The EAC (formerly the Kenya Kids AIDS Project) was started in September 2000 by our Founder and former Executive Director, Suzanne Wilson to provide shelter and clothing to orphans living in a garbage dump outside of Nairobi, Kenya.
We have accomplished so much in the past decade, and it has only been possible with the steadfast support of hundreds of caring donors, willing to give of their time, money and talents - people who recognize that that the situation in Africa is difficult, but that it can be made so much better with the right kinds of community-based support.
The EAC is a registered U.S. non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status, and is governed by an elected board of directors and with leadership from our Executive Director and Board President.
In Kenya, our activities are carried out through the Vutakaka Community Center where we provide adult and child education, health education and information, and poverty eradication programs. Our school activities are influenced by a parent-teacher board and a local Board of Directors.
Our activities in the United States are focused on educating the public on the problems and opportunities facing women and children in East Africa, fundraising to support our work, and providing Americans and those from other countries with a way to get involved through volunteering in the U.S. and in Kenya. We see ourselves as a link between those in higher and lower income countries, and a vehicle for transferring much needed resources and eradicating poverty. It is our hope that through helping others become empowered, we will connect with our greater humanity, and all of our lives will be enriched in the process.
2001: The East African Center is Born
Through the Kenya Kids AIDS Project's work with orphaned children in Nairobi, Suzanne and the other volunteers of the KKAP increased their understanding of the problems facing women and children in Kenya and wanted to take a preventative approach by empowering families and helping to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Thus the idea of starting a community empowerment center was born, and the East African Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children was incorporated as a non-profit in December 2001.
After scouting out many possible locations for our new community center, we were given the opportunity to lease (at no cost) a tract of land in the rural village of Takaungu, in Kenya’s Coast Province. In January 2002, we conducted a participatory rural appraisal with the Takaungu community. This appraisal allowed the community to identify it’s needs and for us to begin planning our facilities and programs.
2002 - 2006
We repaired wheelchairs for two paralyzed men in Takaungu, and arranged for the surgery of a boy with clubfeet from a nearby village.
We established the first library in Takaungu at the Takaungu Primary School and began construction of the first permanent classroom of the Vuma Primary School.
We began construction of the Vutakaka Community Center in Takaungu with the help of volunteers and workers from the local community as well as a cadre of international volunteers.
We became a non-governmental organization in Kenya in July 2003, and in August 2003 we established the Vutakaka Self-Help Group (a registered community-based organization in Kenya), comprised of 20 local residents, to plan and oversee the operations of the Vutakaka Community Center.
In November 2003 the Vutakaka Community Center officially opened, with a joyous celebration with all of the community, including a hearty meal, tree-planting and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
In December we started the Vutakaka Sewing Club to help local residents learn marketable tailoring skills.
January 2004, we began our nursery and primary school, adult education classes, after-school training, health education classes and health library, and the Farmer's Field School.
We received funding to build a three-room health clinic staffed by a registered nurse, and to hire a team of 10 Community Health Workers to go door-to-door teaching the community about healthy practices.
2006 - 2010
With a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the EAC acquired a 6.5 acre plot of land that enabled us to expand our school to grades 1 through 8.
January 2008, the sewing program officially became its own cooperative with their own constitution and bank account.
May 2009, we received 100 laptops from One Laptop Per Child and a grant of $10,000. The funds we received enabled us to bring electricity to the school.
We began to teach HIV/AIDs prevention courses to hundreds of students in surrounding schools through our now popular Stay Alive program.
Community Health Workers were once a month setting up children growth and monitoring days in neighboring villages as well as Takaungu.
Teachers at Vutakaka pursue their Master's degrees.
We are awarded our first in-country grant from the Nation AIDs Control Council.
2010 - 2018
February 2010, the parents and community raise $3,000 for the EAC.
We are awarded a grant for a water well that enables us to develop a sustainable farm that provides lunch for the 320 students at Vutakaka Junior School.
The laptops remain a part of the everyday curriculum at the school.
We build new, and much needed, toilets at the school with the help of the Rotary Club of Darien, CT.
Merging of clinic
Cold storage unit
The EAC conducts our operations with absolute fiscal and programmatic transparency. This commitment to transparency ultimately allows us to more effectively build local capacity in Kenya and operate our programs with full community participation. With an annual operating budget of less than $75,000 (USD), we focus on providing the best services and programs to enable individuals in Takaungu fair access to health-care and better educational opportunities. We constantly re-evaluate the efficiency of our services to ensure that every dollar spent has the best possible impact. We are proud that for every dollar donated to the EAC, 95 cents is dedicated solely to programming. (up from 75 cents in 2012)
In this challenging economic environment, we understand the importance and power of complete transparency in a non-profit organization. Reporting our financials to both our donors and the Takaungu community provides two-way accountability that fosters an environment of honesty and efficiency. Please feel free to review our financials below.
The East African Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (EAC) is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt public charity. We have had 501(c)3 status since January 2002. All donations to the EAC are tax deductible. Our Federal Identification Number is 91-2161222.
The EAC is a proud member of the USCombined Federal Campaign's Aid for Africa group. Aid for Africa is a unique partnership of more than 75 select charities, all dedicated to solving the complex, inter-related challenges facing Africa. As a member, the EAC has met stringent tests of fiscal accountability, governance and programmatic impact and each year conducts a full audit both of our operations in the United States and Kenya.
High Fundraising Efficiency - The EAC spends $.05 on fundraising to raise $1.00
Annual Services Statistics
With an annual operating budget of less than $80,000, you can see how much we are able to do with so little. By cutting costs we don't feel justifiable or necessary (such as hiring foreign consultants when local individuals are just as capable as providing input or throwing lavish events, costing tens of thousands of dollars) but have become common practice in the business of development, we focus solely on providing the best services and programs to enable individuals in this area to overcome the odds that have been stacked against them.
If you would like any further financial information, please contact Jen Hill, Executive Director, at email@example.com