GardPass actively support an inspirational international charity (Neil Passingham is a board member). The charity uniquely inspires and enables young people in the UK (and other countries) to significantly impact the lives of HIV orphans in Western Kenya, whilst have life-changing experiences themselves.
See www.thenasiotrust.org/about-us/about-the-nasio-trust for more details of the Nasio story.
What we do
The plight of orphaned and vulnerable children across Africa is one that is much documented. What the Nasio Trust does is to put words, money and expertise into action so that real change can be effected for those most in need in this corner of the world. The charity was founded in 2003 with the guiding principle of feeding, educating and caring for the disadvantaged children in western Kenya.
The charity believes through supporting these children into adulthood, they are enabled to reach their full potential and give something back to their communities breaking the cycle of poverty.
AIDS and HIV are rife in Kenya, and frequently deprive families of their breadwinners, leaving children orphaned or partially orphaned with no one to look after them; so it is not unusual to find a 12 year old trying to provide for siblings, or a grandmother trying to do the same for her grandchildren.
The Nasio trust strapline “Changing Lives for Good” reflects not only the impact they have in Kenya but also the impact on volunteers from the UK and all over the world – a profound and life-changing experience for all.
The Nasio Trust supports and empowers local communities to set up and run their own income generating projects. These are all geared towards the charity’s forward-thinking philosophy to break the cycle of poverty and enable the communities to be self-sufficient. As a result, the Nasio Trust has invested in farmland and a tractor for cultivating crops, fishponds to grow and sell fish locally and supported a range of other enterprises.
The charity is currently exploring the development of more Social Enterprise Schemes, including the production and marketing of a substance called Spirulina. This is a highly effective dietary supplement containing high quantities of protein, vitamins and minerals, essential for those with HIV/AIDS.
Partnering with other organisations, such as local hospitals and the Red Cross, the Nasio Trust has set up and run temporary medical clinics attended by more than 600 people a day. In this remote rural area the nearest hospital is 10 miles away and to reach it often the only way is to walk. Too many children and young adults die through not getting treatment quickly enough or from illnesses that in the west would not be life threatening. Based on our experience and strong evidence of the need for a permanent structure, this has inspired the charity to construct a purpose-built medical centre close to where it is needed.
HIV and Health Awareness Training
The Nasio strategy is to improve healthcare of the communities and provide awareness of the prevention of diseases such as HIV. They organise sessions to combat the ignorance about how HIV is passed on and how to live positively with the condition. The construction of our Medical Centre will include facilities for holding events on a more regular basis, monitoring and supporting people living with HIV and Aids. We also cover areas such as the importance of hygiene, sanitation and clean drinking water.
Electives Placements in Western Kenya
Through our long-standing partnerships with a general hospital and a maternity hospital in the nearby community we are now offering a wide variety of tailor-made elective placements in the communities we support. These are designed specifically to meet the needs of young people, university students training to be doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Once the Medical Centre has been built this will provide greater capacity and excellent opportunities for more medical volunteers and students to gain experience of a wide range of medical issues including those associated with extreme poverty and tropical diseases giving the volunteers a chance to experience healthcare in a completely different environment. For example, in this communities it’s common to encounter diseases and conditions that are rarely seen in Europe or North America, such as malaria, leprosy and polio. This will offer medical volunteers an invaluable opportunity to learn more about these conditions. Furthermore, due to a lack of both general health education and money to pay for treatment, cases tend to be far more advanced than you will normally see in western hospitals. The clinics and hospitals that we work with are often understaffed and lack resources. This forces staff to be creative, working with tighter budgets and more basic equipment than you may be used to. This will teach volunteers useful skills and encourage them to look at their future profession from a new perspective.
Nasio UK Young People’s Programme
The UK arm of the charity, based in Oxfordshire, was originally developed to help young people who were drifting into antisocial behaviour. Having seen the transformative effect of volunteering at its day centres, the charity works with the police, the army and schools. The resulting programmes now offer young people from all walks of life the chance to take part in the charity’s Exit 7 scheme, which enables people from the UK to visit the organisation’s Kenyan projects for voluntary work. “This is life-changing for them as well, and the experience shapes their futures positively. A key aspect of the Nasio Trust is that it interweaves its work improving people’s prospects both at home and abroad. While many charities focus on either local or international aid, the Nasio Trust’s unique approach means that its work stretches across continents, “changing lives for good” in more ways than one.
Nasio Fundraising Events
The need to raise funds is ever present and although our objective is to achieve self-sufficiency with the communities we support. We take great care to ensure that all money raised goes to where it is needed. We try to keep overheads to a minimum. Because we work with, and among, the communities we serve, we empower them to identify and meet their highest priority concerns. To fund what we do we organise events to raise money. These include climbing Kilimanjaro, driving 4×4 vehicles across stunning parts of Kenya and a range of other interesting challenges.