficiency increases a child's risk of illness and resulting death.

Love Kenya Foundation Distributes 160,000 Doses of Essential Micronutrients

Thanks to a continued grant from Vitamin Angels, we are distributing 160,000 doses of vitamin A and albendazole (deworming) to children in hard to reach areas of Kenya.

Our team in Kenya meets with the County Nutrition Officer with the vitamin A and albendazole. From left to right, David, world-class marathoner - Wilson Kipsang, the two women in the center are from Elgeyo Marakwet County and include Priscilla Koima, Nutrition Officer, and our Project Coordinator - Brigid Memoi.

Our team in Kenya meets with the County Nutrition Officer with the vitamin A and albendazole. From left to right, David, world-class marathoner - Wilson Kipsang, the two women in the center are from Elgeyo Marakwet County and include Priscilla Koima, Nutrition Officer, and our Project Coordinator - Brigid Memoi.

We are working in close partnership with our in-country partners, Nandi County and Elgeyo Marakwet County in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. By collaborating with the network of healthcare workers, we are able to travel to rural areas to educate the villages about the importance of proper nutrition and to distribute the vitamin A to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.

It only takes two doses of vitamin A per year to combat the devastating effects of vitamin A deficiency. These supplements strengthen immune systems, helping to fight off life-threatening illnesses for children who lack access to foods with vitamin A.

Prenatals for Pregnant Women

In 2019, we are also distributing prenatal vitamins for 189 pregnant women, as part of Vitamin Angel’s global effort to reduce newborn mortality rates. There is an estimated 7,000 newborns dying daily per data released by UNICEF. By increasing the distribution of prenatal multivitamins to expecting mothers, we support improved birth outcomes and save newborn lives.

We met with mothers in Kenya to discuss the importance of proper nutrition for their growing children.

We met with mothers in Kenya to discuss the importance of proper nutrition for their growing children.

A pregnant mother receives prenatal vitamins in Kenya

A pregnant mother receives prenatal vitamins in Kenya

A newly pregnant mother receives prenatal vitamins.

A newly pregnant mother receives prenatal vitamins.

Help Us Help Children

As always, we appreciate the support of our donors who make our work possible. A big, huge THANK YOU to those who contribute financially or otherwise. May God bless you!

IMG_9233.JPG
IMG_8755.JPG
IMG_9258.JPG

Feed My Starving Children - A Day of Food Distribution in Kenya's Great Rift Valley

Hi Love Kenya Donors and Supporters!

As you may have seen through our social media posts, we were thrilled to receive a grant from Feed My Starving Children to distribute 7,700 meals to those who need it most in Rural Kenya. 

Our focus area in Kenya is in the Great Rift Valley region - specifically in the drought-prone areas. We identified 4 areas that are quite rural and we met with the area chiefs of each of the four regions. The chiefs are aware of the most vulnerable and needy children in their communities and prepared lists for us, identifying children who could use food support. 

It’s incredibly important to us to work with the chiefs and governments on the ground to help identify the children as they truly know the community and help us make the most impact by reaching those who need it most.

Here, the locals have gathered so that we can meet and distribute the food for their children

Here, the locals have gathered so that we can meet and distribute the food for their children

While we were there, we met the caretakers of those children (in some cases, the caretaker is a grandmother, aunt, older sibling or single mother). For the selected families, we provided them 2 meals per week, to last them the remainder of this year. To ensure that the food is consumed over time (rather than all at once), we only distributed a portion of the food to the families now. In a few months, our team will deliver their next set of meals. 

We also provided select families with seeds to plant maize so that they can take advantage of the rainy season (starting now) to plant food to supplement what has been provided from Feed My Starving Children. While visiting these areas, we took note of some of the handicaps and illnesses of the population. We have only recently began collecting data, so our information is incomplete, however, in each village that we visited, we met people who are blind or deaf and many middle aged people with cataracts and other ailments. These conditions are a direct result of lack of proper nutrition (they are issues related to micronutrient deficiency in-vitro and in early childhood development). The nutrient fortified meals that you provide will allow these young children to have the vitamins and minerals required for healthy growth and development. 

Along with children in rural areas, there are 12 former street children who we sponsor and who will also be eating the FMSC meals 2x/week. The meals are greatly appreciated for these boys as they cut down on our feeding costs and ensure that the boys receive proper nutrition. 

In addition to the meals, we also work with Vitamin Angels and have received a grant from them to provide pre-natal vitamins to pregnant women and vitamin A and deworming to children between the ages of 1-5. The children we will distribute these vitamins to will be the same ones who have received your food aid. We are very interested to track them over time to gauge if the number of health ailments and handicaps declines. 

On behalf of the mothers, caregivers, village chiefs and our team, we want to say THANK YOU so much to our donors for your support and for making this work possible. It is so much appreciated. 

Stay Up-To-Date!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates!

Join Us in Kenya! October 13th - 20th!

If you’re interested in joining us in October where you can help us distribute meals on-the-ground, be sure to check out the details and reflections from our trip last year and secure your spot today!

 
 
Mothers and their children

Mothers and their children

image004.jpg
Some of the mothers and their children who received the food.

Some of the mothers and their children who received the food.

Lee Sisters Foundation Receives Grant of 67,000 Doses of Life Saving Vitamins

October 2017, Sanna, Co-founder of Lee Sisters visits children in rural areas of Nandi County. These are some of the children who will benefit from the vitamin A and Deworming supplements

October 2017, Sanna, Co-founder of Lee Sisters visits children in rural areas of Nandi County. These are some of the children who will benefit from the vitamin A and Deworming supplements

Minneapolis, MN - Lee Sisters Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity that helps women and children living in extreme poverty, received a micronutrient grant from Vitamin Angels, a California based charity.  The grant includes 35,500 doses of Vitamin A and 32,000 doses of Albendazole (deworming tablet) to be distributed to nutrient deficient children in Kenya.  

Lee Sisters has partnered with officials from Nandi County in Kenya to ensure the most vulnerable and at-risk children in the county receive vitamin A and deworming supplements. Ruth Koech, Minister of Health for Nandi County stated “We are so grateful.  This grant will save lives of children who are currently suffering from vitamin A deficiency and are infected with worms.  These children have suppressed immune systems and as a result easily die from preventable and curable causes, such as malaria, respiratory illnesses, diarrhea and others.” 

Vitamin A - The power to save lives

It only takes two doses of vitamin A per year to combat the devastating effects of vitamin A deficiency.  These supplements strengthen immune systems, helping to fight off life-threatening illnesses for children who lack access to foods with vitamin A.  Our bodies rely on vitamin A for many purposes, all of which are essential for day-to-day activities and long-term health.  When a child lacks this nutrient during the early stages of development, they can get sick, experience stunted growth, go blind and even die.  

>View vitamin A infographic

Deworming - Improving the health of children

Parasitic worms in children can lead to malnutrition. Deworming children allows them to absorb the critical nutrients needed to be and stay healthy. Deworming children improves their health.  Even small parasitic worms can cause pain, discomfort and illness.  To kill the parasitic worms, children receive a deworming tablet twice per year. 

Sanna Lee, co-founder of Lee Sisters Foundation stated “We are thrilled to receive the grant from Vitamin Angels, as it is the first grant we’ve applied for, and the first grant we’ve been awarded.  We are a young organization, having been in existence only a couple of years, so it is encouraging  to receive a grant like this.  It will allow us to reach and help a large number of children in Kenya who are currently micronutrient deficient, meaning their bodies lack the nutrients enabling them to be healthy. This grant means we will save and improve the lives of thousands of children, which is a huge success for Lee Sisters Foundation.” 

To learn more or to support the work of Lee Sisters Foundation, visit www.leesisters.org

###

Lee Sisters Foundation is a Minneapolis based charity whose mission is to help women and children living in extreme poverty.  Current projects include sponsoring children who live in Tassia slum in Nairobi, building a children’s home for orphans in Nandi County, and supporting women and children whose basic needs are unmet. 

 

Chelsea Goes to Africa

Meet Chelsea

Chelsea-in-Kenya.jpg
Chelsea.jpg

Chelsea is from Brisbane, Australia and is an avid-traveler with a heart of gold.  Her optimistic enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious, her lively spirit and fun-loving attitude brighten any room!  We are so excited to share that Chelsea will be in Kenya helping with our work in 2018.  She's quitting her job, selling her car and some of her personal belongings to allow her to traveling to Nairobi in February, where she'll start her 6 month journey of volunteering in Kenya.   


Supporting Girls who live in Tassia Slum

Chelsea will start by visiting Tassia slum in Nairobi, where she'll distribute reusable menstrual kits  to the girls at Beyond the Vision school. Chelsea has been fundraising over the past few months to raise money to purchase the menstrual kits from Days For Girls, a charity organization who employs impoverished women to create and sew the kits.   

In October 2017, we distributed reusable menstrual pads to girls who live in the slum, in Nairobi. The girls were so excited! The kits include soft, reusable, absorbent cloth which is placed inside of an anti-leak liner so that they don't have to worry about leaking through. After the girls went home with their new kits, some of their moms came to the school to request kits for themselves, as they also struggle each month, using only bits of old cloth.

Interested in supporting this initiative? An $8 donation pays for a reusable menstrual kit, enabling girls to manage their monthly cycles, and avoid missing several days of school each month.  Each kit is designed to last 3 years. 

October 2017: Edinah explaining how to use the menstrual kits to girls in a rural school.  

October 2017: Edinah explaining how to use the menstrual kits to girls in a rural school.  

October 2017: Girls in Tassia Slum receive reusable menstrual kits from Lee Sisters Foundation. 

October 2017: Girls in Tassia Slum receive reusable menstrual kits from Lee Sisters Foundation. 


Teaching at Great Joy Academy

Chelsea recently earned her certificate to teach english as a second language, so after she finishes visiting Tassia slum, she'll travel to the Great Rift Valley region in western Kenya, to Eldoret, a bustling and growing city.  Here, Chelsea will settle in for 6 weeks to teach at Great Joy Academy.  As she prepares for her time at the school, she's collecting text books and school supplies to support the more vulnerable students who are at the school.  

 

Some of the students who attend Great Joy Academy 

Some of the students who attend Great Joy Academy 

Inside one of the classrooms during recess, when the students were playing outside. 

Inside one of the classrooms during recess, when the students were playing outside. 


Volunteering in Hospitals in Nandi County

In June 2018, Chelsea will travel to Kapsabet, Kenya where she'll stay for several weeks.  During her time in Kapsabet, Chelsea will spend time with children who are sick, brightening their days by reading to them, playing games and showing them compassion and empathy.  For the children that are well enough, Chelsea will teach them english, sing with them and take their minds off of illness and hardship.  Chelsea will be working with our on-the-ground partner, Ruth Koech, who is the Minister of Health for Nandi County.  As June approaches, Ruth will identify additional areas where Chelsea's time and effort can be put to good use (assisting with distribution of vitamins, etc). 

To support Chelsea and the projects please consider donating.  

Donate today 

Follow Chelsea's story: Journey 4 Life, Chelsea's Blog
Support Chelsea and our work in Kenya: GoFundMe