Micato’s non-profit arm, AmericaShare, was founded over 25 years ago. Dedicated to helping populations in Nairobi, Kenya who have been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, AmericaShare has made a tremendous impact by providing a bridge between children and women in need and people wishing to make a meaningful difference in Africa.
Here are some of Micato's initiatives that are facilitating life in Kenya:
Harambee Community Centre
The Micato-AmericaShare Harambee Community Centre, a multi-purpose facility built through the generosity of past travellers Bernard Wharton and Jennifer Walsh, is a bright and beautiful oasis of hope in the middle of the Mukuru slum.
Harambee is a vital community centre, allowing residents to gather for lectures, educational sessions, and meetings. The robust resources and initiatives available in and around the Harambee Centre include:
- A state-of-the-art lending library as well as a computer-equipped learning resource centre.
- Educational programmes, including a School Sponsorship Programme and The Micato One for One Commitment.
- A base of operations for Huru International.
- A clean, quiet, wide-open space.
- The Gorretti Nursery School which provides care to children aged three to five.
- Basketball courts.
- Fresh Water.
Harambee Centre Libray & Learning Resource Centre
This dynamic, 13,000-volume library–Mukuru’s first lending library–is enthusiastically visited by thousands of children and adults every month. It offers a full and rich spectrum from picture books to college textbooks, and features the Mandarin library cataloguing system, including barcoding software, as well as security systems providing video surveillance and entry/exit magnetic book detection. The library is outfitted with new shelving, library tables, a check-out desk, window grills, and greatly improved light fixtures, giving it a progressive, cheery, and welcoming appeal.
Harambee Centre’s Learning Resource Centre, a beehive-busy annex to the Centre’s library, is designed to provide AmericaShare School Sponsorship Programme students, as well as the thousands of students enrolled in nearby government schools through Micato’s One for One Programme, with digital learning resources and internet connections for job search and on-line study.
The future of Africa is extremely important to Micato. After all, Africa it is not just adestination to them... it is their home. For over 50 years, Micato has been practicing and advocation sustainable tourism. More recently, Micato has started partnerships that allow them to create strategies that serve as guides to their conservation and sustainability efforts.
Micato is a major donor and proud supporter of Huru International, founded in 2008 by AmericaShare’s co-founder Lorna Macleod. Huru manufactures reusable sanitary pads—more than 1,300,000 to date—which has been distributed in free Huru Kits to more than 165,000 girls in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
East African girls who can’t afford sanitary pads very often avoid school during their periods, losing as much as an entire month each school year. The consequences are significant: girls who miss school or work fall behind, drop out or quit, perpetuating a grim cycle of poverty and gender inequality.
Through its School Sponsorship Programme, Micato-AmericaShare helps children who might not otherwise be able to afford a quality education, placing these vulnerable children in reputable boarding schools with the help of kind-hearted Micato travellers. The sponsored children get an emotional boost knowing that someone cares about them, and it provides them with a sense of hope and inspiration that they’ve never had before.
Red Hill Library and Community Centre
Tucked away on the verdant seaward side of the glorious Old Cape Road, south of Cape Town, past the imposing Steenberg Mountains and lovely Simon’s Town, on the way to the Cape of Good Hope, is the community of Red Hill, whose 1,500 makeshift households are blessed with wonderful views, bright community spirit, and not much in the way of community services.
AmericaShare’s Red Hill Library and Community Centre is a joyful place for the community of Red Hill with a single part-time clinic, 37 per cent unemployment, and no school for its more than 2,000 school-age kids, who, if they attend school, have to take long bus rides to state schools in the vicinity.