KCDF’ launches grant-matching model to support local artists

The Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) has today launched its second edition of the ‘Art for Change Exhibition’ featuring more than 40 artists and showcasing over 500 pieces of art, in a week-long event that seeks to raise resources towards its matching grant project model, also known as PamojaForChange.

Art pieces displayed at the Sarit Expo Centre at the launch of the Art For Change Exhibition

Themed “Our Communities – Art for Change,” the exhibition took place at Sarit Expo Centre, in Nairobi, bringing together painters, sculptors, illustrators, and community development actors, and embodies the spirit of creativity and community development. The event showcases incredible local artistic talent and highlights the impact of collective efforts in driving sustainable change.

Through the matching grant project model, KCDF encourages local giving and the promotion of self-reliance, through empowering marginalized and disadvantaged communities to identify their development challenges and find solutions using their own resources. Under this model, communities contribute 50% of the resources needed for their development projects, and KCDF matches the communities’ contribution. This approach fosters a sense of ownership, self-reliance, and confidence within communities, enabling them to tackle their own development challenges.

Over the last eleven years, the matching grant project model has witnessed success, with more than 200 projects implemented and over Kenya shillings 160 million raised as a testament to the power of collective action and the transformative impact of community-driven initiatives.

Speaking during the launch the KCDF Board Vice Chair, Mrs. Rose Mambo said that the exhibition marks a special moment for the organization as it brings together art and community development in a celebration of creativity and social impact. “Art has power to transcend boundaries and connect people from all walks of life. It serves as a universal language that communicates emotions, sparks conversations, and ignites change. As we witness the diverse array of artwork displayed here today, we are reminded of the incredible talent and creativity that our country has to offer,” she said, adding that the matching grant project model has proven its impact.

KCDF Executive Director Ms. Grace Mangi highlighted the importance of the event and its significance to the community. “This exhibition is all about putting our communities at the centre, therefore all proceeds from this event will go towards supporting projects in our communities,” she said.

KCDF Executive Director Ms. Grace Mangi addressing attendees at the launch

Below are some of the community driven projects that KCDF has supported their implementation through the matching grant model:

Okuto Community Library in Kisumu County: Through the dedication of Aniga Women CBO from Kisumu, the Okuto community came together to construct and equip a much-needed library at Okuto Primary School in West Seme Ward, Kisumu. The community harnessed the power of local fundraising tactics after going through KCDF’s local fundraising training in 2022. Using platforms like WhatsApp and organizing small meetings, they successfully raised Kes. 1 million towards the grant matching project, fostering a love for learning among children in the area, then KCDF was able to support the project by matching the with an equivalent donation.

Nkoilale Women Beadwork Craft Centre in Narok County: Collaborating with KCDF, the Nkoilale Community Development Foundation in Narok established this center in 2016. The craft centre serves as a platform for marginalized women to showcase their incredible beading talent and sell their products both locally and internationally.

Kidi Luanda Community Development Programme in Kisumu County: The community of Kidi Luanda embarked on a mission to create a better learning environment for students. They constructed three modern classrooms at Masongo Secondary School, providing a conducive space for students to thrive academically. With a budget of Kes. 2.5 million, this project has had a significant impact on enhancing educational outcomes for the students.

Kyeni Kya Mbiti CBO from Kitui County: In 2021, the community in Kitui took the initiative to address sanitation issues in their community by constructing new toilet blocks for both girls and boys, complete with a handwashing facility. With a budget of Kes. 801,500, they’ve elevated hygiene and sanitation standards, creating a healthier and more conducive environment for students to study and excel.

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