This year we are donating our Christmas gift to OKIA – Our Kids in Africa – organization. OKIA is a non-profit organization supporting the Rehobothi orphanage in Tanzania. OKIA – organization provides a home for 13 children, along with helps the women of the community with their struggling role in the society. In a case that a woman’s husband dies or leaves them, they are left with too many children to provide to and therefore they are forced to give some of their children away.
Decreasing Childrens’ Poverty
OKIA’s main goal is to decrease child poverty. The co-founder of OKIA, Petra Ivarsson, explains: “When we first started with the children 2 years ago, we trouble putting food on the table. Fighting illness and mal-nourishment was hard. The hardships we have faced make us even more convinced that our work is necessary. Now all of the children are healthy and in school. All of the kids are different and they have their own aspirations in what they want to accomplish in life.”
“For us it is very important to be aware of what is really going on and how can we really help the community. And not always with just money, knowledge, education is the key.” Ivarsson reveals. Ivarsson get’s excited when she talks about the kids’ future: “Education is the key factor in the fight against poverty. We are working on with getting the kids through school. By educating the kids they’ll have a chance of building their own futures.”
The orphans aren’t the only receivers of help. The aim of OKIA is also to empower women. “Give them the knowledge to be self-sufficient so that the children can be reunited with their families.” Ivarsson explains. During the time’s spent volunteering in Tanzania the two founders of OKIA, Petra Ivarsson and Ina Lindfors, realized why so many children in Tanzania end up as orphans. “Mainly it’s because of the bad situation amongst women, their lack of empowerment and the ability of taking care of themselves.” Ivarsson describes. “We have been able to also help the kids’ mothers and make individual plans for how to help them out of poverty aswell, so that they will never be forced to give away a child again.” Ivarsson notes.
OKIA – Changing Culture
OKIA wishes to change culture. Ivarsson and Lindfors believe that by simply meeting people one can make a huge influence. OKIA works small scale, people to people, family to family. By helping the village the changes can spread to the region and eventually to the whole country.
In Finland Danceteam International is one of OKIA’s main sponsors. They organize fundraisers, gorgeous events full of dance and expression for the kids in Tanzania. The most recent event, Pamoja – Together portrayed each of the 13 kids and their lives stories through the dancers and singers of Danceteam International. Dance is an extremely good way of self-expression.
BoMentis wants to thank OKIA for doing this important work. We want to support them for the amazing work they are doing for these children, for these women and for their communities. All help is very welcome!