Viviamo! – Nyumbani Village and Youth For Habitat

Nyumbani Village: A Model Settlement for HIV/AIDS Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa

As part of the World Youth Alliance’s first annual Viviamo! project (showcasing best practices in development work), WYA-Africa has chosen Nyumbani Village as a model human habitat.

Nyumbani Village, located in Kitui District, Kenya, is an innovative response to the needs of children who have lost their parents to AIDS. The Village is currently in its second of three phases of construction. When completed, it will bring orphans and their elderly caretakers together to form a self-sustaining, vibrant community, embodying a holistic vision of the human person.

It is estimated that by the year 2010 in sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 18 million children will have lost at least one parent to AIDS. The responsibility for care often falls to elderly grandparents who have already raised their own children. Nyumbani Village seeks to provide multi-dimensional support to both orphans and caregivers, through a community center, health center, primary school, technical training center and other facilities. The Village benefits the surrounding community, whose members have the opportunity to be trained and employed in construction, as well as make use of the primary school and health center. The local community feels a sense of pride and ownership towards the Village. Nyumbani Village plans to be self-sustaining and independent of external aid within 5 years, through income generating projects such as dairy farming.

Recently, WYA members had the opportunity to visit Nyumbani Village to witness a ceremony in which the Kenyan Minister for Water recognized the ingenuity of the Village’s water system. In a semi-arid region, the Kitui area is highly susceptible to drought, but the creative, low-tech design (which includes boreholes, shallow-wells, sand dams and drip irrigation) has managed to bring water where no one believed there would ever be water.

Nyumbani Village demonstrates how the plight of AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa can be addressed in a way that promotes the dignity of the entire community.

Members who are interested in learning more about Nyumbani Village can visit their website:


Youth for Habitat

WYA-Africa has begun a Teen Program entitled “Share your voice! Share your vision!” as a way to engage young members through various activities to discover their potential and responsibilities as they grow up. It provides an opportunity for the youth to be stimulated physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.  

Viviamo!, Italian for “We live!”, is a new annual WYA project that showcases best practices in development work. In honor of the International Year of Habitat, we have chosen HABITAT for 2006’s Viviamo! theme. As part the Youth Program, and in keeping with the theme of Habitat, World Youth Alliance Africa will conduct an Essay Writing and Art Work contest entitled “Youth for Habitat”. The contest will give young people aged between 10 and 18 an opportunity to engage in Creative Writing and Art, to showcase their talents and to speak out on various aspects of their habitat that they feel promote their human dignity.

The theme of this contest is “The Beauty in my Habitat”. Essays of no more than 250 works and pieces of artwork should be original and in accordance with the theme. Certificates and t-shirts will be awarded for the best piece of artwork and the best essay in each of the following age categories: 10-12 years; 13-15 years; and 16-18 years. The winning entries will be displayed on the WYA website, accompanied by a photo of the author/artist.

Completed works should be submitted on or before 7th September 2006 to:

World Youth Alliance Africa
P O Box 5391 – 00506

All winners shall be notified between 25th and 29th of September 2006.

For more information, please contact Margaret at