Daraja – the Bridge … so that help arrives where it belongs.
Daraja is an independent, charitable, voluntary association. “Daraja“ means bridge in Swahili. The symbol of a bridge was the main idea during the foundation process of the association: We want to build a bridge of development cooperation between Austria and developing countries, especially Kenya. This bridge is meant to connect people on both ends to facilitate the exchange of information and to deliver financial aid from Austria to disadvantaged people.
Daraja was founded by students from the FH Linz in autumn 2007. Their main motivation for social commitment was a little city in Kenya called Emali. Many HIV-positive women live in Emali. Because of their disease, these women were abandoned by and excluded from their families. In consequence, they lack things essential for survival and often these women find themselves forced into prostitution in order to earn money to provide for themselves and their children. The risk of further spreading the disease is omnipresent but unavoidable.
Daraja does not want to simply disperse alms but facilitate sustainable support and in consequence curb or even stop the spread of the HI-virus. The project's basic concept was established by members of Daraja and local native people: Via job training and micro credits, people concerned should be led away from prostitution and into a self-determined life.
The association Mt. Zion is a competent local partner for Daraja, who carries out the realisation of the project’s ideas. The development of the project itself, the ideas and the visions is subject to collective discussions and the range of distinct support offers is constantly extended and adapted. That way, the needs of the people concerned should be met in the best possible way.
Since the 2nd of December 2008, Daraja has been an official association.
- We want to fight that HIV-positive people are excluded just because of their disease.
- We believe suffering caused by poverty to be structurally unnecessary.
- We know that the transfer of knowledge and possibilities can lead to an improvement of the economic and social situation as well as the health of people concerned.
- We show solidarity with disadvantaged people in other parts of the world.
- We stand for justice and equity as well as respect and appreciation.
- Our social conscience prevents us from closing our eyes and staying inactive.
- Awareness raising and sensitization with respect to development cooperation and fair reallocation
- Information events with interested people, politicians, researchers, institutions and organisations
- Gaining financial resources to support the project
- Effective cooperation with Mt. Zion and other cooperation partners
- Long-term planning of the project
- HIV/Aids prevention and education
- Sustainable support for self-support which should lead concerned people towards financial independence
- Establishing a social, psychological, sanitary and ecological support system
- Stabilization of the regional economy