Amilo Village

Located in western Kenya near Lake Victoria, Amilo is a village in Kabar East Sub-location of about 3,000 people with a strong community system, but lacking the resources for the basic services necessary to sustain economic growth. Hunger, HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria beset Amilo. Muhoroni District where Amilo village is situated is a very dry region part of Kenya's Nyanza Province, and its people, the Luo, are mainly agriculturists. They live in a climate classified as hot and dry for most parts of the year. Rainfall is bimodal, with the long rains between March and May, and the short in October and November. There are long stretches of dry, hot seasons between August and September (immediately after the cold July), and again in January and February. Most rivers are dry through most of the year and there is limited intensive land use.

In Amilo village, most village homes are made of grass and mud. Basic utilities like electricity, gas and running water are unheard of here. A large part of the children's (mostly girls) daily waking hours is consumed in fetching water and firewood from as far as 20 kilometers (11 miles) away. The main food crops are maize, beans, some rice, cassava, millet, and green grams. Sugarcane, cotton, and livestock are the main sources of money from the farms. Off-farm employment however, is also a main source of income for some households in this area. Some of the wares produced for sale include consumer goods such as sisal products, baskets and pots. Low income, undeveloped local resources, high levels of unemployment and a high school drop out rate due to poverty, pregnancies, and HIV-related reasons characterize the general community.

The community being served by AVFP has long suffered the effects of HIV/AIDS. They have witnessed firsthand the pain from loss of their parents, siblings, and children as well as the anguish of poverty. Yet, they have hopes, fears and dreams. The average number of children per family is seven. It is very difficult to provide sufficient food, healthcare and education to all the family members on a low income. Women and children, whose status is low in the society, suffer from poor education and malnutrition.

In the area of health and nutrition, there has been general decline in the provision of health services from the government. Infant and children under-five mortality rates have been on the rise. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has compounded the deteriorating health standards. In its wake, the pandemic has caused a steep rise in the number of orphans, growing destitution and unprecedented levels of poverty. The poverty line adopted in Kenya is US $17 and US$36 per month per adult in the rural and urban areas respectively. Kenya is ranked among the top ten low income economies.