OUR MISSION: To connect people in Kenya with the essential resources they need to make a genuine and lasting impact on the health and wellness of their own communities

Click here to read monthly stories about each project


Kaswanga Farm Project
Teaching More began its Kaswanga Farm Project in 2009. The farm currently provides 59 families whose children attend The Children of Hope School in Kaswanga with a year-round source of food. Teaching More assisted the community in leasing a piece of land which was subsequently fenced, irrigated, and outfitted with a tool shed and toilet. So many families were interested in participating that the available plots are now all utilized and providing these families with produce to eat, sell or barter. Because of the success of the project, and through generous donations, Teaching More then helped the community purchase an additional piece of land (7.4 acres) adjacent to the leased portion, and we are currently working on making the same upgrades to this parcel. When it is finished, it will support approximately 100 more families, and this new project will include a fish pond which will provide the money needed to pay for general upkeep of the farm, meaning the project will be self-sustaining.


Safety in Pregnancy and Childbirth training
In 2012 Teaching More started a project aimed at combating archaic birthing practices performed by Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA's) in the rural villages surrounding the town of Malindi in eastern Kenya. With the help of two nurses from Malindi District Hospital, Teaching More initially went into 4 villages to teach the TBA's basic hygiene, birth assistant skills and HIV prevention, and to provide them with simple sterile birth supplies. All of these villages report a dramatic decrease in prenatal and maternal complications, and a drop in infant and maternal mortality rates. We have since reached 8 more villages with much-needed education, and our current aim is to return to all 12 villages with sterile birthing kits and more training for the TBA's by February of 2014.


Combating Human Trafficking
According to the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) presented annually by the US Government, Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to human trafficking for forced labor, child labor and sexual exploitation. Kenyan children are forced into domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation – including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry. They are also frequently used as forced labor in agricultural production (for example in flower plantations), fishing, cattle herding, begging, street vending, and bar attendance, exposing many to incidents of drug abuse. Traffickers, who gain poor families’ trust through familial, tribal, or religious ties, falsely offer to raise and educate children in towns, or promise to obtain lucrative employment for young women. Kenyan adults trafficked to different regions of the world (including Asia, Europe and the USA) are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude, forced labor and sexual exploitation. Such vulnerable groups can also be involved in criminal activities, promoting insecurity in Kenya and within the region. HAART is an ngo in Nairobi, Kenya that is working hard to help the victims of human trafficking. Teaching More works on a voluntary basis with HAART to provide education and awareness aimed at attacking the problem at the source by diminishing the pool of potential victims. Teaching More cannot solicit funds for HAART, but to learn more, or to donate directly to their organization, go to www.haartkenya.org.


The Kaswanga Farm Project was implemented in 2010 with the help of Paul Nyaema Ogola. Paul's mother runs The Children of Hope School in Kaswanga and the families whose children attend the school have long been in need of a source of year-round food. When Danielle Kellem (Teaching More's Executive Director) volunteered at the school, she noticed the problem and asked Paul for some solutions. He suggested an irrigated, fenced community garden. When Danielle returned to the US, she started Teaching More and began raising funds for the project. Within a year, Teaching More helped the community to lease a portion of land on the lake (for irrigation), a generator and pump and simple farming tools. The funds were also sufficient to erect a shed and toilet.

The farm project is now managed by Paul Nyaema Ogola, and the land is maintained collectively by the families of Kaswanga. The farm currently provides 59 families with a year-round source of food and many more want to be involved, which is why Teaching More raised funds to expand the project.

Last year, Teaching More helped the community purchase a 7.4 acre portion of land on the lake shore adjacent to the leased portion. The plan is to provide funds for all of the infrastructural upgrades needed, and to build an on-site fish pond to create a revenue source that will pay for the farm's minimal upkeep. The new parcel, Paul anticipates, will have enough plots to support at least 100 new families. In total, the entire project will cost approximately $9,000. That' s less than $100 per family to provide them with a permanent source of food and to eliminate the anxiety of food insecurity that so many of these families face.

It is only through the continued support and contributions of Teaching More's donors that we can continue to give the gift of food security to the children and families of The Children of Hope School. Thank you for all you do…….tukopo moja……we are one.

The majority of pregnant women in rural Kenya deliver in their villages with the help of a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA). Much of the time TBA's don't have basic knowledge about birth, and many admit they are "self taught." The TBA's provide 'services' to pregnant women in their villages, but many of these services are based on uninformed and/or superstitious practices that are dangerous to mother and baby, and frequently prove fatal for one or both. Many women end up in hospitals in larger towns exhibiting serious complications directly related to these dangerous practices.

In 2012, Teaching More began 'Safety in Pregnancy and Childbirth' trainings in the rural villages surrounding Malindi on the eastern shore of Kenya. The project's aim is to combat the high levels of maternal and infant mortality rates in Malindi hospitals (and the surrounding rural villages) due to the lack of knowledge and skill on the part of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA's). With the help of Sophie Ndungu and Matilda Mbura, nurses who have worked for many years in maternity at Malindi District Hospital (and who each speak three languages), Teaching More organized 4 different clinics, and the reception from the TBA's was overwhelmingly positive. Sixty-two participants were provided with much-needed information and supplies, including simple sterile birth kits containing cotton, gloves, condoms, gauze, alcohol swabs, tetracycline eye ointment, cord clamps and gauze pads. The TBAs were very open about their practices (many of which were extremely frightening) and were genuinely interested in learning safer obstetric methods. In 2013, Sophie Ndungu re-visited the 4 villages that were provided initial training in 2012. All reported a significant decrease in complications and maternal and infant mortality. Sophie has since visited more than 15 villages to educate the TBA's through clinics, but these birth attendants are in desperate need of sterile birthing supplies. While Teaching More has purchased supplies for 80 sterile birth kits to be provided to TBA's, they still have to be brought to Kenya. When Danielle returns in February of 2014, she will disseminate the kits that were purchased with funds from Teaching More's generous donors.

Human trafficking can be understood as a process by which people are recruited in their community and exploited by traffickers using deception and/or some form of coercion to lure and control them. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Human Trafficking Report, 2012)

According to the Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) presented annually by the USA Government, Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking. Kenyan children may be forced into domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation – including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry. They are also frequently used as forced labor in agricultural production (for example in flower plantations), fishing, cattle herding, begging, street vending, and bar attendance, exposing many to incidents of drug abuse. Traffickers, who gain poor families’ trust through familial, tribal, or religious ties, falsely offer to raise and educate children in towns, or promise to obtain lucrative employment for young women. Kenyan adults trafficked to different regions of the world (including Asia, Europe and the US) are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude, forced labor and sexual exploitation. Such vulnerable groups can also be involved in criminal activities, promoting insecurity in Kenya and within the region.

HAART is an NGO located in Nairobi whose volunteers have been working tirelessly since 2010 to bring an end to the scourge of human trafficking in Kenya. HAART is currently conducting awareness campaigns and education in the most susceptible areas in Kenya and eventually they hope to have a rehabilitation center/shelter for the identified victims of human trafficking. Recently the organization's participants were able to rent a very small secure office. It is often dangerous to speak out about this problem, and several of HAART's volunteers have received threats, making it imperative to have a safe work space.

HAART need funds for transportation, printing materials, international and regional meetings, sound equipment for awareness campaigns, office rent, and wages for one full time employee. Though Teaching More cannot solicit funds for HAART, we support their efforts and want to help them to spread the word about human trafficking in Kenya. To learn more, or to donate directly, please go to www.haartkenya.org.

SOPHIE NDUNGU, Safety in Pregnancy and Childbirth Project Director

TBAs of Mayungu Village 1My name is Rosemary Waithera Ndungu (Sophie) a mother of two daughters. Barkay 17 years and Sultana 13 years old. I was born in the year 1970 the first born in a family of three in Kiserian village in Kenya. I went to Robo girls’ primary school and later to Oloolopon secondary school. In the year 1989 I enrolled in Nyeri medical training institute where I trained as nurse for three years. My first posting for a job as a nurse was in 1992 in a remote area in Tana River district called Ngao hospital, where I worked for three years.
Working in in this remote area where women had no say because of their culture, I had this feeling deep in me to help these women. First all they never gave birth in the hospital.  Pregnant mothers only came to hospital after a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) from their village failed to assist them to deliver. Although I was very young in the profession I did all I could to assist them.

In 1995 I was transferred to Kilifi District Hospital where cases of TBAs were also common. Together with various partners we conducted outreaches to educate the community and TBAs on issues of pregnancy. A year later I was transferred to Malindi District Hospital, and scenarios of home deliveries and TBAs were not any different here. Driven by the desire to eliminate maternal complications and impart knowledge on pregnancy care, I started reaching out to communities. There were a bunch of challenges ranging from community attitude to financial constraints, but despite all this I managed to reach the community and assist to my capacity. For twelve years I relentlessly educated community through outreaches with little support from the government or partners, while still working in the maternity.

It was not until 2009 that I hosted Danielle, a humble and intelligent girl. For the months that we were together she showed a lot of interest in what I was doing with TBAs. It was a short stay that inspired her to the point of promising to return to Kenya again. True to her words she returned to Kenya in 2011 and this time round we went to several villages educating and monitoring progress. The outcomes were impressive with a significant number of TBAs practicing learned knowledge. Infant mortality and maternal complications were not only subsiding but the community attitude to change was phenomenal. Seeing how community was embracing change, Danielle and I deliberated on making this a lasting program by sourcing for partners. We are still looking for support as we move to engrave change in the community.

Apart from dealing with TBAs we’ve encompassed cervical cancer screening, breast cancer screening, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, gender based violence and nutrition and hygiene. I also happen to chair a breast cancer support group where we conduct screening regularly.

Starting this project with Danielle is the best thing in my life. Seeing the lives being saved and change being accepted is the ultimate satisfaction one could derive from doing community work. It is so touching going to the ground and hear and see crazy things they do to pregnant mothers only because they have wanting knowledge. When I teach them and we correct mistakes together, they become very happy and they always want me to return teach more. I feel this should be a continuous program to reach more villages to save lives and have healthy babies.

 

 

PAUL NYAEMA OGOLA, Kaswanga Farm Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy name is Paul Nyaema, I was born and brought up in Kaswanga village where my mother worked as a p1 teacher. I went to Agiro primary school in Kaswanga up to standard eight after which I joined Tom Mboya Secondary School also in Kaswanga where I cleared form four in 2005.

In 2006 I joined kisumu polytechnic and graduated three years later (2008) with a diploma in Human Resources Management. Thereafter I upgraded my diploma and graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Human Resources Management in 2012.

In December 2009, Danielle Kellem came to volunteer in my village where we met and became friends. Seeing the rising need for food versus rising food insecurity we came up with a farming project that would support the needy in terms of providing for food and the project would be funded by Danielle and her family. Kaswanga farm project was started in March 2010. The farm has since supported many families in the village.

I am the overseer of this project that has made lives of many in Kaswanga better including me. This project has created me a job where I earn money monthly and has provided me and my family with easy access to food. Thanks to everyone who has made this project a success!

 

DANIELLE KELLEM, Executive Director

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made my first trip to Kenya in 2009.   While there, I stayed in three very different communities and was struck by social and economic problems I’d never experienced while growing up in the United States or in any other of my international travels.   I saw some very serious problems, and yet the solutions seemed so simple.  As a result, I started Teaching More, a nonprofit whose aim is to provide sustainable (as much as possible) solutions to the health and wellness problems I saw amongst the communities that took me in.  As they say in Kiswahili, tupoko moja…..we are one.  I believe in this adage wholeheartedly and am so grateful to be in the position to tell the important stories about the Kenyans I’ve met and to connect with so many in the U.S. who truly want to help.

GOVERNING BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Carol Kellem
Board Treasurer
Gardiner, Montana

Heather Muldoon
Board Secretary
Livingston, Montana

STAFF

Danielle Kellem
Executive Director
Charleston, South Carolina

Paul Nyaema Ogola
Kaswanga Farm Project Director
Kaswanga, Kenya

Sophie Ndungu
Safety in Pregnancy and Childbirth Project Director
Malindi, Kenya


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New nonprofit to help African communities
By Liz Kearney
Livingston Enterprise
Monday, July 30 2012

Danielle Kellem, of Gardiner, has formed a nonprofit to assist maternal health, prevent human trafficking and boost economic development in Africa.

Gardiner native and world traveler Danielle Kellem and her family have worked for the past several years to help a small village in western Kenya.

Kellem has recently formed a new nonprofit, called Teaching More. And to raise funds for the organization, Kellem has planned a fundraiser. The event will be held in Livingston at Chadz, 104 N. Main St., on Tuesday night at 7p.m.

In 2010, The Enterprise featured a story about Kellem’s work in Kenya. Her family contributed about $4,000 to the village of Kaswanga over the course of two years. The money made it possible for the village to pay its rent on about nine acres of land, buy a pump for a simple irrigation system, and buy fencing to keep livestock out of the garden.

Since 2010, the Kellems, with the help of a generous donor, have helped the village to purchase an additional 8 acres near the original plot. The additional acreage helps feed about 30 families, Danielle Kellem said Friday.

And with additional funds made possible through the nonprofit, Kellem said the plan includes, not just fencing for the plot, but digging a small pond for commercial fish farming.

Other programs Kellem addresses through her nonprofit is Safety in Pregnancy and childbirth training, which trains local midwives. Kellem herself is a doula, or a birth assistant. She said earlier this year she was able to visit some very remote Kenyan villages and provide simple midwife kits to the local women who function as midwives.

Kellem’s third issue is combating human trafficking in Kenya and eastern Africa.

For Tuesday’s fundraiser, Kellem said “a lot of awesome local artists” have contributed works of art for a silent auction, which will be held during the event. She also brought back from Kenya numerous crafts and art objects, which will also be part of the silent auction.

The $15 charge for the event includes wine and food and a brief presentation by Kellem.

The public is welcome to attend. For more information, call Kellem at 406-223-0043 email danielle@teachingmore.org or visit www.teachingmore.org


Gardiner residents discover it takes a family to raise a village
By Liz Kearney
Livingston Enterprise
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The Kellem family of Gardiner didn’t set out to be philanthropists for an entire African village. It just sort of happened, thanks to their globe-trotting daughter Danielle.

Danielle was working in a tiny village on an island in Lake Victoria in western Kenya. She had found the area through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Working with a local resident, Paul Nyaema Ogola, and his mother, the three came up with the idea of starting a small farm where village women could raise food.

And like many traveling young adults, Danielle wrote home for money, but in this case, the money was for the village. Her parents, Les and Carol Kellem, wanted to help. Les figured he’d send enough money to feed some children at the local orphanage.

Then he recalled Danielle had told him about a woman who had asked her for an amount of money that turned out to be about $1.50 in American dollars. Les was shocked to learn it was enough money to feed the woman and her family for a week.

He thought they could do more than just provide a onetime handout. Danielle suggested they help out with the garden idea.

“It turned into sort of a family deal” Les recalled.

The “deal” turned out to be a land lease of about nine acres, Danielle explained. They pay the landowner his rent. They bought a water pump and some pipes for irrigation. Then they needed some fencing and a small storage shed.

Local coordinator Ogola got $60 a month salary. And then there was a need for more fencing.

All told, the Kellems estimate they have about $4,000 into the project, that they’ve paid out over two years.
Carol said that when she first went to the bank to wire money, bank staff tried to discourage here. So many Internet scams originate in Africa that they were concerned she was throwing her money away, Carol explained with a laugh.

The farm is about a 15 minute walk from the village. Women do the farming. They grow tomatoes, corn and mboga, a bitter green. About 30 families have been participating. Once more fencing is installed, there will be enough room for 20 more families. Danielle said the fencing is necessary because the local stock animals-mostly goats and cattle- roam free most of the year.

While the intent was that the families would grow food to feed themselves, some of the women have grown extra food they can barter with. The village, located on Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria, is primarily a fishing village.
The women have been able to trade their produce for fish, Danielle said. And they raise some corn outside the fenced area to feed their livestock.

Life in the village
The village, located between two larger towns called Kaswanga and Kamasangre, has about 200 to 300 people, Danielle estimates. There’s no electricity or running water, but there’s cell phone coverage.
In the two larger towns, they have generators to produce electricity for a few hours a day. There’s a small youth center that runs a generator occasionally. When it’s on, people bring their cell phones in to be re-charged.
Danielle said she’s the first white person many of the children have ever seen. She said the children come to look at her.

“They touch my arm, and they look at my eyes. They say white people, with their light-colored eyes, have animal eyes,” Danielle said.

Danielle will be returning to the village during our winter months. Its sits at the equator and the temperatures are in the 100s nearly all year round, she said. Their rainy season runs about March through May, and it’s cooler then.

Does the rest of her family plan to visit?

Danielle’s sister Callie is working a summer job in Gardiner and hopes to go. She’s contributed to the project financially, too. Les, a disabled veteran and cowboy, said he probably wouldn’t make the trip. It would be painful, and he’s got too much titanium in him to get through airports since 9/11, he said. Carol said she would like to go.

Les and Carol downplay their involvement in helping a tiny village on the other side of the world.

“We’re not doing this for a pat on the back,” Carol said.

“We never had any money, but it doesn’t take much to help out, Les said. “You can always do something”


Woman fights human trafficking in Africa

By Liz Kearney
Livingston Enterprise
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How did a young woman from Gardiner end up working in Kenya for local victims of human trafficking?

Danielle Kellem, 26, partly attributes it to growing up in Gardiner.

“I hate winter, so I started traveling to get away from it,” Kellem smiled.

She was just 18 when she made her first journey: She got a job as a nanny working for a family in Rome for a year.
The following year, she worked on an organic far in Italy.

“One of my jobs was squishing grapes. We used our feet, just like on “I Love Lucy,” she laughed.

But her work in Kenya is no laughing matter. She traveled to Kenya last year because she had never been to Africa. She met a medical student who was doing work in HIV outreach, so she helped with that, in a rural hospital in eastern Kenya, in the town of Malindi.

Kellem is a certified doula, which is a position that assists midwives with childbirth.
“They were super under-staffed, so they put me to work. They watched me at first, and then they let me deliver babies,” she said. ‘Through another friend she moved on to Nairobi, Kenya’s largest city. She volunteered with the friend’s new nonprofit organization, Human Awareness Assistance Research into Trafficking. She worked in slums putting up posters and talking to people to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Human trafficking happens all over the world and has varying definitions in different countries, Kellem explained. For example, in India, she said, it takes a form called “debt bondage,” where people get into trouble borrowing even a small sum of money at exorbinant interest rates, which means they can never re-pay it.

“It’s modern day slavery,” Kellem said. “People working for no compensation except food, and there’s the fear of violence if they try to escape.”

In Kenya, children and women are used in sex trafficking.

And it takes place I the U.S, Kellem said. In the Haitian neighborhoods of south Florida, she learned, parents stricken the hardest by the Haiti earthquake are misled into giving up their children for what they are told will be a better future and an education.

Instead, the children are used as domestic servants, or worse.

“It’s such a huge problem, and nobody knows about it,” Kellem said.

To help Americans learn about human trafficking, Kellem is spending her free hours this summer talking to any groups she can find to listen to her. On Thursday, June 10th, the local organization, Montana Women For…., is sponsoring her talk at the Livingston Park-County Public Library. It will take place at 7p.m. in the Meeting Room. The public is encouraged to attend.