Riley Orton Foundation
The Riley Orton Foundation is a gateway out of poverty for both the students and the teachers.
WOMEN & CHILDREN
468 SERVED DIRECTLY
A message from David Omondi & Erick Otieno, Co-Founders & Managers
“My name is David Omondi, and together with Erick Otieno, we founded and now manage Akili Girls’ Pre-School & Preparatory School (Riley Orton Foundation) in the Obunga slum, where we grew up. I returned home after college because I believe that real change can be achieved from within the community itself, and because I believe in the power of women to change the world. I saw that without support their potential often goes unrealized.”
“My name is Erick Otieno, and I saw the incredible efforts my mother made to support my family throughout my life — she is the inspiration for the work we continue with today. I have a vision that a time will come when girls in Africa will be seen as equal as boys and treated with the same respect and opportunities. The time will come when African women will know that everything is possible for them.”
Riley Orton Foundation org is a grassroots non profit org based in Kisumu Kenya. We envision girls and a community with the agency to realize their full potential. Our mission is to alleviate generational poverty amongst the most disadvantaged and marginalized rural girls and families through the provision of holistic programming focussed on Education, Health & Wellness, Economic engagement and life skills training in order to provide rural girls and families with the agency to make sustainable changes for self sufficiency.
ROF projects have mainly been in the areas of education and micro-enterprise development.
Since its founding in 2010, Riley Orton Foundation has supported girls through education mainly at Akili Preparatory School for Girls, partnered with different primary and high schools to distribute school uniforms and bicycles to both boys and girls and helped women and youth acquire seed capital and micro-loans to support their business.
ROF is now focusing on areas where it has a clear comparative advantage and the ability to make a difference. All our development strategies include activities in:
2) Leadership & Entrepreneurship Training
3) Capacity Building as core program areas.
These activities are carried out in partnership with local communities; Community-led Organizations, self help groups, schools, government etc to achieve healthy and productive societies. Collaboration with these local groups is central to our development activities since we believe that only through such alliances and resource sharing can we build sustainable and resilient communities.
Leadership & Entrepreneurial Training
Aimed at solving the challenges young people face in finding gainful employment, our leadership and entrepreneurship program focuses on: Equipping youth with competencies in critical thinking and creativity, creating and expanding opportunities for youth re-skilling, and enhancing skills mobility across learning areas. This includes training on personal development, life skills (leadership, work ethic, communication, problem solving, team work, collaboration and entrepreneurship including financial literacy and starting own ventures, use of technology/ict in business.
ROF collaborates with existing Technical Vocational Education Training Institutions and individuals offering training to youth in Building Construction Technology/masonry, Fashion Design and Garment Making, Appropriate Carpentry and Joinery, Electricals and Electronics Technology, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy and Computer Studies/ICT.
High School Scholarships
ROF has been striving to increase access to education to underprivileged girls and boys living in rural and urban slums in Kenya. Our work has mainly revolved around the provision of free quality education to girls at the Akili Preparatory School for girls, promotion of basic literacy and numeracy skills among school going children and distribution of school uniforms and bicycles to both primary and high school students.
ROF’s new strategy focuses on providing primary and high school scholarships to underprivileged boys and girls living in rural areas and urban slums in Kenya. The Scholarships are administered in partnership with existing private and public schools, government institutions and other scholarship and sponsorship providers. The parents of the scholarship recipients are highly encouraged to be actively involved in their kids’ education e.g., visiting students at school, purchasing stationery and other school supplies and assuming medical and other relevant costs. ROF also offers support to exemplary students graduating from high school to continue their education through college. 60 students at Akili Preparatory school are the first beneficiaries of the program as ROF partners with Akili School to transition its students to high school from 2020 to 2023 when the last group of students graduate.
The Maendeleo Hub
Currently in its early stages, the Maendeleo “Progress” Hub is a community resource center that will connect women and youth who are beginning their own grassroots projects with the tools, networks, and skills that they need to create resilient communities. Services will include computer training, fundraising mentorship, and strategic planning and finance consultation.
Akili also has plans to establish an eco-farm to help introduce small scale farmers – especially women, youth and local students – to regenerative farming practices that make efficient use of limited local resources and protect the environment for future generations.
We are building to our 3-year goals through a combination of income-generating projects. Here's what we're developing right now.
Hold A Girl’s Hand Initiative
Hold a Girl’s Hand Initiative is a gender transformative program that aims to reduce and totally eliminate the high absenteeism rates of rural girls who miss school during menstruation, reduce sexual and gender based violence, bolster self esteem and improve sexual and reproductive health rights among rural adolescent girls. ROF partners with different rural schools to eliminate all barriers that hold girls back from achieving their full potential by offering counseling, sexual and reproductive health education, providing free school uniforms, sanitary pads and pants, bicycles to cycle to school and end transactional sex for lifts for school, as well as involving boys and men in supporting girls’ empowerment.
ROF started the SUSTAINAKILITY PROGRAM (coined to mean “sustain Akili School”) aimed at involving girls in organic gardening, waste management, and business skills training. The aim is to increase food production, aid in the overall sustainability of Akili Preparatory School, and encourage students to become stewards of their own environments.
Our vision is to produce environmentally friendly minded students who understand the importance of sustainability, learn and share healthy environmental practices that they will use throughout their lifetimes, contributing to a more environmentally friendly Kenya. Akili students will not just benefit from the school’s sustainability, they will contribute to it.
This project will lead to improved nutrition for girls, promote environmental conservation and use of organic techniques of farming as well as spur their interest in STEM disciplines.
ROF has partnered with different schools to build classrooms and train teachers from community schools to improve the quality of instruction in the classrooms. With the 100% secondary education transition policy exerting more pressure on limited resources in both public primary and high schools, ROF partners with existing public and community schools to build their capacity to offer quality education in serene learning environments in Kenya. This includes focus on: building and refurbishing classrooms, libraries, laboratories, toilets/latrines, water reservoirs and other learning infrastructures, provision of school uniforms, books/stationary, etc. We also train teachers and school managers on learner centered techniques, Competency Based Curriculum, resource mobilization, etc., in partnership with the government and other civil society organizations.