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Rafiki Wa Maendeleo Trust

Providing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to children and youth in vulnerable households in western Kenya.

Rafiki + Blood:Water Partnership

The current project with Blood:Water is called IMARISHA, a Kiswahili word meaning “to strengthen.” Through the IMARISHA project, Rafiki will scale up services that improve the well-being of vulnerable children, adolescents, and youth, and strengthen the economic security of the households in which they live. This project will contribute to the PEPFAR/UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals by accelerating HIV case-finding among children, strengthening care and treatment options for people living with HIV, and supporting adherence to HIV antiretroviral treatment for viral suppression.

The goal of the project is to provide HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to children and youth in vulnerable households in the Rarieda Sub-County of Kenya. Specifically this project will:

  • Scale up HIV prevention services among 5,050 high-risk youth 
  • Increase access to integrated HIV care and support among 400 HIV-positive children and youth in 300 highly vulnerable households
  • Improve access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for 300 vulnerable HIV-affected households 
20220331-Children in Beneficiary HH_1 Rafiki

Health Context

Despite substantial progress related to HIV/AIDS since 2010, Kenya faces a complex and deeply entrenched HIV epidemic. The HIV epidemic in Kenya exhibits marked geographical, gender and sub-population disparities. Although overall HIV prevalence has stabilized, the disease burden varies significantly between counties, and women and girls are disproportionately affected compared to men. The HIV prevalence rate among women is almost twice that of men at 6.1% and 3.4% respectively (KENPHIA 2018). While new HIV infections declined nationwide, data show majority of the new infection occur among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) age 15-24. HIV prevalence in Siaya County where Rafiki wa Maendeleo Trust (RWMT) implements community development activities has the second highest infections in the Country, at 15.3%. The Water supply situation in Siaya County is dire; characterised with high water scarcity especially in the sub-county of Rarieda. Only 15% of the sub counties population is covered by piped treated water. The rest of the population has to move for a long distance to obtain water.

Partner History

Rafiki wa Maendeleo Trust (Rafiki) works in the Siaya County of Kenya to create positive change for children, youth, and high-risk households by empowering community health and well-being. Rafiki was founded in 2001 by three friends in response to the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS in Kenya. The founding trio worked to support health education and disease treatment in many rural villages in the area. 

While their initial focus was on health, the support expanded into restoring dignity for orphaned children who experienced stigma, discrimination, and isolation due to HIV/AIDS. Rafiki’s work is based on its vision to empower communities to create positive change, especially for children and youth. They deliver on their programming with strict adherence to their core values of collaboration, innovation, respect, integrity and excellence.

Learn more at

Partnership Timeline: First grant cycle (partnership started in 2022)

Kenya Profile

Background: Following 70 years of British colonization, Africans began to protest Great Britain's rule over Kenya. In 1952, after years of unrest and rebellion, Governor Sir Everlyn Baring declared a state of emergency for the country, eventually forcing the colonial government to allow for African representation in the Legislative Council. Eight African leaders were elected, leading to the formation of the Kenya African National Union (KANU). KANU attained 83 of the 124 seats in the House of Representatives in 1963, and gained full independence later that year under Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

In August 2010, Kenyans overwhelmingly adopted a new constitution in a national referendum. The new constitution introduced additional checks and balances to executive power and devolved power and resources to 47 newly created counties.

Country Population: 56 million people

National Languages: Kiswahili (official), English (official)

Sources: Kenya Embassy Washington, DC | CIA Factbook (2022)

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