History of Mwandani International


Niva Kegode

The 1980’s

The early 1980s – The number of children living on the streets of Nakuru begins to increase noticeably. Niva Kegode, a resident of Nakuru becomes determined to address the situation.

The mid 1980s – Niva Kegode assembles a group of people and began helping the street children by providing food, clothing, and other needed necessities. Eventually, a feeding program supported by family, friends, and some local businesses was started to help provide for the growing number of street children.

Niva Kegode feeding and ministering to the homeless children in Nakuru, Kenya

The 1990s

With the support of her husband, James Kegode, and the group of individuals she had assembled, Niva continues to tend to the needs of the street children. Feedings were done on the streets of Nakuru depending on resources.

The 2000s

The 2000s – The number of street children continued to grow and Niva, who was now tending to the needs of over 100 street children, often had insufficient resources.

2007 – A faith-affiliated organization supported by donors in Kenya and abroad was formed and called Mwandani. A feeding program was the major focus of the program. During mealtimes, efforts to provide avenues for rehabilitation were attempted. Rehabilitation efforts included connecting street children to opportunities for education, employment, or starting a business. In addition, catering to more personal needs, such as medical attention and connecting street children with relatives, was undertaken.

2014 – Due to failing health, Niva Kegode was unable to continue leading Mwandani. Soon thereafter, the feeding and rehabilitation programs ended.

2015 – James Kegode suggested that instead of continuing the feeding program as it was, the needs of the people in the rural areas needed to be addressed. He saw a link between street children and rural communities within urban migration. Therefore, to address the homeless and street children problem, we needed to confront the problem at its source.

2018Mwandani International (MI) was launched as a tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) nonprofit organization in the United States. Continuing the work of Niva Kegode, MI believes that lacking opportunities in rural areas, some relocate to urban areas in search of better opportunities to improve their livelihoods and find themselves homeless.

Sadly, Niva and James Kegode both passed away in 2018. It is in their honor we continue the work that they started to help the least fortunate.

2019 – A teaching farm near Njoro, Nakuru County, Kenya was established on land that was owned by James and Niva Kegode. Sunflower and dry edible beans were the crops grown using sustainable farming practices and locally sourced inputs.

Study on food security, poverty, rural industries, and employment opportunities conducted in the Kenyan counties of Busia, Nakuru, and Vihiga. The results from this study indicated that poverty among rural communities was highest in Busia and Vihiga Counties, both located in western Kenya.

2020 – Implemented value-added sweet potato project with farmers at three rural locations in Vihiga County. At one location, Bunyore, a potato tuber processing unit was constructed using as many locally sourced materials as possible.   The final product was sweet potato flour that could be used to make a variety of products.

2021 – The global pandemic forced us to temporarily shut down operations.

2022 – Strategy building retreat at Ol Donyo Sabuk, Kenya, and launch of 2023 – 2027 strategic plan for our continuing work.

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