World Vision staff in Nairobi, Kenya, prayed for children living with HIV and AIDS on World AIDS Day in December.
World Vision is working alongside the Kenya Red Cross to deliver psychosocial support to survivors of the April 2 attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya. Of the nearly 150 killed and 100 injured, most were students.
World Vision will fund the services of mental health counselors to provide emotional support, help survivors cope with their experiences, and assist with family tracing.
World Vision’s Kenyan disaster management team also plans to help local institutions strengthen their capacity to respond to future disasters. May Ondeng, World Vision's communications manager, says whenever there is a crisis, people take shelter in community structures like schools, churches or mosques, so it’s important that they are prepared to provide assistance.
“Strengthening the capacity of local institutions,” she says, “would entail training teachers, faith leaders, and community leaders on international humanitarian standards--for example, not to discriminate in provision of services, and generally how to respond to disasters.”
World Vision will also support training in disaster risk management and preparedness for youth, as well as the organization’s community-based staff.
May says long-term economic development is one way of helping youth to say no to violence, coexist with their neighbors, and resist joining radical or militant groups.
She cites Yes Youth Can, a joint World Vision and USAID project in western Kenya, as an example of a long-term empowerment program in which thousands of youth have learned to govern their own activities, engage in peace building and conflict mitigation, work in teams, and access grant funds for business development.