Mombasa, Kenya

  Paths to Progress:  What's Happening in Mombasa

Community Partner Highlights

education.gifTotal War Against AIDS Youth Foundation (TWAAYF), an orphanage and youth organization, provides for children whose parents have perished from AIDS. Projects include building a poultry farm for improved nutrition and to raise education funds.

microfinance.gifFaulu Kenya offers both savings and credit services to millions of Kenyans, directly engaging communities with knowledge, skills, and outreach. Their youth training program instituted a banking program for schools to develop good savings habits among students.

rights.gifMuslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) promotes human rights and provides legal assistance for youth. The organization’s goal is to create a Kenya in which human rights principles are the guiding values of citizens and government.

  An Introduction to the Island City


Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya with roughly one million people. Situated on the Indian Ocean, Mombasa Island stretches onto the surrounding mainland and is Kenya’s main port and transport hub. The city is a major center of international trade and cultural diversity, yet struggles with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, severe pollution, and extreme poverty. Corrupt governmental infrastructure continues to leave the country vulnerable to high-ranking criminal patterns and increased abuses of civil liberties. Human rights work, such as educational and empowerment trainings, counseling, provision of legal assistance, and awareness campaigns are some of the methods FSD uses to support its partner organizations. These efforts serve to shift oppressive cultural and governmental forces that limit development and community well being.


Coast Province

    Population:  1,000,000

    Avg. temperature:  Low 70ºF / High 86ºF

    Local time: 

    Local language:  Swahili

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Organization: EEIK
Topic: Artisanal industry
Intern: Scott Thomas Martin

Eco-Ethics International - Kenya and Intern Scott have joined forces to implement a pilot program to improve sea safety, boating knowledge and fishing capacity of artisanal fishermen. This triple-phase project aims to increase productivity and safety through workshops on basic engine maintenance, introduction to fiberglass boat repair, and basic sea survival skills.


Organization: TWAAYF
Topic: Youth development
Intern: Aman Bali

Total War Against AIDS Youth Foundation and Aman have started a poultry farm to enhance nutrition of local youth, provide a portal for professional education, and generate revenue to support TWAAYF's ongoing efforts. This three-pronged approach is directed at foster youth who will learn how to care for chickens and make a profit from the sale of eggs.

George Agarn, Program Director


George has worked for over 12 years with numerous community-based organizations and NGOs to facilitate development solutions and social empowerment. His efforts have made a substantial impact in the development sector in Mombasa. In addition to earning his diploma in Community Development and Project Management, George has founded and served on the board of several of FSD's community partners.

A day in the life of an FSD Intern

Running Barefoot

Kristen Casella partnered with Camp David Center to address issues of orphans living with HIV/AIDS.

“Mzungu! Mzungu!” An excited squeal rises up from the other side of the fence--I have been spotted. There is a frantic thudding of small feet on the earth as the child on the lookout races to alert the others of her discovery. More excited yelps float through the air as the once-abandoned looking shacks come to life with their voices. The sound of feet smacking against the earth is louder now as the group grows in size. They run, hurrying to catch up to me, unable to hide their excitement. On my first lap around the dirt path next to the airport I am surrounded by four children. The next time I pass word has spread and children seem to be coming out of the tall grass in the field, the dark entryways to their homes, and behind buildings. They are everywhere.

As we near the spot where the dirt path intersects with the opening in the fence that leads to the place where most of the children live it becomes impossible to move at anything faster than a snail’s pace. “Mzungu! Mzungu! How are you?” Their high pitched voices shriek with joy and laughter as I reply, “Good how are you?” Few bother to answer my question too amused by my existence to even notice I have asked. After shaking what seems like a million tiny hands, I continue running--this time with more children than before. They surround me fighting for the chance to hold my hand while we run. Most of them run barefoot, the children who are wearing shoes are wearing flip flops, and none of them seem to notice the rocks on their feet as we run. They all laugh and look up at me, I cannot help but to smile.

These children are why I wanted to come here. I remind myself it is the little things that make it worthwhile. As we run in circles the children chatter away at me in Kiswahili. Still learning the language, I pick up bits and pieces of what they are saying. I try to speak with them in my broken Kiswahili, but a few of the older boys who speak English usually have to translate. training_programs.png Everything I say is repeated by all the children in unison followed by a sea of giggles at the strange word they have just pronounced. Something as simple as just showing up to run has brought such joy to these children and it is impossible to remember my frustrations earlier today. None of that seems to matter. The laughter of the children at the airport has melted away any frustration or stress that ever existed. As the sun paints the sky impressive shades of orange, pink, and purple I use what little Kiswahili I know to tell them that I need to go home now, they should go home too, and that I will be back tomorrow. The children at the airport have more than made my experience in Kenya, they have reminded me not to take the little things for granted.