Friends of Kenya Rising exists to support our western Kenya partner, United Kenya Rising, to assist needy students and families as they rise out of poverty.
We are a new organization, yet our work goes back more than 18 years. We are made up of volunteers and donors who were previously the driving force behind two entities, Maine-based Friends of Kakamega (FoK) and New York-based Crossroads Springs Africa (CSA).
FoK started in 2001 as a free-meals program, and it grew to provide sponsorships and other programs to hundreds of students and families in western Kenya. Similarly, CSA was founded in 2003 to support the construction and operation of a free primary school in western Kenya, and moved on to secondary scholarships when primary school in Kenya became more affordable. Both organizations’ programs evolved to focus on helping children and students through their families, by continuing to provide school scholarships but adding material basic needs like solar lights and water tanks, as well as programming in health, agriculture, and small business.
We have come together as one organization to improve and streamline our efforts to uplift children and families in great need. Today, FoK and CSA have consolidated into Friends of Kenya Rising. In the same vein, our implementing partner on the ground in Kenya, formerly known as the Care Centre, has unified all its programs under the Family Care model and changed its name to United Kenya Rising, a moniker that symbolizes aspiration and action to create a brighter future for all Kenyans.
Today, as one board, we raise funds to provide school fees for over 170 high school students and 50 college, university, and vocational students. We support United Kenya Rising as it offers sustainable programs to nearly 200 families, 1,000 people, ensuring children are educated and families can improve their living situations, farm production, health, and incomes.