WORKCAMP IN MAKONGEN VILLAGE
The story of the Home Street Home project begins with a workcamp in the village of Makongeni. Viola Wallenius from Finland travelled as a volunteer and participated in a workcamp in the village of Makongeni during her trip. During the workcamp, an international team of volunteers planted trees and participated in village maintenance projects with local volunteers. During the trip, Viola met local volunteers Salim Edward and Salim Mwarima. Later, when Viola returned to Finland, Salim E and Viola started discussing the possibility of doing something bigger and more impactful together.
FOUNDING OF HOME STREET HOME
A few months after the workcamp, the idea of a new non-profit organisation started to take shape. The possibility of doing something new was on the minds of the young influencers. Eventually, the idea was turned into reality and Home Street Home was founded on 10 October 2014. Home Street Home was first registered in Finland and a few months later in Kenya.
At the end of November 2014, the first Home Street Home event was held in Jämsä, where the organisation was officially announced and launched. For the next year, we focused on project planning, background research and fundraising. In Finland, Home Street Home quickly received a lot of media attention, which helped in networking.
HSH FEEDING PROGRAM PROJECT LAUNCH
The first Home Street Home project, the HSH Feeding Program, was launched at Makongeni Preschool. The HSH Feeding Program project aims to distribute breakfast porridge to pre-school children.
OPENING OF THE HSH OFFICE
In early 2016, we renovated and opened our first office in the town of Ukunda. The office was used for two years to manage the organisation’s affairs and build awareness. With the office, we slowly grew our own network among public services, organisations and people in need in the county.
FRESH WATER FOR THE MAKONGENI PRE-SCHOOL
In April 2016, we implemented our first water project. We drew water from an existing freshwater well to the Makongeni preschool. The water project has made water available to more than 250 preschool children. Later, the same pipeline has also been used to implement a water project for the village primary school.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS
Home Street Home volunteers have been an important part of our organisation since 2016. The first Finnish volunteers travelled to Makongeni in October 2016. Since then, international volunteers have been helping with projects almost non-stop. Over the years, volunteers have travelled to Makongeni not only from Finland but also from Switzerland, France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the United States and Canada.
LAUNCH OF THE HSH TRUST SUPPORT PROGRAMME
In January 2017, we started to support vulnerable families through the children’s education support. Through the HSH Trust programme, we have supported children of pre-school, primary and secondary school age with school-related expenses, as well as providing school supplies and school uniforms. Over the years, the HSH Trust project has evolved from the original model.
OPENING OF HSH LIBRARY & STUDY ROOM
In July 2017, we opened a library and study space in Makongen village. A large number of textbooks, revision books and novels were purchased for our first library space. In addition, school supplies, a table and chairs were purchased for the study room.
Later, our library moved to our centre, where it continues to operate. Read more about the HSH Library & Study Room project from here.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HSH COMMITTEE
As the organisation’s activities began to take off, it was time to ensure that our activities respected and served the wishes and needs of the village community. The HSH Committee, made up of village elders, activists and representatives of minority groups, was formed to support collaboration between Home Street Home and the Makongeni village community.
ACQUISITION OF LAND FOR THE HSH CENTER
The purchase of the plot for the Home Street Home Center was completed in December 2017. A month later, a team of volunteers started digging a well on the plot, from which construction of the Center began.
ON THE WAY TO MAKONGENI
In 2018, volunteer Mika Lampinen, founding members Viola Wallenius, Salim Mwarima and assistant driver Juma Bakari drove a minivan from Finland to Kenya. The purpose of the trip was not only to share information about Home Street Home’s activities, but also to drive the car to the activity center. It was full of mishaps, but in the end Viola, Salim and Juma drove the car to Makongeni in August 2018, after 48 days of driving and more than 10 000 kilometers.
In March 2020, Home Street Home took a step forward when the organisation was registered in Switzerland. Sarah and Sandro are the activists in charge of the activities in Switzerland.
HSH BOARD – ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL BOARD
With the expansion of activities to Switzerland, it was time to update the administrative side of the organisation. In July 2020, we set up an inter-country HSH Board, which will be responsible for decision-making on the organisation‘s activities. Board members are volunteers.
OPENING OF THE KALEVALA TRAINING CENTER
In April 2020, we started building the Kalevala Training Center in collaboration with Kalevala Jewellery. A few months later, in August 2020, the opening ceremony of the training centre took place. The training centre offers degree programmes in computer packages, salon & hairdressing and tailoring & dressmaking
HSH FEEDING PROGRAM EXTENSION TO GAZI VILLAGE
In 2021, we decided to expand our porridge program. At the beginning of the year, we built a kitchen for the preschool in the village of Gazi with the help of volunteers. In April, we started distributing morning porridge not only to the Makongeni pre-school, but also in Gazi.
HSH CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUP OPENING
A lot of hard work went into the planning of the playgroup. The first pilot was carried out in early 2020, but the covid19 pandemic finally postponed the start of the actual project. Finally, in June 2021, under the guidance of a local early childhood teacher, we were able to open the doors of the playgroup at our center.
LAUNCH OF THE HSH HEALTH CLINIC
In October 2021, the HSH Health Clinic opened its doors, expanding the services offered by our center. The clinic provides health services and advice to people in the village community and surrounding areas.
CONTAINER TO KENYA – PROJECT
In June 2022, for the first time, we sent an entire sea container of donated supplies from Finland to Makongeni. Donations were collected from all over Finland and the container was eventually packed with hospital and medical supplies, mobility aids, tools and equipment, and many other supplies for our activity center and projects.
KALEVALA TRAINING CENTER LUNCH PROGRAM LAUNCH
In the third year of the Kalevala Training Center project, the activities were developed in a big way. In July 2022, we started offering free lunch to all students at the training center. With the lunch program, we also hired permanent staff for the center kitchen.
HSH DAY CARE CENTER OPENING CEREMONY
In May 2023, the range of services offered by our HSH center expanded again when we opened a day care center for children with special needs. The day care center offers therapy services in addition to day care activities.
HSH HEALTH CLINIC EXTENSION OPENED
We expanded our clinic by building an additional extension. The extension works as an observation wing, a storage room for medical supplies and a blood sampling station. In July 2023, we purchased a hemogram machine for our clinic, which will enable us to analyse blood samples.
HOME STREET HOME RY
IBAN: FI07 4500 0010 0657 50
Receiver: Home Street Home ry
Message: One-time- /monthly donation
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Fundraising permit: RA/2021/1657